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Notre Dame Football

Elite 8 | Most Important in 2020: Kyle Hamilton vs. Kevin Austin Jr.

April 7, 2020

16 of Notre Dame most important players have been cut to eight after ISD members voted over the last week. 

Tuesday’s Elite 8 matchup is No. 2 safety Kyle Hamilton vs. No. 7 receiver Kevin Austin Jr. 

How we got here: Hamilton beat fellow safety Houston Griffith with 78.2 percent of the vote, while Austin held off cornerback Tariq Bracy with 59.6 percent of ISD members vote. 

Kyle Hamilton
2019 Stats
: 41 tackles, 1.0 tackles for loss, four interceptions, six passes defended and one touchdown

Matt Freeman on why Hamilton should advance: It felt strange putting an extreme amount of hype on a true freshman two weeks into fall camp last year, but that’s how good Kyle Hamilton is and can be. 

Notre Dame lost its starting safeties and a starting cornerback from a year ago, which means Hamilton becomes Clark Lea’s playmaker. The Georgia native can play deep zones, in the box or wherever else Lea wants to utilize him. 

Hamilton is a unicorn. Notre Dame will play some very good teams next year and the Irish have a guy who can make plays to break the game open in Hamilton.

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

Jamie Uyeyama on why Austin should advance: This may seem crazy for someone with five career catches, but there is a reason why there is so much hype surrounding him. He's an elite talent and the only thing holding him back was availability. 

The loss of Chase Claypool is going to be significant. Austin is not only capable of stepping up to fill that void, Notre Dame needs him to. He's going to be WR1 for the Irish this season and put up similar numbers to Claypool. 

He's shown everyone in practice that he can be special, whether that's beating Julian Love deep as a true freshman or consistently getting deep for touchdowns last spring. Now he'll get to show everyone on Saturdays.

Elite 8

No. 1 Ian Book vs. No. 8 Braden Lenzy: Winner - Ian Book 85%

No. 4 Liam Eichenberg vs. No. 5 Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah: 52.1%

No. 3 Ade Ogundeji vs. No. 6 Robert Hainsey: Robert Hainsey 54.5%

No. 2 Kyle Hamilton vs. No. 7 Kevin Austin Jr.:

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