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2015 NFL DRAFT

Tavon Austin, WR

School: West Virginia  |  Conference: BIG12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Height/Weight: 5-9 / 174 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
1311
LATEST NEWS
04/25/2013 - ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 13. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: Some questioned if West Virginia's spread offense made Austin look faster than he really was, but in clocking in at 4.34 seconds in the 40 in Indianapolis, he provided numerical proof of his game-breaking ability. Some will peg Austin as strictly a slot receiver at 5-9, 174 pounds. I see him as a matchup nightmare capable of lining up at receiver, running back and returner and pound-for-pound best player in the 2013 draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/25/2013 - DANE BRUGLER'S FINAL 2013 DRAFT BOARD: 19. WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia (5-9, 174, 4SR)...Austin will probably be limited to a slot role in the NFL, but he is an exciting space player with video game-like athleticism and rare change-of-direction skills. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

04/21/2013 - 2013 NFL DRAFT: FIVE BOLD PREDICTIONS: 1. Wide receiver Tavon Austin is the first WVU player draft...Austin is the top playmaker in the draft. His height isn't the detriment it could have been in a bygone era. Austin is similar, though not as tall or strong in the upper body, to Percy Harvin. It stands to reason the line for Austin's services will be a healthy queue, and including the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots, among others. The 2012 draft was an education in how general managers and coaches value playmakers over prototypes, a slight sea change evident in picks such as Bruce Irvin to the Seahawks, Shea McClellin to the Bears and Chandler Jones to the Patriots.

Austin can return kicks, punts, line up anywhere in the offensive formation as a receiver or runner and is one part Harvin another Devin Hester. If he's not a top-10 pick, it'd be a surprise. It wouldn't be stunning to see teammate Geno Smith, the top-ranked quarterback in the draft, to slide right out of the top 10. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange

03/15/2013 - 2013 West Virginia Pro Day: Tavon Austin, another first-round prospect, who stayed late to return punts for the 29 teams in attendance. Austin was almost as popular on Thursday. He has several meetings of his own set up and workouts scheduled with the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.

At 5-foot-8, 174 pounds, the concern with Austin is durability. He's likely to be pegged for the slot, where durability is a challenge at any size. But he's explosive and fast, drawing comparison for his all-purpose ability to Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin or Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb. - The Sports Xchange

03/12/2013 - West Virginia's Tavon Austin has been named winner of the Johnny Rodgers Award as the top return specialist in college football in 2012. Austin was second nationally in all-purpose yardage and averaged 12.7 yards on punt returns and 25.4 yards on kick returns. He returned one punt and one kick for touchdowns. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Austin is projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick as a receiver.

Rodgers announced Austin as the winner on Monday. The award is named for the 1972 Heisman Trophy winner from Nebraska who made his mark as a return specialist. Austin will receive the award at an April 4 banquet in Omaha. Proceeds will benefit Rodgers' foundation, which works to keep at-risk youth on track to graduate from high school. - AP Sports

02/27/2013 - TOP 10 COMPELLING NFL COMBINE STORY LINES: 9. (tie) Tavon Austin is the most dynamic player in the draft. Yes, the WVU WR is tiny, measuring at 5-8 1/2 and 174, but he ran a blazing 4.34 40 to back up his dazzling film. Of course, there are going to be questions about his durability. For all of the comparisons people have tried to make to Percy Harvin, Austin is 20 pounds smaller. "It's hard to say just how tough he is because he never gets hit," WVU offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson told me last week. "I know he has no fear. His two greatest attributes are his field vision and his body control. You can't make all the moves like he does in the open field without the great field vision and body control." - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

02/24/2013 - A pair of Big 12 wide receivers, West Virginia's Tavon Austin and Texas' Marquise Goodwin, kicked off Sunday morning workouts at the combine with unofficial 4.25 times in the 40-yard dash. Although he's considered "quicker than fast" by many evaluators, Austin showed he has the long-speed as well. He is known for his elusive footwork and elusiveness, but Austin's blazing 40-yard dash time will only help his case to be a first round pick. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash on his second try in the drill.

A former Olympian, Goodwin was expected to run a fast 40-yard dash, telling the media this past Friday that he had high expectations in the drill. "One of the fastest times, if not the fastest," Goodwin said in his response to his goal in the 40-yard dash. "I want to run the fastest ever; that's my goal. Chris Johnson has the record at 4.24. That's my goal." Goodwin's second try in the 40-yard dash was 4.29. Although he had just 26 catches as a senior, his athleticism could earn him second round grades. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

02/22/2013 - Former West Virginia do-it-all wide receiver Tavon Austin says he's the best player available in the NFL draft. Oh, and he says the fastest player here, too. "If we all lined up and raced I think I'd come out on top but I'm not really a 40 type of guy. I'm a game type of guy," Austin says. "A lot of teams are looking for the type of player who can do multiple things on the field, and I think I can be that guy. "I think I'm the all-around best player in the draft."

A potential NFL slot receiver and kick returner, Austin is projected to go in the bottom of the first round in April. He models his game after Wes Welker, but says he's "quicker and faster" than the New England Patriots wide receiver. He has yet to run a 40-yard dash here or bench press 225 pounds, and says his goal is to run under a 4.4 and to rep 15 times. He measured in at 5-8, 174 pounds, and says his fastest ever 40-time was 4.29 seconds.

He says he'd like to be two inches taller, but it "wasn't in God's plan." Still, he questions those who would equate his size to durability concerns. "It shouldn't be a problem," he says. "I haven't gotten hurt or missed a game in eight years, so my durability should be really good." - Robert Klemko, USA TODAY Sports

02/20/2013 - Top 10 most intriguing players at the combine: 8. Tavon Austin, WVU, WR-KR: This might be the quickest guy in Indy this week. Austin destroyed some teams loaded with good athletes, showing he could rise to the challenge in big matchups. He ate people up for two seasons on WVU's version of the Fly Sweep, but he did a lot more than just that. Austin once had 344 yards rushing in a game against Oklahoma. In 2011, he had 11 catches for almost 200 yards against an LSU D loaded with NFL talent.

It'll be interesting to see how fast he times in the 40. Some inside the WVU program joked that he never ran it before so they wondered if he would clock as fast as he plays. The film will tell you this guy plays like someone with 4.2 wheels. But if he doesn't crack 4.45, will that give some teams pause given his lack of size? My hunch is probably not, considering his change of direction and shuttle times should end up wowing any skeptics by the end of the week. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

02/20/2013 - 2013 NFL Combine, Workout warriors: While his size will keep him from being an early first round pick, West Virginia's Tavon Austin should perform very well in the speed and agility drills. His short-area explosion and acceleration should help him shine in the 3-cone drill, short shuttle and others, including the 40-yard dash. Although he's used as more of a "luxury" at this point, Austin's athleticism might be too talented to pass up in the first round. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

01/10/2013 - 2012 PAUL HORNUNG AWARD WINNER: West Virginia senior Tavon Austin electrified college football over the last four years as a wide receiver, running back and return specialist. Austin finished his career in Morgantown with one of his most impressive seasons, and on Thursday was named the winner of the 2012 Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the nation's most versatile player.

"I am honored and humbled to be selected as the winner of the prestigious Paul Hornung Award," Austin said in an official statement. "Whether I am on the field as a receiver, in the backfield or as a returner, I have high expectations for myself, and I have always tried to use my versatility to help my team be successful. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for helping me achieve this honor." Austin led the Big 12 and ranked No. 2 nationally with 2,910 all-purpose yards. While he was always a threat in the passing game and on special teams, Austin added a career-high 652 rushing yards in 2012 thanks to some new wrinkles in the Mountaineers' offense.

Austin shattered several school and conference records as West Virginia transitioned from the Big East to the Big 12, but perhaps his most impressive performance came in a 50-49 losing effort against Oklahoma. Austin finished the game with 572 all-purpose yards, the second most in FBS history and a new Big 12 conference record. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com

12/29/2012 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: SR/RB/KR Tavon Austin: Perhaps the most exciting player in college football, Austin averaged 230 all-purpose yards per game, second to Antonio Anderson of Western Kentucky. A Biletnikoff Award finalist, he was second in the nation in receptions per game at 9.17 on 110 catches, but he had a couple of games where he did not play receiver. In fact, his greatest game of the year came when he rushed for 344 yards, the third-best single-game total this year, against Oklahoma. He is also one of the nation's best return men. - The Sports Xchange

12/17/2012 - West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin, who finished eighth in this year's Heisman voting and was an AP All-American, has agreed to play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 26 in Mobile, Ala., a source confirmed. Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith is considering an offer to join Austin at the game, which concludes a week of workouts in front of NFL scouts.

No other WVU seniors have been invited, the source said, though the game's roster won't be finalized until after the bowls. Austin's 110 catches rank No. 2 nationally behind USC sophomore Marqise Lee. His 230 all-purpose yards per game stand No. 2 behind Western Kentucky's Antonio Andrews. - WVU Sports

12/16/2012 - 2012 AP ALL-AMERICAN FIRST TEAM: All-purpose player - Tavon Austin, senior, 5-9, 171, West Virginia...Austin is the first West Virginia player to make the AP All-America first team since 2006 when Steve Slaton was named to the squad as a running back. Austin has caught 110 passes for 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns at slot receiver while rushing for 598 yards and three scores as a running back. He has also produced 903 yards in punt and kickoff returns, giving him 2,760 all-purpose yards for the year. - West Virginia football

12/16/2012 - 2012 AFCA FBS COACHES' ALL-AMERICA TEAM: AP Tavon Austin, Sr., West Virginia...Austin accumulated 2,764 all-purpose yards this season, including 1,259 on 110 receptions through the air as the Mountaineers' leading pass catcher.

Austin, who needs 433 yards in the Pinstripe Bowl against Syracuse to set the FBS career record for all-purpose yardage, has scored touchdowns four different ways this season: by rush, pass, kick return and punt return. The Baltimore resident established a Big 12 record with 572 all-purpose yards in West Virginia's 50-49 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 17 in Morgantown. - West Virginia football

12/16/2012 - 2012 WALTER CAMP ALL-AMERICA SECOND TEAM: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia, 5-9 171 Sr., Baltimore, MD...Austin has caught 110 passes for 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns at slot receiver while rushing for 598 yards and three scores as a running back. He has also produced 903 yards in punt and kickoff returns, giving him 2,760 all-purpose yards for the year. Austin is the first player in school history to amass 7,000 all-purpose yards for his career. He scored touchdowns four different ways this season as a pass receiver, rusher, kickoff returner and punt returner this season. - West Virginia football

12/10/2012 - 2012 ALL-BIG 12 SECOND TEAM (MEDIA): WR: Tavon Austin, West Virginia, 5-9, 171, Sr., Baltimore, has been selected Second Team All-Big 12 Conference (Media selection) for the 2012 college football season. Austin is the only player in college football this season to score touchdowns four different ways - pass, run, kickoff return and punt return - and he finished the regular season leading the Mountaineers with 110 receptions, to go along with 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air. He rushed 61 times for 598 yards and three touchdowns and accumulated more than 900 yards in returns. - West Virginia football

12/10/2012 - 2012 ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): All-purpose: Tavon Austin, West Virginia, 5-9, 171, Sr., Baltimore, has been selected First Team All-Big 12 Conference (Media selection) for the 2012 college football season. Austin finished the regular season ranked second in the country in all-purpose yardage after averaging 230 yards per game. Earlier this year, Austin set a Big 12 record with 572 all-purpose yards in West Virginia's 50-49 loss to Oklahoma while rushing for a school-record 344 yards in that game. "What Tavon did against Oklahoma is the single greatest performance I've seen, ever," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. - West Virginia football

12/10/2012 - 2012 ALL-BIG 12 HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): Tavon Austin (Off. PoY), has been selected Honorable Mention All-Big 12 Conference (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. Austin is the only player in college football this season to score touchdowns four different ways - pass, run, kickoff return and punt return - and he finished the regular season leading the Mountaineers with 110 receptions, to go along with 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air. He rushed 61 times for 598 yards and three touchdowns and accumulated more than 900 yards in returns. - West Virginia football

12/10/2012 - 2012 ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM (COACHES): WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia, Sr., Baltimore, Md./Dunbar, has been selected First Team All-Big 12 Conference (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. Austin is the only player in college football this season to score touchdowns four different ways - pass, run, kickoff return and punt return - and he finished the regular season leading the Mountaineers with 110 receptions, to go along with 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air. He rushed 61 times for 598 yards and three touchdowns and accumulated more than 900 yards in returns. - West Virginia football

12/10/2012 - 2012 ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM (COACHES): KR/PR Tavon Austin, West Virginia, Sr., Baltimore, Md./Dunbar, has been selected First Team All-Big 12 Conference (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. Austin finished the regular season ranked second in the country in all-purpose yardage after averaging 230 yards per game. Earlier this year, Austin set a Big 12 record with 572 all-purpose yards in West Virginia's 50-49 loss to Oklahoma while rushing for a school-record 344 yards in that game. "What Tavon did against Oklahoma is the single greatest performance I've seen, ever," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. - West Virginia football

12/09/2012 - 2012 PAUL HORNUNG AWARD FINALIST: Tavon Austin (West Virginia University)...West Virginia's Tavon Austin is the first player in school history to score four different ways. Austin piled up 2,760 all-purpose yards in 2012, averaging 230.0 per outing. Austin finished with 61 carries for 598 yards and three touchdowns, 110 receptions for 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns, 15 punt returns for 165 yards and a touchdown and 28 kickoff returns for 738 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 26.4 yards per kickoff return, 11.0 yards per punt return, 11.4 yards per reception and a remarkable 9.8 yards per carry.

Austin's 572 all-purpose yards against Oklahoma on Nov. 17 were the second most in a single game in FBS history. Alongside Archer, Austin is one of two players in the nation with more than 500 yards in three different statistical categories (rushing, receiving and kick returns). Austin is one of three players in the nation with 110 or more catches this season and leads all players with 200-plus touches this season in yards per play at 12.90. The Mountaineers will face Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in New York City at Yankee Stadium. The game will kickoff at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. - The Paul Hornung Award

12/06/2012 - 2012 BIG 12 CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR (COACHES): Tavon Austin, West Virginia, KR/PR, Sr, Baltimore, Md.,...Austin is the only player in college football this season to score touchdowns four different ways - pass, run, kickoff return and punt return - and he finished the regular season leading the Mountaineers with 110 receptions, to go along with 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air. He rushed 61 times for 598 yards and three touchdowns and accumulated more than 900 yards in returns. Austin returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Kansas State and a punt for a TD against TCU. - West Virginia football

11/29/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 13: Keep an eye on: WR/KR/PR/RB Tavon Austin, 5-9, 171, West Virginia: Why you should watch him: Austin could not duplicate his performance against Oklahoma but he was still pretty spectacular (see video above) against Iowa State. He ran for 74 yards, caught seven passes for 99 yards and a touchdown and returned a punt 42 yards. Austin is Dana Holgorsen's favorite toy and his speed will translate to the next level. No player in the Big 12 has climbed the draft board this year like Austin as he continues to amaze each week.

Season stats (11 games): 107 receptions, 1,149 receiving yards, 12 receiving TDs, 49 carries, 521 yards, 2 rushing TDs, 14 punt returns, 123 punt return yards, 1 punt return TD, 26 kickoff returns, 738 kickoff return yards, 1 kickoff return TD. Player ranking: Austin is ranked No. 26 overall and is rated as the second-best wide receiver in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.

Up next: Austin could be trouble for KU's defense on Saturday. The Jayhawks have struggled with speed the last couple years and no player in the Big 12 is more difficult to catch than Austin. - C.J. Moore, CBSSports.com

11/25/2012 - WR Tavon Austin finished the game with 106 receptions for the year, breaking his own school record of 101 set last year. Austin had 261 all-purpose yards, giving him 2,573 for the year, which left him one yard short of his WVU record set last year.

11/23/2012 - Tavon Austin turned a touch pass from Geno Smith into a 75-yard touchdown with 6:31 left and West Virginia held on to beat Iowa State 31-24 Friday to break a five-game losing streak. In the first game between the two schools, the Mountaineers (6-5, 3-5 Big 12) trailed 24-23 when they took over on their own 25 after Iowa State's Edwin Arceo kicked a 49-yard field goal. Smith took the snap in shotgun formation and immediately flicked the ball to Austin cutting in front of him. Austin, who had been held in check until then, turned the corner and easily outran the pursuit down the left sideline. Iowa State (6-6, 4-5) then drove to the West Virginia 7, but Jeff Woody fumbled into the end zone and Karl Joseph recovered for the Mountaineers, which ran out the clock.

West Virginia became bowl eligible for the 11th straight season with the victory and could enhance its postseason position with a victory over Kansas at home in its regular-season finale next Saturday. The Mountaineers' losing streak had been their longest since dropping six in a row in 1986. Iowa State played its regular-season finale and will await its third bowl bid in coach Paul Rhoads' four seasons. - AP Sports

11/22/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 12: Keep an eye on: WR/KR/PR/RB Tavon Austin, 5-9, 171, West Virginia: Why you should watch him: Austin was moved extensively to running back last week against Oklahoma, and the results left the Sooners staring at the back of his jersey most of the night. Austin set the school record for rushing yards in a game with 344 on only 21 carries. He became the first player in program history to score touchdowns in four different ways in a season -- as a receiver, running back, kick returner and punt returner.

Season stats (10 games): 100 receptions, 1,050 receiving yards, 11 receiving TDs, 35 carries, 462 yards, 2 rushing TDs, 14 punt returns, 123 punt return yards, 1 punt return TD, 26 kickoff returns, 692 kickoff return yards, 1 kickoff return TD. Player ranking: Austin is ranked No. 26 overall and is rated as the second-best wide receiver in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Austin and West Virginia face Iowa State on Black Friday. It remains to be seen how much Austin will line up in the backfield, as the Cyclones' run defense, while not great (158.45 yards per game allowed) is better than its pass defense. - Patrick Southern, CBSSports.com

11/20/2012 - 11/19/12 NFL DRAFT SCOUT RISER: 1. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia...After winning their first five contests, West Virginia is in the midst of a five-game losing streak. But one aspect of the Mountaineers football program that hasn't been streaky is the play of do-everything offensive weapon Tavon Austin. With only 14 rushes this season entering Saturday's game against Oklahoma (compared to 96 catches), the Sooners' defense was understandably caught off guard when Austin lined up in the backfield, finishing with 21 carries for 344 rushing yards and two scores. Get the calculator out and you'll find that's an average of 16.4 yards per rush against a talented defense.

Austin finished with a FBS-record 572 all-purpose yards, including 146 return yards and 82 receiving yards. He showcased his electric athleticism for all four quarters against Oklahoma, just like he has done all season, with elusive moves and quickness, sticking his foot in the ground and exploding in any direction. Austin is shifty in space and changes his gears so easily, although he doesn't have any misconceptions that his future remains in the slot as he told reporters after the game that he didn't think he'd last in the NFL at running back. Regardless of where he plays, the NFL loves his playmaking ability whenever he's touches the ball and Austin has worked himself firmly into the bottom half of round one. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

11/18/2012 - WR Tavon Austin was switched to running back against Oklahoma and broke the school and Big 12 record for most all-purpose yards in a game with 572.

11/07/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 10: Keep an eye on: WR/KR/PR Tavon Austin, 5-9, 171, West Virginia: Why you should watch him: Smith may get most of the attention, but in reality, Austin has been more consistent. Even while the rest of the Mountaineer offense has struggled, Austin has produced. He had the highlight-reel play of the weekend in the Big 12, reversing field and outracing TCU defenders on a long touchdown reception that showed off his ability to produce yards after the catch. For good measure, he added a long punt return touchdown that looked like the game-winner until WVU's defense faltered late. Season stats (eight games): 85 receptions, 889 receiving yards, 10 receiving touchdowns, 16 kickoff returns, 32.88 yards per kickoff return, 10 punt returns, 11.1 yards per punt return, 1 kickoff return TD and 1 punt return TD. Player ranking: Austin is ranked No. 57 overall and rated the seventh-best wide receiver in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Punt return yards won't be easy against Oklahoma State on Saturday, as the Cowboys are No. 5 in the nation in net punting. - Patrick Southern, CBSSports.com

11/06/2012 - Week 10 Rewind: Versatility Could Push WVU's Austin into Top 32: While his quarterback continues to struggle with consistency, West Virginia's Do-Everything dynamo Tavon Austin may be emerging as the country's top senior receiver. It wasn't long ago that the idea of a 5-09, 172 pound slot receiver like Austin ranking as a potential first round pick would have generated laughter from NFL scouts. In today's highly specialized NFL, however, where versatile playmakers like the Minnesota Vikings' Percy Harvin (5-11, 192) and Carolina Panthers' Steve Smith (5-09, 184) have emerged as one of the league's most difficult matchups, the possibilities for Austin seem limitless. Limitless might be the word to use when describing the way in which West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen has used Austin over his career. Austin led the country in all-purpose yardage a season ago, averaging 198 yards per game. He's been even more productive thus far in 2012, averaging 201.86 yards heading into Saturday's showdown. With the Mountaineers having lost their last two games, they needed Austin to be even better Saturday. He was, registering 203 all-purpose yards and, more importantly, scoring two critical touchdowns that put West Virginia in position to beat TCU in their showdown as members of the Big 12. Austin made his first significant contribution as a receiver. Later, it was on special teams. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

11/06/2012 - Week 10 Rewind: Versatility Could Push WVU's Austin into Top 32: Like many short receivers, Austin has very good lateral agility to elude. His ability to instantly accelerate after changing directions, however, is perhaps what makes him so difficult for defenders to track down. Though he was clearly Smith's favorite target in this contest -- especially with fellow playmaking wideout Stedman Bailey continuing to nurse a sore ankle -- Austin was rarely tackled by the first TCU defender he faced. Considering that the Horned Frogs have generally been one of the nation's more schematically sound and reliable open field tackling teams in the country, that's saying something. Austin currently ranks second on NFLDraftScout.com's senior receiver rankings behind Baylor's Terrance Williams. At 6-2, 205 pounds, Williams has the more traditional blend of size and speed to warrant a high round selection. It isn't difficult to understand why an NFL team already featuring playmakers on the outside would value Austin as a late first round pick, just as Dane Brugler projects in his latest mock draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

11/06/2012 - Week 10 Rewind: Versatility Could Push WVU's Austin into Top 32: Down 14-7 and with Smith having thrown an interception in his third consecutive game, Austin took a short push-pass from his quarterback while in motion, went around the left end, circled back all the way across the field, resulting in a dazzling 43-yard touchdown to give the Mountaineers momentum. The touchdown catch was Austin's 10th of the year. The eight he'd scored each of the past two seasons had previously been his career high. Austin wasn't finished, however. While he'd scored 32 touchdowns heading into this contest (25 as a receiver, four on kickoffs and three as a rusher), Austin had never scored on a punt return. Perhaps not surprisingly then, it was on a punt return Saturday that Austin appeared to give the Mountaineers the score they needed to put this game away, taking a TCU punt 76 yards to give his team a 31-24 lead with just over three minutes remaining. On both plays, Austin showcased the stop-and-start maneuverability and explosive acceleration that makes him a threat to score every time he touches the ball. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/10/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 6: Keep an eye on: WR Tavon Austin, 5-9, 172, West Virginia: Why you should watch him: Against a Texas team loaded with defensive talent, Austin was easily the most athletic player on the field. He showed that in a dazzling first quarter, when he ran back kickoffs of 44 and 67 yards and added a 40-yard touchdown reception on a fourth-down play, when he caught a short pass and simply outran every defender to the sideline. Season stats (five games): 58 receptions, 662 yards, 8 touchdowns, 7 carries, 90 rushing yards, 8 punt returns, 43 punt return yards, 8 kickoff returns, 246 kickoff return yards. Player ranking: Austin is ranked 78th overall and is rated as the 10th-best wide receiver in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: If Austin is to continue his streak of games with double-digit receptions (currently at six, dating back to last season's Orange Bowl win over Clemson) he'll have to do it against a Texas Tech defense that has allowed an average of only 13 completed passes per game this year. - Patrick Southern, CBSSports.com

10/08/2012 - WR Tavon Austin had 10 receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown and now has had at least 10 receptions and a TD in six straight games going back to last season. No FBS player has accomplished that since 2004.

10/08/2012 - WEEK 6 BIG 12 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Tavon Austin, WVU, KR, Sr, Baltimore, Md.,...Tavon Austin finished with three kickoff returns for 111 yards, averaging 37 yards per return, in West Virginia's win at Texas. The senior had a season-long return of 67 yards and ran back a 44-yarder on the opening kickoff that set up WVU's first touchdown. Austin added 10 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. - Big 12 football

10/02/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 5: Keep an eye on: WR Tavon Austin, 5-9, 172, West Virginia: Why you should watch him? When you look at his size, you think he's not an NFL-type receiver, but Austin is getting noticed. In the last two weeks, he's moved from 14th to 10th in CBSSports.com's wide receiver rankings and from 109th to 78th overall. Also, undersized receivers like Philadelphia's Desean Jackson prove that undersized receivers with elite speed can be successful in the league. Austin has the speed, the sure hands and an ability to find openings. And his production is difficult to ignore. Season stats (four games): 48 receptions, 560 yards, 7 touchdowns, 84 rushing yards. Player rankings: Austin is ranked 78th overall and ranks as the 10th-best wide receiver in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Austin will likely have the chance to go up against an NFL-caliber corner in Texas CB Carrington Byndom, who is projected to go in the second round of the NFL Draft. - C.J. Moore, CBSSports.com

09/30/2012 - WR Tavon Austin broke the school record for receptions in a game with 14 against Baylor and now has 2,684 career yards receiving, also the school record.

09/25/2012 - 09/24/12 NFL DRAFT SCOUT RISER: WR TAVON AUSTIN, WEST VIRGINIA...While quarterback Geno Smith garners most of the headlines for the Mountaineers offensive success (and rightfully so), senior receiver Tavon Austin deserves more attention. After recording 11 catches for 113 yards last week against James Madison, the Baltimore-native set career-bests this past Saturday in West Virginia's victory over Maryland, finishing with 13 grabs for 179 yards and three touchdowns. While he lacks prototypical size (5-9, 172), Austin has NFL-level skills and presents an interesting evaluation for pro scouts projecting him to the next level. He doesn't have the frame to hold up on the outside in the NFL, but he has quickness and field savvy to work the middle of the field as a slot receiver with the speed to stretch the field vertically. Austin is a space player with video game-like athleticism and explosive footwork to keep defenders off balance and elude would-be tacklers. His versatility is key to his draft value as he has the ability to also line up in the backfield the way he anticipates and shoots through holes, turning on the jets and always appearing to have a plan, even as a return man on special teams. Austin tends to dance too much at times and will be out-muscled by just about every NFL defender, but there is a place at the next level for a dangerous athlete and Austin definitely qualifies. While his size and limitations might keep him from being a first round pick, Austin could hear his name in the top-50 range, similar to Chiefs RB/WR Dexter McCluster, and thrive with a creative offensive coordinator in the NFL. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

09/24/2012 - WEEK 4 BIG 12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Tavon Austin, West Virginia, WR, Baltimore, Md.,...Tavon Austin caught 13 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns in West Virginia's 31-21 win over Maryland. The 13 receptions matched a school record set last week by Stedman Bailey. The receiving yardage was the second-highest of Austin's career and marked the second consecutive game, and ninth in his career, in which he has recorded over 100 yards. Austin's touchdown receptions covered 44, 24 and 34 yards, giving him five scoring catches on the season and 22 for his career. The senior set the WVU career record for receptions in the fourth quarter and ended the game with 208. He is now tied at No. 2 on the career touchdown receptions chart with 22 and also moved up to No. 2 in career receiving yards with 2,469. - Big 12 football

09/23/2012 - WR Tavon Austin now has nine 100-yard receiving games in his career to tie him with Bailey and WR David Saunders for the WVU record for most 100-yard receiving games.

09/23/2012 - WR Tavon Austin tied the school record set a week earlier by teammate WR Stedman Bailey for receptions in a single game with 13. The two's statistics were startlingly similar, Bailey catching 13 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over James Madison and Austin catching 13 for 179 yards and three touchdowns against Maryland.

09/16/2012 - WR Tavon Austin brings eight career 100-yard receiving games into the Maryland game, having caught 11 passes for 113 yards against James Madison. That is second on the WVU all-time list of 100-yard receivers.

07/22/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 FOOTBALL TEAM (MEDIA): WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia, Sr/3L,... Austin was one of four WVU receivers to finish with 1,000 or more receiving yards in a season (1,186). He ranked No. 8 in the NCAA, No. 2 in the Big East, in receptions (7.8 p/g), and No. 23 in the nation, No. 3 in the Big East, in receiving yards (91.2 yds/g) and also ranked No. 4 in the conference in scoring TDs (5.1 ppg). - West Virginia football

07/22/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 FOOTBALL TEAM (MEDIA): PR Tavon Austin, West Virginia, Sr/3L, ... Austin ranked No. 6 nationally, No. 1 in the Big East, in punt returns (14.1) and No. 20 in kickoff returns (26.6) in 2011. - West Virginia football

07/20/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WATCH LIST: Tavon Austin, senior, WR, West Virginia, has been named one of of fifty preseason "players to watch" for The Walter Camp Football Foundation 2012 Player of the Year Award, the nation's fourth-oldest individual college football accolade. - The Walter Camp Football Foundation

07/18/2012 - 2012 BILETNIKOFF AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Tavon Austin, West Virginia, has been selected to the Preseason Biletnikoff Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented to America's top college football wide receiver by The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc. - The Tallahassee Quarterback Club

07/17/2012 - Top-five West Virginia prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 2. WR Tavon Austin...Rodriguez enjoyed a lot of success riding versatile, undersized matchup nightmares like Steve Slaton and Noel Devine (among others). Like these two, Austin was a running back in high school but was moved to wide receiver early on at West Virginia and the results have been spectacular, as he's earned All-Big East accolades after each of his three starting seasons with the Mountaineers, culminating in a 2012 campaign in which he led the entire country by gaining 198 all-purpose yards per game. Due to his experience as a running back, Austin shows little fear amongst the big bodies and is as dangerous in the quick screen game as any player in the country. Not surprisingly, it is in this role that Holgorsen elected to feature Austin last season, having him operate out of the slot so as to take advantage of the playmaker's vision, agility and acceleration. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

07/17/2012 - Top-five West Virginia prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 2. WR Tavon Austin...Due to his lack of traditional size, Austin's ceiling in the NFL is limited. His production at this level, however, may not have a ceiling as he'll not only be featured as West Virginia's top receiver but also as a change of pace running back and as the team's primary return specialist, where he earned the Big East's Special Teams Player of the Year in 2011 by averaging a gaudy 14.1 yards per punt return (tops in Big East, sixth nationally) and 26.6 yards per kickoff (including returning two for scores in 2011, three for his career). Austin will be compared to many other "undersized" athletes in the NFL. Expect to hear him compared to Percy Harvin, DeSean Jackson, and even Wes Welker, on occasion. In reality, Austin's game lacks the physicality of a Harvin or the vertical element that Jackson brings to the Eagles. He is not the same caliber of route-runner or receiver that Welker has proven to be. A fairer comparison might be to former Kansas City Chiefs' returner and receiver Dante Hall (5-08, 187) due to their similar size and elite make-you-miss fluidity. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

07/10/2012 - 2012 MAXWELL AWARD PRESEASON WATCHLIST: Tavon Austin, West Virginia, WR, Sr., has been selected to the preseason Maxwell Award watchlist for the 2012 college football season, given to America's outstanding collegiate football player since 1937 and named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. - The Maxwell Football Club

 
LATEST NEWS
04/25/2013 - ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 13. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: Some questioned if West Virginia's spread offense made Austin look faster than he really was, but in clocking in at 4.34 seconds in the 40 in Indianapolis, he provided numerical proof of his game-breaking ability. Some will peg Austin as strictly a slot receiver at 5-9, 174 pounds. I see him as a matchup nightmare capable of lining up at receiver, running back and returner and pound-for-pound best player in the 2013 draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

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