Austin All Smiles And Excited About New Season - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Austin All Smiles And Excited About New Season

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MORGANTOWN -

The West Virginia Mountaineers made a positive first impression at Big 12 media day last week. All four of the players representing the Mountaineers were full of smiles and genuinely happy to call the Big 12 their home.

Senior Inside Receiver Tavon Austin will be a playmaker for WVU this season. He will do so in different ways. Dana Holgorsen gets him touches as a receiver, a running back and a returner.

Austin understands the lights will be a little brighter on the Big 12 stage, "It's like a dream come true for me," Austin smiled. "When I was young I used to watch Texas and Oklahoma play and teams like that and I wanted to play against them."

West Virginia joins TCU as the two newest members of the Big 12. WVU is picked to finish second in the conference, ahead of everyone but Oklahoma. That combined with other preseason hype surrounding the Mountaineers will put them right in the Big 12 crosshairs.

"We are definitely right now on top, so everybody probably thinks we are overrated," Austin said. "They are definitely going to be coming for us, but if we do our part and stay the course everything should work out."

Austin is truly a competitor. He is the nicest guy you will meet off the field, but turns into one of the fiercest competitors between the lines. His teammates call him one of the biggest trash-talkers on the team. That confidence will help Austin and his teammates prepare for tougher games week in and week out.

"It's going to be like Clemson or LSU," Austin said. "We are definitely going to be up for those type of games, so I think we are going to be ready for that atmosphere week in and week out. We are ready for the challenge."

Will WVU opponents be ready for the challenge of trying to stop Tavon Austin? He set a BCS and Orange Bowl record by scoring four touchdowns in the 2012 Orange Bowl against Clemson. Austin also set an Orange Bowl record with 11 receptions.

It is easy to see one of West Virginia's most successful plays is the jet sweep. That is the play where Austin goes in motion and Geno Smith flips him the ball immediately after the snap.

"When he gives me this one signal and then flips me the ball, that is my favorite play of all," Austin smiled.

Austin gave a brief idea of how that play develops.

"It starts off with Geno," Austin stated. "He sees the coverage and if he sees the right thing then he calls it and pitches it. I'm ready to get it, so it is up to him."

That particular play goes down on the stat sheet as a pass completion for Geno Smith and a reception for Tavon Austin. However, it behaves like a running play allowing Austin to utilize his blazing speed.

"I definitely like it because after I catch the ball I turn into a running back, which is what I did when I came to college," Austin stated. "So after I get it I feel good and have some blockers and speed, so I try to make the best of it."

Austin is also a big weapon in the return game. Austin racked up nearly 1,000 yards on kickoff returns and brought two kickoffs all the way back for touchdowns. He also added 268 yards on punt returns.

The NCAA football rules committee is trying to cut down the amount of violent collisions on kickoffs, which is why the kickoff has been moved up to the 35 yard line. Despite the new rule, Austin intends to keep trying to make a play, even if he catches the ball in the back of the endzone.

"As long as my foot is not on that back line, there is a good chance I am going to bring it out," Austin stated. "Hopefully my blocks are set up and as long as Coach Holgorsen doesn't tell me to stay there than I am going to bring it out."

The new kickoff rule changes the spot for a touchback. A touchback will now result in the return team getting the ball at its own 25 yard line.

Everything points to Austin having a big season. Everything , that is, except for Austin himself. He is looking for the entire offense to make its impact felt. "Hopefully Stedman and Geno can go deep and I can come underneath. Our running backs can get the job done too."

Austin's success can also help the running backs. The more he causes problems as a receiver, the more he helps the running backs.

"Hopefully Stedman and Geno can go deep and I can come underneath. Our running backs can get the job done also."

Expect every WVU opponent this season to know not only who Tavon Austin is, but how talented he is on the field.

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