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Notre Dame Football

ISD Sweet 16 | Most Important in 2020: No. 7 vs. No. 10

March 31, 2020

It's Sweet 16 week! 

Well, at least for Irish Sports Daily. 

Jamie and Matt came up and seeded the 16 most important players to Notre Dame's 2020 campaign and we're giving ISD members the chance to advance them in a single-elimination tournament. 

In the final matchup of the first round, No. 7 recieverr Kevin Austin Jr. takes on No. 10 cornerback TaRiq Bracy. 

Kevin Austin Jr.
2019 Stats
: Austin did not play in 2019 due to suspension. 

Why he is the No. 7 seed: Austin might not have played last fall, but we saw a player who is extremely talented and motivated during Notre Dame’s lone spring practice. Austin has the combination of athleticism, size and speed to make life tough for any defensive back, but is also a big play waiting to happen. 

Had the Florida native not been suspended for the 2019 season, Austin could be higher on this list as he still needs to prove he can make plays on Saturday. The good news for Notre Dame is his off the field issues seem to be corrected and Austin knows what he has to do on a daily basis. 

Why Austin should advance: How can you not vote for the spring’s most impressive player?

TaRiq Bracy
2019 Stats:
 34 tackles, seven passes defended, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

Why he is the No. 11 seed: The California native could also have been listed higher as the Irish look to replace Troy Pride Jr. at cornerback. Bracy got plenty of reps last year after seeing action in seven games as freshman. 

Bracy made several key plays including a couple of pass breakups against Georgia, but also found the football in the air and on the ground. It’s safe to say Bracy didn’t blow anyone away last fall, however, he showed he could play at a high level and set himself up for a big jump in 2020. 

There will always been size concerns with Bracy, but he showed he could play the ball against bigger receivers. No spring ball hurts Bracy and Notre Dame as he’ll lose valuable reps. Regardless, Bracy is trending up and Clark Lea will look to him in 2020. 

Why Bracy should advance: Notre Dame needs a No. 1 cornerback and Bracy very well could be that guy. 

No. 1 vs. No 16: Winner - Ian Book with 62%. 

No. 8 vs. No. 9: Winner - Braden Lenzy 51.4%

No. 4 vs. No. 13: Winner - Liam Eichenberg 87.3%

No. 5 vs. No. 12: Winner - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah 69.7%

No. 2 vs. No. 15: Winner - Kyle Hamilton 78.2%

No. 3 vs. No. 14: Winner - Ade Ogundeji 71.0% 

No. 6 vs. No 11: Winner - Robert Hainsey 73.5%

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