Tavon Austin Still Having an Impact on West Virginia Recruits

Schuyler Callihan

It's hard to believe that it has been seven years since Tavon Austin last took a snap at Mountaineer Field. What isn't hard to believe is the amount of interest he has brought to the Mountaineer football program.

From the years 2009-12, Austin made opposing defenses sick to their stomach and was labeled as the most entertaining and electrifying player in all of college football. A color analyst once said, "You can not give Tavon Austin that much open field. It would be hard to tackle this guy in a phone booth." The man was simply fascinating to watch and was certainly worth the price of admission. 

During Austin's four-year career at West Virginia, he hauled in 288 receptions for  3,413 yards and 29 touchdowns. 

What makes Austin so appealing to recruits is his highlight reel from his playing days at West Virginia. Good luck trying to find one any better than his -- it’s nearly impossible. The swag, the flash, the speed, the magician-like plays are something you can easily find yourself watching over and over again. 

Many things factor into a recruit taking interest in a school, but one thing is certain — they love big name players. Although Austin hasn’t necessarily had the success in the NFL that many had hoped, his four years at West Virginia were so breathtaking that his NFL numbers don’t really even matter to potential recruits. Over the last three, four years, many recruits that we have talked on SI West Virginia cite Tavon Austin as a reason they are “highly interested” or “shocked” by being offered from the Mountaineers. Many of which, claim that they have watched his highlight tape several times and some say they watch it nearly every day. 

Will the love affair with Austin have fade-away with recruits? Maybe. It’s possible that as the years go on, less and less kids will have actually seen him play or will know very little about him. However, as Babe Ruth once said, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” I think it’s safe to say that Austin is not only a legend, but is one that you could argue for to be on the “Mt. Rushmore” of Mountaineer football.