#54 Kevin Austin
Position: Offensive Line
Hometown: Roswell, GA
Thoughts: A trend from the Cards over the past year was to go and grab talented offensive linemen from the JUCO ranks knowing full well that the true freshman this year and the freshmen who redshirted last season would have a difficult time adjusting to ACC play so quickly. While Charlie loaded the roster with talented defensive players, the line was somewhat depleted in terms of depth. Klenakis and Petrino have done great getting solid players the last two classes but this year was a bridge year of sorts with three graduates and a transfer. Brining in Khalil Hunter, Kiola Mahoni and Kevin Austin was important in establishing depth and gaining experience. Austin played center almost exclusively at Mesa Community College so he could fight for time with Hugley and Klusman but don’t be shocked to see him get some reps at either guard position as well.
I’ve heard some chatter recently online that continually getting JUCO guys doesn’t help the program long term, but I tend to disagree. I think every program is different, but especially when you're dealing with coaching changes you can almost always expect those first two or three seasons to have a fair share of transfers or JUCOs to help fill positions of need. New offensive strategies or defensive schemes will require different types of players than what you may already have on the roster. You have to go get those guys while you continue to recruit your type of player for the packages your run. I’d say the addition of Pio, Trevon Young and James Sample last year was worth the "stigma" associated with JUCO players and hopefully those folks will also eat their words with the play of Pio, Young, Cole Hikutini, Drew Bailey, Jeremy Smith, etc. in 2015. I’m always on board with the "go get the best players available" mentality. If those players happen to be JUCO sophomores instead of freshmen from "Doing Our Best High School"…so be it.
Sweet Tweet: While Kevin has a twitter account, he’s not very active and it only contains retweets of others so not really anything of substance to provide here. With that said, I’ll always take an opportunity to voice another thought of my own and let you comment accordingly…
This past weekend my wife, daughter and I were out and about and met a nice couple at one of our stops. My daughter was chatting it up with them, talking about princesses, our dogs, and of course telling our new acquaintances how old she was, and how old she will be next month. Me and my wife then got the all too familiar… "2 years old, that’s such a fun age".
Is 2 really a fun age? The amusing aspect for me is that I’ve witnessed this same statement vocalized for a multitude of ages. "4 years old, that’s such a fun age", "6 years old, that’s such a fun age", "12 years old, that’s such a fun age". At what point do we just call B.S.? Let’s not misinterpret this, I love my daughter, she has me wrapped around her finger two or three times over and honestly she has been a great kid, but we both know that typically 2 isn’t a "fun" age. I do appreciate your metaphorical pat on the back though, knowing full well I’ve got a screaming, crying, singing, pooping, pouting, hormonal maniac living under my roof.
I can see the empathy deep in your eyes my friend, it does not go unnoticed.