Notre Dame gets the letters: Kevin Austin and Micah Jones, four-star receivers
North Broward Prep; Pompano Beach, Fla.
Measurements: 6’3”, 185 lbs.
Accolades: Consensus four-star; No. 14 receiver in the class per rivals.com, No. 20 prospect in Florida and No. 81 in the country overall; Offense-Defense All-American.
Other Notable Offers: Austin narrowed his finalists down to Duke, Miami and Tennessee with Notre Dame prevailing while Clemson, Michigan, Oregon and many others chased the deep threat.
Projected Position: Receiver, possibly the field position, forcing a defense to devote a safety to over-the-top coverage.
Quick Take: Austin’s mix of good speed with overall athleticism makes his future a tantalizing one.
Short-Term Roster Outlook: 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.
Long-View Depth Chart Impact: On the surface, Notre Dame’s receiver corps is a young one aside from current juniors Equanimeous St. Brown and Miles Boykin. A closer look reveals the obvious nature of how few of those receivers have offered genuine contributions, leaving the door wide open for Austin to step through. He will not usurp sophomores Kevin Stepherson or Chase Claypool, but he could complement them quite well.
Warren Township High School; Gurnee, Ill.
Measurements: 6’5”, 205 lbs.
Accolades: Rivals.com four-star; No. 36 receiver in the country, No. 2 prospect in Illinois and No. 179 overall.
Other Notable Offers: Half the Big Ten chased Jones, including Michigan State, Iowa and Minnesota, while both Mississippi and Mississippi State showed interest.
Projected Position: Receiver, possibly the boundary position due to his ability to outmuscle most defensive backs.
Quick Take: Jones’ size and strong hands made him a priority for Notre Dame. In today’s version of football, no team can have enough receivers, but Jones is more than simply a fill-in.
Short-Term Roster Outlook: One of the two receivers is likely to spend 2018 preserving a year of eligibility, just given Irish coach Brian Kelly’s track record. Looking at Boykin and Claypool as comparable to Jones, at least in size, it seems likely he spends the year on the sideline.
Long-View Depth Chart Impact: A veritable size option on the outside has long been a necessity for Kelly (see: Michael Floyd, Davaris Daniels, Claypool), even often relying on tight ends (see: Tyler Eifert) for that capacity. Jones should slide into that role at some point and then develop his utility to the offense from there.
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