Kylen Austin: Wide Receiver Inquiry
Recently I reached out and had a chance to get in contact with 3-star wide receiver Kylen Austin. The St. Pauls’ product, Kylen Austin provided me the opportunity to learn about how he envisions himself as a player on the field. While also learning his opinions on several key tasks that go into playing the […]
Recently I reached out and had a chance to get in contact with 3-star wide receiver Kylen Austin. The St. Pauls’ product, Kylen Austin provided me the opportunity to learn about how he envisions himself as a player on the field. While also learning his opinions on several key tasks that go into playing the Wide Receiver position. This article will look to present Kylen Austin’s responses to the 4 questions I posed to him. Detailing how his answers relate to what I see on film and how they depict him as a player overall at his position.
The first question I posed to him was, what parts of his game does he see as strengths? Austin responded, “What I consider as a strength in my game is my ability to create space after the catch.” Meaning this creates opportunities for him to generate yards after catch as he later explained. This is a skill of his I noticed many times when watching him on film. As he does display great elusiveness in the open field, and rarely ever gets brought down by the initial tackler. He has good quick feet and uses a bevy of fakes and moves to manipulate would be tacklers to gain extra yards. With this being a major strength of his game, it makes him that more dangerous from any area of the field to make a big play. This also means Austin will only command more touches his coming senior season within St. Paul’s offense. Solidifying him as a true big play threat at the receiver position.
The next inquiry I had for Austin dealt with any improvements he wants to make in his game. Austin described, “I want to improve more on my breaks to better my skills as a great route runner overall.” Continuing, “Because without being able to run the route right, the DB will still be on you.” This is an interesting response because this is a subtle, yet highly important technical skill that can separate the good from great receivers. Being able to sharpen his breaks into and out of routes will allow him to generate far more separation. It will make him even more effective than he already is against man to man coverage. As well as, directly help his better his route running as a receiver as this skill is tied directly to route running. Austin shows good capabilities as a route runner on film, but further refining this part of this task as a receiver will only make him more difficult to guard. Turning him into an even more reliable target for his quarterback to look to.
This leads perfectly into the next question I posed to Austin which dealt with tasks that must be accomplished at his position. Asking, what does he believe is the most important task to accomplish as a wide receiver? Austin answered stating, “The most important task to accomplish as a Wide Receiver is footwork. Without footwork you are nothing at receiver.” This correlates directly to his response to the previous question as footwork at receiver involves several parts of the technical game at the position. Whether it be being sharp and quick on your breaks during routes, utilizing quick footwork to set up or bait an opposing DB, or your ability to maneuver your feet along the boundaries or sideline to make catches. Footwork as Austin puts it either makes you or deems you ineffective at the position. That is why it makes sense he wants to improve a part of his footwork as this will aid in sharpening this skill within his game. The best receivers as many have seen not only have quick feet, but great technique which makes them smooth route runners. Austin has the tools to be another receiver who has tremendous route running skills and must continue to cultivate them. Couple that with the physical tools he has at his disposal and you get a great receiver talent focused on perfecting his craft.
The final question I had for Austin had to do with dealing with coverages at receiver. Asking, does he consider being able to beat man coverage or finding holes in zone coverages a more important skill to refine as a pass catcher? Austin responded, “I consider beating man coverage key because you have to create your own space by making your specific move to breakdown your opponent. Plus, I choose to face man coverage anyway!” His response to this question shows he sees it more showing of a receiver’s skills when they must beat man coverage. This does make sense as man coverage requires more both physical and mentally as a receiver. As you not only have to run a sharp route and utilize different fakes and such to create separation. One also must remain alert and understand when to break off their route or adjust depending on if the play breaks down or is disrupted. In zones it is all about reading and finding soft spots based on defender positioning which can be done during play. Man coverage also as he described further highlights the footwork of a receiver. As this is the number one skill that can benefit or hinder your efforts to create separation against and opponent. Plus, with his confidence in his route running and want to continue to better his footwork it makes sense he prefers man coverage.
The information I learned in my recent inquiry with Kylen Austin was great to acquire. As I was able to learn from a talented prospect even more about some of the keys to be a great receiver. While also showcasing the importance, footwork has to the position through the opinions of a player trying to better this aspect. Austin should go on to have great senior year and with that will generate more offers and interest from scouts and recruiters around the country.