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Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 4 Kevin Austin, consensus four-star receiver

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Listed Measurements: 6-foot-3, 185 pounds
2018-19 year, eligibility: Incoming freshman with four years of eligibility remaining, including the 2018 season.
Depth chart: Notre Dame’s receivers are an unproven bunch. A freshman is the most unproven by definition, but Austin is hardly behind the likes of junior Javon McKinley, the backup at boundary if not also at field.
Recruiting: The consensus four-star prospect spurned offers from Clemson, Michigan and Oregon to narrow his focus to Duke, Miami, Tennessee and Notre Dame. The No. 88 recruit in the country, per rivals.com, Austin removed all suspense during the early signing period after committing in August.

QUOTE(S)
A fast receiver makes for an obvious boundary threat, forcing the defense to adjust over-the-top for his speed. A sure-handed target with a lengthy wingspan creates a preferred option on the field side. A quick acceleration sounds like the ideal slot receiver. To put it another way, part of Austin’s allure was his theoretical on-field flexibility.

“Kevin Austin is a unique player in that he can play all three positions for us,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said. “We wanted somebody that has versatility at that position. … Smooth player, catches the ball extremely well, has great speed. We wanted somebody that wasn’t going to be penciled into a position.”

WHAT WAS SAID WHEN AUSTIN’S NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT ARRIVED
“Austin’s mix of good speed with overall athleticism makes his future a tantalizing one.

“… Austin could force Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long to look his way early on, especially considering the inconsistent efforts from the Irish receivers this past season. The Florida recruit appears to offer just about every fundamental necessary.”

2018 OUTLOOK
Without proven depth at receiver, Notre Dame will take it wherever such can be found. Considering only four of 10 receivers can claim so much as one career reception, Austin is on pace to be in the two-deep simply by being on the roster.

His broad set of skills — speed, strong hands, height, wingspan, aptitude tracking the ball — should firmly place him into that two-deep by the end of preseason practices. One of those 10 receivers, sophomore Jafar Armstrong, will split his time in the backfield, and Austin may already be more physically-ready than the other freshman receivers, suddenly he is within the grouping of the top-six, backing up the one of Miles Boykin or Chase Claypool whom McKinley does not.

DOWN THE ROAD
It will take some time for Austin to move from rotational receiver to leading man since both Boykin and Claypool have another year of eligibility remaining after this season. Sure, it is possible Austin surpasses one or both of them in the pecking order before the end of 2019, but physical maturation alone makes that unlikely. He should still have an increased role next season.

Then, two years atop the depth chart could be awaiting the Florida product. That is a perk in following a recruiting class with only two receivers in it, one of which has already moved to spending much of his time in the Irish backfield.

NOTRE DAME 99-to-2:
No. 99 Jerry Tillery, defensive tackle, senior
No. 98 Ja’Mion Franklin, defensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 97 Micah Dew-Treadway, defensive tackle, senior
No. 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle, sophomore
No. 94 Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle, sophomore
No. 91 Ade Ogundeji, defensive end, junior
No. 89 Brock Wright, tight end, sophomore
No. 88 Javon McKinley, receiver, junior
No. 87 Michael Young, receiver, sophomore
No. 86 Alizé Mack, tight end, senior
No. 85 George Takacs, tight end, early-enrolled freshman
No. 85 Tyler Newsome, punter and captain, fifth-year senior
No. 84 Cole Kmet, tight end, sophomore
No. 83 Chase Claypool, receiver, junior
No. 82 Nic Weishar, tight end, fifth-year senior
No. 81 Miles Boykin, receiver, senior
No. 80 Micah Jones, receiver, early-enrolled freshman
No. 78 Tommy Kraemer, right guard, junior
No. 76 Dillan Gibbons, offensive lineman, sophomore
No. 75 Josh Lugg, offensive lineman, sophomore
No. 74 Liam Eichenberg, starting left tackle, junior
No. 72 Robert Hainsey, right tackle, sophomore
No. 71 Alex Bars, left guard and captain, fifth-year senior
No. 70 Luke Jones, offensive lineman, incoming freshman
No. 69 Aaron Banks, offensive tackle, sophomore
No. 68 Jarrett Patterson, offensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 60 Cole Mabry, offensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 57 Trevor Ruhland, offensive lineman, senior
No. 57 (theoretically) Jayson Ademilola, defensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 56 John Dirksen, offensive lineman, incoming freshman
No. 55 Jonathan Bonner, defensive tackle, fifth-year senior
No. 54 John Shannon, long snapper, junior
No. 53 Khalid Kareem, defensive end, junior
No. 53 Sam Mustipher, center and captain, fifth-year senior
No. 52 Bo Bauer, linebacker, early-enrolled freshman
No. 47 Kofi Wardlow, defensive end, sophomore
No. 45 Jonathan Jones, linebacker, junior
No. 44 Jamir Jones, defensive end, junior
No. 42 Julian Okwara, defensive end, junior
No. 41 Kurt Hinish, defensive tackle, sophomore
No. 40 Drew White, linebacker, sophomore
No. 39 Jonathan Doerer, kickoff specialist, sophomore
No. 34 Jahmir Smith, running back, early-enrolled freshman
No. 33 Shayne Simon, linebacker, incoming freshman
No. 31 Jack Lamb, linebacker, early-enrolled freshman
No. 30 Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, linebacker, sophomore
No. 29 Ovie Oghoufo, linebacker, early-enrolled freshman
No. 28 Nicco Fertitta, safety, senior
No. 27 Julian Love, cornerback, junior, second-team All-American
No. 25 Braden Lenzy, receiver, incoming freshman
No. 24 Tommy Tremble, tight end, incoming freshman
No. 24 Nick Coleman, defensive back, senior
No. 23 Drue Tranquill, linebacker, two-time captain, fifth-year senior
No. 22 Asmar Bilal, rover, senior
No. 21 Jalen Elliott, safety, junior
No. 20 Shaun Crawford, nickelback, senior
No. 20 C’Bo Flemister, running back, incoming freshman
No. 19 Justin Yoon, placekicker, senior
No. 19 Justin Ademilola, defensive end, incoming freshman
No. 18 Joe Wilkins, cornerback, incoming freshman
No. 17 Isaiah Robertson, safety-turned-rover, sophomore
No. 16 Noah Boykin, cornerback, incoming freshman
No. 15 D.J. Morgan, safety-turned-linebacker, junior
No. 15 Phil Jurkovec, quarterback, consensus four-star incoming freshman
No. 14 Devin Studstill, safety, junior
No. 13 Lawrence Keys, receiver, incoming freshman
No. 13 Paul Moala, local safety, incoming freshman
No. 12 DJ Brown, cornerback, incoming freshman
No. 12 Ian Book, quarterback, junior
No. 11 Alohi Gilman, safety, Navy transfer
No. 10 Tariq Bracy, cornerback, incoming freshman
No. 10 Chris Finke, receiver, senior, former walk-on
No. 9 Daelin Hayes, defensive end, junior
No. 8 Jafar Armstrong, running back/receiver, sophomore
No. 8 Donte Vaughn, cornerback, junior
No. 7 Brandon Wimbush, quarterback, senior
No. 7 Derrik Allen, consensus four-star safety, incoming freshman
No. 6 Tony Jones, running back, junior
No. 5 Troy Pride, cornerback, junior
No. 4 Te’von Coney, linebacker, senior

MEDICAL EXEMPTION
No. 35 David Adams, linebacker, sophomore

OUTGOING TRANSFER
No. 11 Freddy Canteen, receiver, outgoing transfer