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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame WR Kevin Austin Jr.: 'I'm very hungry and excited'

September 2, 2021
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It's time. 

Notre Dame receiver Kevin Austin Jr. might be the most excited player in college football. 

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior has been through it all over the last two seasons, but Sunday will present a chance to put everything behind him, including a nagging fifth metatarsal injury that took his 2020 season. 

"I'm probably better than I was," Austin stated earlier this week. "My foot is way better than it was before that and throughout the offseason, I've been training really hard - not just my left foot. I've been focusing on my right foot to make sure they're both fine." 

Austin had to show patience to get to this point. He didn't do much during spring ball and the Notre Dame staff was cautiously optimistic when summer workouts started. 

And it didn't take long for Austin to get cleared. 

"We were training hard running-wise," Austin said of summer workouts. "They wanted to see the first couple of weeks if I would be the same player I was cutting-wise. Once they saw that, they knew I could fully go and take all the reps I needed to take."

Austin also admits there is no pain this time around, which bodes well for a healthy 2021. 

"The first time after I came back, I could still feel it a little bit," explained Austin. "This time, I feel nothing. I feel no pain or tweaks. That's the confidence I have going into this season. I'm confident in my foot and medical staff." 

Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams is also excited to see his friend and teammate make his first start. 

Williams has seen Austin make plays in practice for two years and he's confident the college football world will get to see the same on Sunday. 

"I'm so excited," stated Williams. "Nobody really knows what Kev can do. The only people that know what Kev can do is what we see at practice and that's really just our team. 

"We all know what Kevin has in store. We've been bragging out - I know I've been bragging about since I got here. I'm excited and I can't wait for Kevin to show his natural ability to the whole world." 

Where could Austin help the Notre Dame offense the most? Well, let's start with explosive plays as Austin believes in quarterback Jack Coan.

"He has a big arm," explained Austin. "He can put the ball in really difficult places and that's going to be exciting. He can throw it deep, which is what I love." 
 
Another area where Austin can find success is in the red zone. The Irish have many weapons, but he could prove to be the most dangerous with his ability to win 50/50 balls. 

"We have a lot of great players that are in the red zone to make plays, but having myself in there is going to be a key factor," said Austin. 

The Florida native will have about 10 family and friends in the stands in Tallahassee and Austin is ready to put on a show. 

"I'm very hungry and excited," Austin stated. "I've been waiting a long time and it's a great opportunity to finally be here and be in the moment. I have to take by the rails and keep going.

"Playing in Florida, I'm already used to the humidity and hot weather, so it's not going to make a difference to me. I'm excited." 

 
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