Tavon Austin Continues Strong NFL Campaign at Pro Day - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Tavon Austin Continues Strong NFL Campaign at Pro Day


West Virginia's pro day became a national event this year. With Geno Smith having a chance to be the first quarterback taken in the NFL Draft, there was a lot of attention on him and how he performed for the NFL scouts. Once again, Smith impressed.

But that was expected. When he put together one of the best months a quarterback had ever played last September, Smith immediately became a favorite to be a first-round pick. A strong workout comes as no surprise from him.

However, there may not be a player in the country who has improved his draft stock this offseason more than Tavon Austin. There have always been questions about his size, but he used the scouting combine to prove that he may be a worthy first-rounder. He used the pro day to strengthen that claim.

"Pretty much, I think it went well, just like the combine," said Austin.

And the combine went very well for him. Everyone knew he was fast, but maybe they didn't understand just how fast. He turned a lot of heads by running one of the best 40 times of any player. It was originally clocked as a 4.25, though it was officially recorded as a 4.34.

Either way, it was really fast. That wasn't enough, though.

He didn't run the 40 yard dash again at WVU's pro day- he already proved himself there- but he did see another chance to impress.

"Pretty much just show a little bit more routes," Austin continued. "That's the main thing. As far as the speed part, I think I already took care of that. Just show them a lot more routes I can do, because at the combine you don't really get a chance to do a lot of them."

Austin and some of his teammates from last season caught passes from Smith in front of the scouts on hand. Stedman Bailey will be another wide receiver drafted, though it likely won't be as high as Austin. Bailey wasn't exactly surprised by Austin's success, either.

"Going into the combine, me and Tavon were right after each other," Bailey said. "He was the number two wideout, I was number three, and I felt that was pretty cool. We got a chance to interact with each other just about every day, help motivate each other, and just go out and have fun. With all the recognition he was getting, I was very happy for him, and I feel like he deserves it."

Bailey and Austin combined to make arguably the best receiving duo in the country last season. They each pulled in 114 catches. Bailey ended up with 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns, while Austin had 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns. But Austin was also second on the team with 643 rushing yards, including 344 yards against Oklahoma.

He was simply the most explosive player to take the field in college football last year.

This offseason, he has done everything he could do. He showed again how fast he really is, he proved that he can be a solid route-runner, and he caught every pass thrown to him from Smith on Thursday.

Now, waiting is all that's left. His chances of becoming a first-round selection certainly went up in the last few weeks, but nothing is for certain.

"It would mean everything," Austin said. "All the time, they said I was small, and I couldn't do this or I couldn't do that. It would definitely mean a lot, but overall, it doesn't really matter to me. It doesn't matter if I'm first or seventh, I'm going to come in and they're going to get a hard worker."

That hard work has paid off this winter.


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