NCAA Football West Virginia Mountaineers

5 Reasons West Virginia’s Tavon Austin Should Be Considered for Heisman

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5 Reasons Tavon Austin Should Be Considered for Heisman

Tavon Austin

West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver/tailback Tavon Austin is one of the most explosive, if not the, most explosive player in college football today, and isn’t getting as much attention as he deserves.

Austin, a true Senior from Baltimore, MD., was originally recruited as a halfback. He began playing for the Mountaineers in 2009 during his freshman year, and was converted to a receiver after the season began.

Now, he is the Mountaineers’ starting wide receiver, but also holds responsibilities as the punt returner and kick returner, and he even took some handoffs as a running back against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Austin has been explosive and productive throughout the 2012 football season, even though the team around him is in a bit of a slump. Last week, Austin set the All-Purpose Big XII yardage record for a game, against No. 12 Oklahoma, in his first game as a running back this season.

His combination of speed and agility make him a player projected to be drafted into the NFL after this season.

Austin has 274 receptions in his career at WVU for 3174 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also has 72 carries for 835 yards and five touchdowns.

He has made defenses look silly throughout the 2012 season, brought momentum to his team in big situations by returning punts and kickoffs for touchdowns and has kept WVU relevant in the 2012 season.

If you were to take Austin off of this year’s WVU team, they would be in serious trouble. Austin is the reason WVU has not been completely demolished in the last few weeks.

Here are five reasons why Tavon Austin should be considered for the Heisman.

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His Speed

Tavon Austin
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Tavon Austin is one of the fastest players I have ever seen play the game of football. When he gets into the open field there isn’t anyone out there who can catch him. This is particularly evident in his returns, as his speed allows him to outrun everyone on the field.

Austin ran a 4.3 40 yard dash. That alone is an accomplishment. Watching this kid play is one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had this college football season.

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His Versatility

Tavon Austin
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Austin is a player that can play virtually anywhere on a football field. He was recruited as a running back and moved to receiver, but as he showed against the Sooners, he is still capable of taking handoffs for huge gains.

He can catch, has speed, can make defenders miss tackles and has an exceptional ability to read blocks.

Austin’s ability to be moved to different positions and still make an impact is another reason he should be considered for the Heisman.

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His Stats

Tavon Austin
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

In the 2012 season, Austin has 100 catches for 1050 yards and 11 touchdowns. In addition to that, he has 35 rushes for 447 yards and two touchdowns. As a returner, he has returned 14 punts for 123 yards and taken one for a touchdown, and has returned 26 kickoffs for 692 yards and one for a touchdown.

His receiving stats alone, in a conference like the Big XII, are enough to qualify him as a Heisman contender. Add on his 12.8 rushing yards per carry, and he looks even better.

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His Consistency

Tavon Austin
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Austin is one of the few players on the Mountaineer offense that has not experienced a drop off in his performance during its recent losing streak.

Regardless of how the team has been performing, Austin has continued to put up great numbers and impact the games in a number of ways.

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His Ability to Make Defenders Miss Tackles

Tavon Austin

Austin has an uncanny ability to make defenders miss tackles. Not only is he fast, but he can stop on a dime, and has juke moves that make defenders fall down.

He has made defenses look silly, and created lots of running room for himself using his agility. Watching him in person is a real treat. I’ve never seen a player that can stop and go as fast as Austin, and cut and turn as quickly as Austin.

I’m looking forward to seeing him play on Sundays.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS