FWAA Will Determine Tavon Austin's "Consensus" Status - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

FWAA Will Determine Tavon Austin's "Consensus" Status


The WVU fan base has been very fortunate to witness some elite athletes suit up for the blue and gold over the years on Mountaineer Field.

Off the top of my head, there was Bruce Bosley, Chuck Howley and Sam Huff in the 1950's, and of course we know the success that Huff eventually had on the next level being named to the NFL Hall of Fame.  The following decade, Garrett Ford led the way while earning the Southern Conference Player of the Year in 1966.

In the 1970's, Jim Braxton, Dale Farley and Danny Buggs were named first-team All-Americans, and Buggs actually made the list twice in both '73 and '74.

As the Mountaineers moved into a new stadium in 1980, that decade was dominated by the success of Major Harris in the late ‘80's, but consensus All-Americans Brian Jozwiak and Darryl Talley were also standouts for the Mountaineers along with Willie Drewery, Jeff Hostetler, Paul Woodside, Chris Haering, Bo Orlando, Renaldo Turnbull, Oliver Luck, Rick Phillips and running back standouts Undra Johnson and Robert Alexander.

In the ‘90's, four consensus All-Americans lead the way in Mike Compton, Todd Sauerbrun, Aaron Beasley and Canute Curtis.  Amos Zereoue is one of the program's finest running backs, Anthony Becht went on to have a fabulous NFL career, Shawn Foreman broke receiving records and John Thornton was a dominating defensive tackle on the nation's top defense in 1996 that also included Barrett Green at linebacker.  David Saunders, Gary Stills, Mike Logan, Adrian Murrell and Robert Walker shined during the ‘90's as well.

And then in the past decade, fans have watched consensus All-American Grant Wiley, Avon Cobourne, Mike Lorello, Adam Jones, Chris Henry, Rimington Award winner Dan Mozes, consensus All-American Steve Slaton, Ryan Stanchek, Pat McAfee, Robert Sands, Stedman Bailey, Geno Smith and of course Pat White earn prestigious accolades and help carry WVU into the upper echelon of college football programs, in what has become one of the most successful eras in school history.


But I'm not sure any of those players were able to capture the WVU fan base and make people get out of their seats and hold their breath every time they touched the ball like Tavon Austin has done.

The 5'9" 171-pound athlete very well may be the most elusive, most electric playmaker in Mountaineer football history, and WVU fans have one more shot at seeing him in action in a few weeks when his team takes on Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl on December 29th.

Austin finished the 2012 regular season leading all BCS-AQ players in all-purpose yards for the second straight year, and he has already accumulated first-team honors on at least five different All-America teams for his individual performances this season.

However, the NCAA designates five All-America teams above all others, which also determine whether a player is selected as a "unanimous" or "consensus" All-American: The Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Sporting News, Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

A player is designated as a unanimous All-American if he is listed as a first-team member on all five teams, and he is named a consensus All-American if he makes at least three of the five.

Four of those lists have already been released, and WVU's Austin has been selected to the first-team by two of them (AP and AFCA) at the all-purpose position, meaning it will come down to the FWAA (which will be released on Friday, Dec. 14th) to determine whether or not Austin receives the distinguished "consensus" title.

It's also important to note that the two All-America teams that did not select Austin as a first-team member did not list an all-purpose position on their team.  For a guy that played four different positions (WR/RB/KR/PR) and had great stats in each category (but maybe not tops in the country at any single one), it can be difficult to figure out where to place him.

Regardless, the Heisman Trophy committee proved earlier this week they felt Austin was worthy of his accolades when he finished 8th in the final Heisman Trophy voting and received six first-place votes (a number that certainly would have been higher had WVU won a few more games).

But regardless of whether or not Austin winds up as a consensus All-American, Mountaineer fans will always remember the numerous breathtaking plays he made at wide receiver, running back and in the return game over the last four years, highlighted by his amazing 572-yard all-purpose performance against Oklahoma last month in which he showcased all of his attributes against one of the nation's elite programs.

This season may not have gone the way the fans and senior leaders on the team envisioned it would during fall camp in August, but you can't deny Austin's accomplishments on the field in 2012 and the previous three years.

He is absolutely worthy of the consensus All-American status, and it would be a shame if he wasn't recognized as the 12th football player in WVU history to receive the honor.


Austin's 2012 regular season stats (national ranking out of all BCS-AQ players):

- 2760 all-purpose yards (1st)

- 230.0 all-purpose yards per game (1st)

- 572-yard all-purpose performance on 11/17/12 against Oklahoma was single-game high this season by an FBS player

- 12 receiving touchdowns (4th)

- 17 total touchdowns (5th)

- 1259 total receiving yards (6th)

- 104.9 receiving yards per game (6th)

- 738 kickoff return yards (9th)

- 12.90 yards per play (15th)

- 10.53 yards per carry in the three games he had 10+ carries at running back (495 yards on 46 attempts)


Austin's active career stats (active career national ranking out of all BCS-AQ players):

- 7134 all-purpose yards (1st)

- 14.02 yards per play (1st)

- 284 receptions (1st)

- 5 return touchdowns (T-1st)

- 572-yard all-purpose performance on 11/17/12 against Oklahoma was No. 1 single-game performance in NCAA history by BCS-AQ player

- 3383 total receiving yards (2nd)

- 12.74 punt return yards per return (2nd)

- 29 receiving touchdowns (3rd)

- 2332 kickoff return yards (3rd)

- 139.9 all-purpose yards per game (6th)

- 5.6 receptions per game (7th)

- 40 total touchdowns (8th)

- 433 punt return yards (11th)

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