Data Scout Notes: 2012: HornungWinner/AFCA-AP/Co-STPOYC/WCamp2nd/1stC-WR&KR/AP1st-AP/HMC-OPOY/1stM-AP/2ndM-WR/HornungFinalist...P1stM-WR&KR/PWCamp/PBiletnikoff...2012: PMaxwell...2011: STPOY/1stC-WR&KR/PBiletnikoff...2010: 2ndC/PM2nd-KR
Tavon Austin/West Virginia football Videos
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Regarded by many as the elite prep wide receiver and safety prospect in the country out of North Carolina, Allen was heavily pursued by most of the big programs. He even signed a letter of intent with Alabama before joining his half-brother, quarterback Zach Maynard, and signing with then-Cal coach Jeff Tedford.
Allen quickly proved worth the hype, earning all-conference and All-American accolades from some publications and breaking Philadelphia Eagles star DeSean Jackson's freshman records for receptions (46) and receiving yards (490) and leading the team with five touchdown catches.
With defenses zeroed in on him in 2011, Allen took his game to another level, snaring 98 passes for 1,343 yards and six scores to earn first-team All-Pac-12 notice. He went down with a knee injury Oct. 27 but had 61 receptions for 737 yards and six touchdowns.
Allen has the physical characteristics to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. To earn a top 10 pick, he'll have to prove his straight-line speed and health. He took care of the first part of the equation in grand style with a 4.28-second clocking in the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine.
STRENGTHS: Video game-like athleticism with rare change of direction skills. Lateral explosion is something special, doing an excellent job sticking his foot in the ground and bursting in any direction.
Knows how to change gears and turn on the jets to blow by others on the field. Very good start/stop ability with patience and vision to quickly survey and waste little time creating, always appearing to have a plan. Goes zero-to-60 in a flash and forces poor angles by defenders, following blocks and anticipating holes to set up his moves.
Very good space player and extremely shifty and elusive with the balance and deceiving strength to stay on his feet through contact. Smaller target for defenders to square up and a tough ballcarrier to tackle in motion. Good body control to make tough catches look easy with quick hands to pluck. Fearless and confident going up for the ball. Tough, gutsy and can take a hit, working hard to get every yard.
Versatile skill-set with experience all over the offense at running back and receiver, often used as a decoy. Dangerous return man and very good at weaving through defenders, playing with different gears that others on the field just don't have. Extremely productive with numerous school records, including career catches and all-purpose yards.
WEAKNESSES: Smallish frame and limited length with obvious durability concerns due to size. Will dance too much and get caught going east-west too much or in reverse, getting himself in trouble always looking for the home run. Smaller hands and will have some drops and double-catches, sometimes looking to create before securing the grab.
Strong effort as a blocker, but obviously limited in this area and can be tossed by defenders when they get their hands on him. Probably relegated to the slot at the next level. Too much all-or-nothing runs.
Compares To: Jordy Nelson, Packers -- Allen is very similar in that he possesses just enough straight-line speed to beat defenders on the outside. He wins with the size, toughness and sure hands to attack over the middle.
Started at wide receiver in 2010 ... Moved to inside receiver during 2011 spring ... Handled kickoff and punt return duties ... Named first team All-American return specialist by CBSSports.com and Phil Steele and third team by Associated Press ... Big East Special Teams Player of the Year ... West Virginia Offensive Player of the Year (coaching staff) ... First Team All-Big East (ESPN.com, Coaches, Phil Steele) as a wide receiver and return specialist ... Named to Yahoo! Sports, CBSSports.com and collegefootballnews.com's all-bowl teams as a wide receiver ... Named to ESPN.com's all-bowl team as an all-purpose player ... Led the nation in all-purpose yardage, averaging 198.0 ypg ... Finished 2011 with 101 catches, a WVU single-season record ... One of two receivers to have 100 or more catches in Big East Conference history ... One of four WVU receivers to finish with 1,000 or more receiving yards in a season (1,186) ... Ranked No. 8 in the NCAA, No. 2 in the Big East, in receptions (7.8 p/g), and No. 3 in the nation, No. 3 in the Big East, in receiving yards (91.2 yds/g) ... Also ranked No. 4 in the conference in scoring TDs (5.1 ppg) ... Ranked No. 6 nationally, No. 1 in the Big East, in punt returns (14.1) and No. 20 in kickoff returns (26.6) ... Caught an Orange Bowl and BCS record four touchdowns on 12 receptions, also a bowl record, in win over Clemson; his four TD catches were a WVU bowl and school record, while his 12 catches tied a school record ... Four TDs against Clemson were a career high and set WVU bowl record for points in a game(24) ... Finished with 123 receiving yards against Clemson, fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season and the seventh of his career ... Tallied a game-best and Orange Bowl record 280 all-purpose yards, including 117 on kick returns with a long return of 36 yards. ... Caught a game-best seven catches at USF; also netted a game-best 208 all-purpose yards ... 90-yard kickoff return for a TD at USF, second kickoff return for a TD on the season and third in his career... Caught a game-best 10 passes for 102 yards, also a game best, in win over Pitt ... Caught a nine-yard pass to convert a critical fourth-and-six in fourth quarter on game-winning drive vs. Panthers ... Grabbed a game-best nine passes for 126 yards, also a game high, at Cincinnati; also had a game-best 249 all-purpose yards ... Three kickoff returns at Cincinnati for 67 yards, including a long of 28 yards and had three punt returns for 50 yards with a long of 26 yards ... Scored his second TD in as many games against Louisville with a 25-yard reception on game's opening drive ... Tallied a game-best 271 all-purpose yards in UofL game, including five kickoff returns for 161 yards with a long return of 39 yards ... Exploded for a game-best 163 all-purpose yards in tough conditions at Rutgers, including a career best 80-yard touchdown run, WVU's longest rush from scrimmage in 2011 and longest since Noel Devine scored on an 88-yard run against Pitt on Nov. 27, 2009 ... Also tallied a game-best eight catches and 67 receiving yards for one score at Rutgers ... Had 120 all-purpose yards at Syracuse, including 60 receiving yards on six catches ... Connected with Geno Smith on a 12-yard pass against UConn that sparked WVU's 23-point third quarter; finished with a team-best seven catches ... Caught a game-high 11 passes for 187 yards, also a game ... and career-best, against LSU;yardage was eighth-best single game total in WVU history ... Finished with 287 all-purpose yards against LSU, the sixth-best WVU single-game total and the No. 27 single-game mark in NCAA in 2011 ... Six kickoff returns vs.LSU for 100 yards with a long of 26 yards ... Connected with Smith on a career long 72-yard reception against LSU ... Tallied a game-best 122 receiving yards on 11 receptions at Maryland ... One of three players to finish with moire than 100 yards receiving at Maryland, the first time three players netted at least 100 yards on catches in WVU history and the first time since 1998 WVU had multiple 100-yard receivers ... Six kickoff returns for 121 yards at Maryland with a long return of 27 yards ... Caught a team-best six passes and collected a game-high 193 all-purpose yards, including 82 receiving yards, against Norfolk State ... Connected on a three-yard pass with Smith against Norfolk State for first offensive TD of 2011 ... Had a game-best 190 all-purpose yards in season-opening win over Marshall; including being one of only six Mountaineers to return a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown
Austin excelled throughout the 2012 season as one of the nation’s most prolific all-purpose offensive and special teams players during the Mountaineers’ inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference. He was one of two players in the nation with more than 500 yards in three different statistical categories (rushing, receiving and kick returns) and one of three players in the nation with 110 or more catches.
On Nov. 17 against the University of Oklahoma, Austin recorded his most prolific performance of the season when he registered an astounding 572 all-purpose yards, the second-highest total all-purpose yards in a single game in FBS history and a Big 12 Conference record. In the 50-49 shootout loss to the Sooners, Austin set West Virginia’s single-game rushing record with 344 yards, and his two rushing touchdowns made him the first Mountaineer in school history to score a touchdown four different ways (receiving, rushing, kick and punt return) in one season.
For the season, Austin compiled 2,910 all-purpose yards, an average of 223.8 yards per game. His average yards per game was 80 more than any other player in the Big 12 Conference and the second-best mark in the nation. Austin ran for 643 yards on 72 carries with three touchdowns, caught 114 passes for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns, had 32 kick returns for 813 yards with a touchdown, and returned 15 punts for 165 yards and a touchdown. Austin closed out his collegiate career with 150 all-purpose yards in West Virginia’s Pinstripe Bowl appearance on Dec. 29.
Played in 13 games and started 11 ... Named first team All-Big East by rivals.com and second team by the Big East coaches and Phil Steele ... Second on the team with 58 receptions for a team-leading 787 yards ... Led the team with eight receiving touchdowns ... 100 or more yards receiving against Maryland (106) and Rutgers (121) ... Five or more catches in eight games ... Season-high nine catches at Marshall and 121 yards against Rutgers ... Three multiple receiving touchdown games (Maryland, Cincinnati and Pitt) ... No. 4 in the Big East in receptions. ... No. 5 in receiving yards and No. 8 in scoring touchdowns ... No. 2 on WVU's sophomore receiving yards list, No. 8 on WVU season reception chart and tied for No. 6 for receiving touchdowns in a season ... WVU Offensive Champion: Maryland, Cincinnati, Pitt, Rutgers ... 172 all-purpose yards against Maryland, including seven catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns ... Two touchdown catches for 83 yards with a season-long of 71 at Pitt ... Six receptions for a season-high 121 yards with a long of 43 against Rutgers ... 46-yard touchdown run against the Scarlet Knights ... Nine catches for 85 yards at Marshall ... Tied for the team lead with five receptions against NC State in the Champs Sports Bowl
Played in all 13 games and started four (East Carolina, Auburn, Louisville and Pitt) ... Named to the All-Big East Freshman Team by ESPN.com ... Long reception was a 58-yard touchdown grab against ECU ... No. 4 in the Big East in kickoff return average and No. 35 nationally ... Nine kickoff returns, including a 98-yard return for a touchdown against UConn ... Tied for the third-best kickoff return average in a game (59.0 - 2/118) in Big East history with his performance against Connecticut ... Collected 72 all-purpose yards at Rutgers, including one catch for nine yards and three kickoff returns for 63 yards, including a long of 26 ... Led off the Connecticut game with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, seventh-longest kickoff return in school history... Scored his first career touchdown on a 58-yard reception against East Carolina
Coached by Lawrence Smith at Dunbar High in Baltimore ... Two-time Maryland Consensus Offensive Player of the Year ... Consensus first team all-state ... Set Maryland records for career points (790), touchdowns (123), total offensive yards (9,258)and rushing yards (7,962) ... Led Dunbar High to three consecutive Class 1A state titles ... As a senior, rushed for 2,660 yards and scored 34 touchdowns on just 218 carries for 12.2 yards per carry average Also returned 12 punts for 446 yards and a pair of touchdowns
Birthday is March 15 ... Son of Cathy Green ... One of four children ... Majoring in multidisciplinary studies ... Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll
Draft Scout Player News
10/09/17 - WR Tavon Austin mishandled one punt and muffed another and was eventually replaced by Cooper Kupp as the Rams punt returner.
Austin has struggled all year on securing punts. Austin, according to head coach Sean McVay, will take a break from returning punts with Kupp and Pharoh Cooper in line to replace him.
10/01/17 - WRs Tavon Austin and Sammy Watkins were in the NFL's concussion protocol following the Week 3 game against the 49ers. Both were cleared to play Sunday. Watkins finished with one catch for 17 yards, while Austin had one reception for minus-2 yards.
09/28/17 - WR Tavon Austin returned to full practice Thursday after suffering a concussion last week.
09/27/17 - WR Tavon Austin was limited in practice Wednesday after suffering a concussion last Thursday.
09/06/17 - WR Tavon Austin, who missed much of training camp and all of the preseason with a hamstring issue, is listed as one of the Rams' three starters at wide receiver.
Cooper Kupp got most of the playing time as the starter in Austin's absence, and played better than any wide receiver on the roster through the first three preseason games. And while Austin is at the top of the depth chart along with newcomers Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins, it seems more likely Kupp will get the bulk of the playing time in the Rams' three-wide receiver set.