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Young breaks collarbone, deals new blow to Irish offense

| Monday, August 19, 2019

On Saturday, the Notre Dame football team suffered another blow as junior wide receiver Michael Young broke his collarbone during a preseason practice, sustaining the same injury that sidelined junior teammate and tight end Cole Kmet just over a week ago. Young was expected to be the third starting receiver behind senior Chase Claypool and graduate student Chris Finke and also make a significant contribution on special teams.

The Saint Rose, Louisiana native was primed for a breakout year in 2019 after playing in every game of his first two seasons. During Notre Dame‘s 2018 title campaign, he ranked eighth on the team in receiving, racking up 138 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions, in addition to being the top Irish kick returner behind 191 yards on nine carries.

Chris Collins | The Observer
Wide receiver and then-freshman Michael Young catches a six-yard touchdown during Notre Dame’s 21-17 win over LSU in the 2018 Citrus Bowl.

The Irish effort to invigorate the offense and generate more big plays in the upcoming season will be made more difficult with the loss of Young’s explosiveness and experience, leading ninth-ranked Notre Dame to rely more heavily on their underclassmen.

The wide receiver position is fortunately one of the deepest groups on the Irish roster, but on-field experience is severely lacking behind Claypool, Finke and Young. Sophomores Braden Lenzy, Joe Wilkins and Lawrence Keys III figure to step up and make plays, as well as senior Javon McKinley. Freshmen Cam Hart and Kevin Austin Jr. could also contribute depending on the duration of Young’s absence.

There is no timetable on Young’s return as the severity of his injury has yet to be determined.

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