Bryce Austin - DT - 6’2, 260 - 3* (89) - Southfield, MI (Southfield High School)
Defense tackle is one of the hardest positions to recruit in college football so getting in early on a talent like Bryce Austin is always a good thing.
Austin is a player who will continue to shoot up the recruiting rankings as he adds more size to his already powerful build. Some teams see him as a strong side defensive end, but at Purdue he would a 3 tech defensive tackle from day 1, because he’s not quite tall enough for what Purdue likes to do on the edges of the defensive. Playing him inside as a penetrating defensive tackle would allow him to use his quickness to attack guards instead of tackles, which is always a bonus for athletic guys that can move inside.
The two things that stand out on Austin’s film is his ability to get off the ball quickly and close quickly once he gets into the back field. Some guys are quick off the ball, but lack the ability to close the deal once they get into the opponents backfield. Austin is able to do both, and that’s why he’s considered one of the best players in the state of Michigan for 2020. If he can maintain his quickness and explosion while continuing to add mass, he could be a handful by the time he makes it onto a college campus.
I know size is coveted at the defensive tackle position, but a guy like Austin needs to balance getting bigger with his ability to move. His movement is what makes him an elite prospect, so adding good weight is more important than just adding mass to his frame. If he can get into the 290 range, he will be able to contribute sooner, rather than later, for most defenses.
Purdue will have to compete with a long list of suitors for Austin’s services. He currently holds 11 offers, including offers from Boston College, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. I anticipate that his offer list will continue to expand as more teams turn their attention to the 2020 class. He’s yet to receive an offer from either Michigan or Michigan State, and an offer from either (or both) could significantly change his recruiting outlook.
Purdue looks to be in good shape with Austin right now. He was a member of the large contingency of 2020 prospects that made their way to West Lafayette on 12/15 - 12/16. It’s always a good sign when you can get a player on campus early.