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45 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: Austin Romaine

In which BracketCat counts down the 45th day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State linebacker Austin Romaine.

#45 Kevin Rohleder
Incoming freshman Austin Romaine will be one of the first K-State linebackers to wear the No. 45 jersey since Kevin Rohleder (45) back in the dark Ron Prince days.
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

#45 Austin Romaine

True Freshman | 6-2 | 238 lbs. | Hillsboro, Missouri
Austin Romaine
Austin Romaine
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Redshirt
  • Status: On Scholarship

Austin Romaine (b. Sept. 3, 2004) is a tough young linebacker who plans on majoring in business administration and displays good tackling, awareness, and pursuit skills.

Although he has garnered considerable praise during this offseason period, I still expect him to play in four or fewer games to preserve his redshirt amid a deep linebacking corps.

Romaine prepped under head coach Bill Sucharski at Hillsboro (Mo.) High School, where he was regarded as the 49th-best inside linebacker in the Class of 2023 by ESPN.

He earned first-team all-state honors as both a junior and senior from the Missouri Football Coaches Association, and was selected as his league’s most valuable player in 2022.

Romaine recorded 117 tackles and seven sacks as a senior, while he totaled 85 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a junior. He also rushed for 3,196 yards and 45 touchdowns over his prep career for the Hawks, and competed in baseball as well.

Romaine selected K-State over offers from Air Force, Brown, Buffalo, Columbia, Harvard, Murray State, New Mexico State, Northern Iowa, Ohio, Penn, Rice, Samford, South Dakota, Southeast Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Tulane and Yale, plus interest from Arkansas.

His primary recruiter was his new position coach, linebackers coach Steve Stanard.

Here’s what defensive coordinator Joe Klanderman had to say about Romaine’s chances to see the field this season following spring practices:

Just a side note on all these early enrollee kids — (Kam Sallis and Wesley Fair), Austin Romaine at linebacker and Chiddi Obiazor at defensive end, I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of those guys playing for us in the fall.

Daniel Green also had high praise for this kid last week at Big 12 Media Days, but I’ll stand by my prediction that it will be hard for him to find consistent playing time — this year, at least.