The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

January 20, 2013

WVU’s Austin repeats as Hardman Award winner

WHEELING — West Virginia University football All-American Tavon Austin has repeated as winner of the Hardman Award as the state Amateur Athlete of the Year.

Austin, also the winner of the Hornung Award as the most versatile player in major college football, will be honored by the W.Va. Sports Writers Association at the 67th annual Victory Awards Dinner on Sunday, May 5, at the Village Square Conference Center in Clarksburg.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound senior wide receiver-kick returner-running back from Baltimore is the 12th multiple honoree since 1934 of the oldest statewide award from the 81-year-old WVSWA.

Second in voting was Cabell Midland’s world-ranked distance runner Jacob Burcham.

Other top vote-getters included ex-WVU rifle shooter and Olympic gold and silver medalist Nicco Campriani; WVU All-America basketball player Kevin Jones; WVU record-setting football quarterback Geno Smith; Marshall University quarterback and Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year Rakeem Cato; two-time Kennedy Award winner Ryan Switzer from George Washington; WVU record-setting pass receiver Stedman Bailey; and golfer Pat Carter, who won a 13th W.Va. Amateur title.

Austin earned All-America recognition from various outlets, including the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Weekly. He finished eighth in balloting for the Heisman Award.

Austin earned first-team All-Big 12 Conference both as a wide receiver and kick returner and was the Big 12’s Co-Special Teams Player of the Year with kicker Quinn Sharp of Oklahoma State.

For the season, Austin compiled 2,910 all-purpose yards — an average of 223.8 yards per game, to rank second in the nation after ranking first as a junior. This season, he caught 114 passes for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns, ran for 643 yards on 72 carries with three scores, had 32 kick returns for 813 yards and a TD and returned 15 punts for 165 yards and a score. He was one of only two players in the nation with 500 yards in three different categories and one of three players with 110 or more pass receptions.

Against Oklahoma, he recorded the second-highest total all-purpose yards (572) in a single game in FBS history while setting WVU and Big 12 Conference records. In the 50-49 shootout loss to the Sooners, Austin set WVU’s single-game rushing record with 344 yards, and his two rushing touchdowns made him the first Mountaineer in history to score a TD four different ways (receiving, rushing, kick and punt return) in one season.

Burcham is the most honored boys distance runner in Mountain State history. Entering his final track season this spring, he has earned five Gatorade state Athlete of the Year awards in cross country and track. This fall, he won a record third straight Class AAA cross country title with a course record time. Last spring, he repeated as Class AAA 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter track champion while tying his own 800 state meet record and recording the state’s first-ever sub-9 minute 3,200 time. He has committed to the University of Oklahoma.

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014

  • Paul Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a longtime baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

    The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week.

    April 21, 2014

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo