Call me a bias West Virginia fan, but the facts don't lie. Tavon Austin averaged 91.2 receiving yards per game and ended the season with over 1,100 yards receiving in 2011. It doesn't stop there. Austin also led the nation in all-purpose yards averaging a total of 198 per game. So where am I getting at here?
There has been a lot of debate when it comes to who has the best chance at winning the 2012 Heisman trophy and for WVU, all the talk has been about Geno Smith and Tavon Austin, but mainly Geno.
But could Austin actually win the Heisman Trophy in 2012?
I get criticized every time I say Tavon has a shot at winning the Heisman come next year by one of my good friends, who is a Michigan fan. Although we never agree on anything when it comes to sports, he does have a valid point. He claims a wide receiver rarely will win the Heisman Trophy. That part is true. Only two wide receivers have ever won the most prestigious award in college football that an individual can get. He also claims Tavon is not the one to break the drought of a wide receiver winning since Michigan's Desmond Howard won it in 1991.
What my point is is Tavon a wide receiver or a play maker?
Now, I know Tavon is technically an inside receiver, or slot receiver, in Dana Holgorsen's offense, but he doesn't play like one. Tavon accepts theses little screen passes or the famous "flip" play Holgorsen got from his friend at the Colorado School of Mimes and turns them into highlight plays when it looks like he is caught dead in the back field. I don't think this offense would function without a productive play maker in the slot, and Tavon Austin exceeds that void.
So can Tavon finally bring the Heisman to Morgantown for the first time in WVU's enriched history? Here are three reasons why Tavon can win the Heisman Trophy.
- More recognition and media coverage. With the EER's moving to the Big 12 come July 1st, all the eyes will be on the new comers from the east. Tavon is a week in and week out kind of player who doesn't have many "off" games. Being very consistent from last year, and with almost every game going to be on National television for WVU this year, the country will get to see the electric playmaker from Dunbar High School showcase his moves on the highly ranked teams of the Big 12.
- Weaker or equal too defense in the Big 12 compared to the Big East Stats don't lie, and the Big East defense ranked higher in 2011 than Big 12 defense. Even though the offense in the Big 12 doesn't even compare to the offense in the Big East, which could be causing the defense in the Big 12 to be weaker, both are still not very impressive. If Tavon can hold onto the ball and pick up where he left off last year, there shouldn't be a problem when it comes to outgunning the opposing defense no matter how good they are.
- Having QB Geno Smith Geno Smith is entering the season with a lot of hype on his side, and Geno's throwing ability can only help Tavon when it comes to stats. Even though Tavon takes mainly screen passes and short yardage passes, there are also a lot of plays where Geno flings the ball to Tavon 30-40 yards down the field. If Tavon plays at his full speed with the ball in and out of his hands like Dana Holgorsen say he is doing so far this offseason, then expect to see a lot more separation down field and a more open Tavon Austin.
I personally can't wait to see what Tavon does this season in the Big 12. It will be interesting to see if he can get more recognition for his hard work and talent he possesses on the field every week. All I know is this kid has speed and can make opponents miss. It doesn't get much better than that.