|Notre Dame safety Austin Collinsworth keys in on an opponent last year. The Fighting Irish named him one of four captains Tuesday.|
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter
Austin Collinsworth hopes to make his fifth and final year for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish his best one.
The 2010 Highlands graduate was named one of four captains Tuesday via Head Coach Brian Kelly’s Twitter account. The others were senior center Nick Martin, senior running back Cam McDaniel and junior defensive lineman Sheldon Day.
Collinsworth hopes to help the Fighting Irish back to the national championship game. Notre Dame made it there two years ago before losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Fighting Irish finished 9-4 last year winning the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, 29-16 over Rutgers University.
Kelly mentioned he’d not named captains at his weekly press conference Tuesday. But he wanted to name them by Wednesday.
“There are a lot of different variables here,” Kelly said. “I’ve got a really good leadership group within this football team. I want to be very careful that we select the right people and make sure that our voice is being heard across the group.”
Notre Dame lists Collinsworth as a graduate student. The Fighting Irish list academic years in school as opposed to athletic eligibility on their roster.
Collinsworth, a 6-foot-1-inch, 205-pound safety, appeared in 13 games last year making 11 starts. He recorded a career-high 43 tackles and three interceptions. Collinsworth made one interception in three straight games for the first time for Notre Dame since 2009 when Kyle McCarthy did it. He had a career-high 11 tackles in a 27-20 loss at Stanford.
Collinsworth played in all 13 games of his freshman and sophomore seasons. But he missed the 2012 campaign following a shoulder injury during spring practice.
Collinsworth played defensive back and running back at Highlands. He helped the 2007 and 2009 teams go undefeated as part of the Kentucky state record of six straight state championships.