Tavon Austin

Last updated

Tavon Austin
Tavon2013-8-15.jpg
Austin with the St. Louis Rams in 2013
No. 10 – Dallas Cowboys
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1990-03-15) March 15, 1990 (age 29)
Baltimore, Maryland
Height:5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight:185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school: Dunbar (Baltimore, Maryland)
College: West Virginia
NFL Draft: 2013  / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 7, 2019
Receptions:210
Receiving yards:1,919
Rushing attempts:192
Rushing yards:1,330
Return yards:1,897
Total touchdowns:27
Player stats at NFL.com

Tavon Wesley Austin (born March 15, 1990) is an American football wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at West Virginia where he received All-American honors twice. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with the ball or passing it, while the defense, the team without possession of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs or plays; if they fail, they turn over the football to the defense, but if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs to continue the drive. Points are scored primarily by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

A wide receiver, also referred to as wideouts or simply receivers, is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is a key player. They get their name because they are split out "wide", farthest away from the rest of the team. Wide receivers are among the fastest players on the field. The wide receiver functions as the pass-catching specialist.

Dallas Cowboys National Football League franchise in Arlington, Texas

The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Cowboys compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team is headquartered in Frisco, Texas, and plays its home games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which opened for the 2009 season. The stadium took its current name prior to the 2013 season. The Cowboys joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. The team's national following might best be represented by its NFL record of consecutive sell-outs. The Cowboys' streak of 190 consecutive sold-out regular and post-season games began in 2002. The franchise has made it to the Super Bowl eight times, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos for second most Super Bowl appearances in history, just behind the New England Patriots record eleven Super Bowl appearances. This has also corresponded to eight NFC championships, most in the NFC. The Cowboys have won five of those Super Bowl appearances, tying them with their NFC rivals, the San Francisco 49ers; both are second to Pittsburgh's and New England's record six Super Bowl championships. The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 straight winning seasons (1966–85), in which they missed the playoffs only twice.

Contents

Early years

Austin was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland, where he played football, basketball, and ran track. [1] In football, he played running back, leading Dunbar High to three consecutive Class 1A state titles. As a senior, he had 2,660 yards rushing on 218 carries with 34 touchdowns, while also returning 12 punts for 446 yards and two scores. [2] He was a Two-time Maryland Consensus Offensive Player of the Year and Consensus first team All-state. He set state records for career points (790), touchdowns (123), total offensive yards (9,258) and rushing yards (7,962). In track & field, Austin competed as a sprinter and jumper. He ran a career-best time of 11.47 seconds in the 100 meters at the 2009 1A North Region Meet. [3] He was also a member of the Dunbar 400m relay squad. [4]

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Baltimore, Maryland) Public, magnet school in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, is a public high school in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

Basketball Team sport

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

Track and field Sport involving running, jumping and throwing disciplines

Track and field is a sport which includes athletic contests established on the skills of running, jumping, and throwing. The name is derived from where the sport takes place, a running track and a grass field for the throwing and some of the jumping events. Track and field is categorized under the umbrella sport of athletics, which also includes road running, cross country running, and racewalking.

College career

Austin enrolled in West Virginia University, where he played for the West Virginia Mountaineers football team from 2009 to 2012. [5] He was converted into a wide receiver as a freshman in 2009. [6] During his freshman season, he had 15 receptions for 151 yards with a touchdown and also rushed for 47 yards on six carries with a touchdown and scored a touchdown on a kick return. [7] As a sophomore in 2010, he had 58 receptions for 787 yards and a team leading eight touchdowns. He also had 15 rushing attempts for 159 yards and a touchdown. [8]

West Virginia University public university in Morgantown, West Virginia, United States

West Virginia University (WVU) is a public, land-grant, space-grant, research-intensive university. Its main campus in Morgantown, West Virginia consists of three adjacent sub-campuses. Its other campuses are those of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Beckley, Potomac State College of West Virginia University in Keyser, and a second clinical campus for the University's medical and dental schools at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston. WVU Extension Service provides outreach with offices in all of West Virginia's 55 counties. WVU is governed by the West Virginia University Board of Governors.

West Virginia Mountaineers football American college football team

The West Virginia Mountaineers football team represents West Virginia University in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of college football. West Virginia plays its home games on Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Mountaineers compete in the Big 12 Conference.

Reception (gridiron football) event in gridiron football

In American football and Canadian football, a reception, also known informally as a catch, is part of a play in which a forward pass from behind the line of scrimmage is received (caught) by a player in bounds, who, after the catch, proceeds to either score a touchdown or be downed. Yards gained from the receiving play are credited to the receiver as receiving yards. If such a pass is not caught by the receiver, it is called an incomplete pass or simply an incompletion.

As a junior in 2011, Austin had 100 receptions for 1,180 yards and eight touchdowns. He added 189 rushing yards on 18 carries and another touchdown. He also returned two kicks for touchdowns. [9] He was named a first team All-American by CBS Sports. [10] During the Mountaineers 70-33 win in the 2012 Orange Bowl, he set an Orange Bowl record with four touchdown receptions. [11] [12] As a senior in 2012, he finished with 114 receptions for 1,289 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns to go along with 643 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. In addition, he had 32 kick returns for 813 net return yards and a kick return touchdown and 15 punt returns for 165 net return yards and a punt return touchdown. [13] He was the 2012 All-Purpose Performer of the Year as announced by the College Football Performance Awards association. [14]

CBS Sports is the sports division of the American television network CBS. Its headquarters are in the CBS Building on West 52nd Street in midtown Manhattan, New York City, with programs produced out of Studio 43 at the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street.

The 2012 Discover Orange Bowl was a postseason college football bowl game on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, at Sun Life Stadium, now known as Hard Rock Stadium, in Miami Gardens, Florida. The West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the Clemson Tigers by a score of 70–33. West Virginia tied or broke eight separate team and individual bowl game records, while the combined 69 points West Virginia and Clemson scored in the first half set another new record. The game was part of the 2011–2012 Bowl Championship Series of the 2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season and was the concluding game of the season for both teams.

College statistics

Regular and postseason WVU receiving stats [15]
SeasonGamesRec.YardsAvg.TD
2009 131515110.11
2010 135878713.68
2011 13101118611.78
2012 13114128911.312
Total522883,41311.929
Regular and postseason WVU rushing stats
SeasonCarriesYardsAvg.TD
2009 6477.81
2010 1616110.11
2011 1618211.41
2012 726438.93
Total1101,0339.46
Regular and postseason WVU return stats
SeasonPunt ret.PR yardsPR TDKick ret.KR yardsKR TD
2009 000174261
2010 000122300
2011 192680369382
2012 151651328131
Total344331972,4074

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
HtWtArm lengthHand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft 8 12 in
(1.74 m)
174 lb
(79 kg)
30 in
(0.76 m)
9 18 in
(0.23 m)
4.34 s1.55 s2.56 s4.01 s32 in
(0.81 m)
10 ft 0 in
(3.05 m)
14 reps
All values from NFL Combine [16]

St. Louis / Los Angeles Rams

Austin was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the first round, 8th overall, in the 2013 NFL Draft. [17] The Rams traded up from pick 16 with the Buffalo Bills in order to select Austin. The Rams also selected former West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey later in the third round of the draft with the 92nd overall pick, reuniting the teammates in the National Football League (NFL).

2013 NFL Draft

The 2013 NFL Draft was the 78th annual meeting of National Football League (NFL) franchises to select newly eligible football players. The draft, which is officially called the "NFL Player Selection Meeting," was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, on April 25 through April 27.

Buffalo Bills National Football League franchise in Buffalo, New York

The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area. The Bills compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays their home games at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills are the only NFL team that plays its home games in the state of New York. The Bills conduct summer training camp at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York, an eastern suburb of Rochester.

Stedman Bailey American football wide receiver

Stedman Afrisiab Bailey is a former American football wide receiver. He played college football at West Virginia. Bailey received All-American honors, and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He retired in 2015 following life-threatening injuries he sustained from being shot in the head.

2013 season

On June 13, 2013, Austin signed a four-year, $12.751 million rookie contract. The deal included a $7.653 million signing bonus. During his first year in the NFL, Austin played 13 games with 151 rushing yards (on nine carries), 418 receiving yards, and 678 return yards on 51 combined return opportunities during kick and punt returns. [18]

In Week 10, against the Indianapolis Colts, Austin had a breakout performance that ended up being the best of his rookie campaign. In a 38–8 rout, Austin only had two receptions, but they totaled 138 receiving yards and were both touchdowns. He also ran the ball once for four yards. Austin also returned five kicks and punts for a total of 172 yards, including a 98-yard punt return touchdown. [19] Austin was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, and eventually became the NFC's Special Teams Player of the Month as well. [20] [21]

2014 season

Austin's receiving yards in the 2014 season dropped down to 242 yards from his 418 yards in 2013. [22] Austin continued to excel as a returner as he was named a Pro Bowl alternate as a returner behind Devin Hester and Darren Sproles. [23] His 391 punt return yards ranked 3rd in the NFL in 2014—only behind DeAnthony Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs and Sproles. [24]

Similarly to his 98-yard punt return during his rookie season, Austin was part of another huge special teams play during the 2014 season as well. During the second quarter of a Week 7 game against the division rival Seattle Seahawks, a game in which the Rams were already up 14–3, Austin was the designated punt return man on a play. He acted as if he was calling for a fair catch, but the ball had actually been punted to the opposite side of the field, where teammate Stedman Bailey was preparing to return the punt. With the entire Seattle coverage team focused on Austin, Bailey was left with a wide-open field and returned the punt 90 yards for a touchdown. The Rams went on defeat their NFC West rivals 28–26. [25]

2015 season

Austin had arguably his best season in 2015. He posted career highs in receptions (52), receiving yards (473), and receiving touchdowns (five). [26] Austin further proved to be a dynamic player on offense as he ran the ball 52 times for 434 yards and four touchdowns. [27] After a Thursday Night Football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Austin became the first player to score at least five receiving touchdowns, four rushing touchdowns, and a punt return touchdown in a single season since Gale Sayers did so for the Chicago Bears in 1965. [28] [29]

2016 season

On May 12, 2016, the Los Angeles Rams picked up Austin's fifth-year option along with fellow Rams teammate and linebacker Alec Ogletree. [30] On August 27, 2016, the Rams and Austin agreed to a four-year, $42 million contract extension. [31] Austin finished a 4-12 season with 58 catches for 509 yards and three touchdowns, but on 107 targets (8.8 yards per catch, 4.8 yards per target). [32] Despite having his first year with over 500 receiving yards, Austin's rushing total of 159 yards and one touchdown on 28 rushes (5.7 yards per carry, at the time a career low for Austin) signaled a drop in his overall production from the previous season. He also failed to return a punt for a touchdown, something he had accomplished every year prior, and tied a career-high for fumbles with five. [33]

2017 season

Austin's production took a dramatic drop off in 2017, including numerous statistical career lows. Under new head coach Sean McVay the Rams reached the playoffs for the first time since 2004, [34] but Austin's contributions to the team during the 16 games he played in were almost nonexistent. Austin was targeted mostly with short passes, or was phased out of the passing game altogether, failing to catch a pass in 10 games, and not being targeted for a pass in 6 of those. Austin predominately became used as a runner on jet sweeps or during garbage time, and was also removed from his special teams duties after Week 5 due to fumbling issues, as well as his career low 4.4 average return per punt on 12 attempts. [35] Austin caught 13 passes for 47 yards, and rushed a career high 59 runs, but the 270 rushing yards meant a new career low average of 4.6 yards per rush on the year. His 317 total yards from scrimmage was also a new career low. As in 2016, Austin tied his career high for fumbles with five, and set a new career high in lost fumbles, with four. His lone touchdown, from a 27 yard run, marked a low in scoring for Austin; [36] 2017 was the second year of Austin's career without a receiving touchdown, as well as his second consecutive year without a returning score. Through five years as a Ram, Austin had only one game of at least 100 yards receiving, and only five games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage. [37]

2018 season

During the 2018 off-season, there were reports that the Rams would be interested in trading or releasing Austin. [38] However on March 15, 2018, Austin agreed to a restructured contract that voided the final three years of his contract while paying him his $5 million in guarantees and an additional $3 million in incentives. [39]

Dallas Cowboys

On April 28, 2018, Austin was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a 2018 sixth-round draft pick (Jamil Demby was selected with the pick). [40] In Week 2 of the 2018 season, against the New York Giants, Austin recorded a 64-yard touchdown reception for his first with the Cowboys, and his first since 2017. [41] Austin missed nine games with injury, which contributed to his third consecutive year with lower output in terms of yards from scrimmage. However in seven games played, Austin's effectiveness as a receiver increased with two receiving touchdowns, as well as the first year since his rookie season averaging at least 10 yards per reception, setting a new career high. In limited touches as a rusher, Austin failed to score for the first time in his career, but had his highest average per carry since his rookie season. 2018 was the first year of Austin's career without a kickoff return, but his punt returning was slightly improved from the previous season, and for the first time in Austin's career, he did not have a single fumble. In two playoff games, Austin caught two passes for five yards, and rushed once for a loss of three yards. [42] [43]

On March 14, 2019, Austin re-signed with the Cowboys. [44]

NFL statistics

Regular season

YearTeamGamesReceivingRushingReturningFumbles
GPGSRecYdsAvgLngTDAttYdsAvgLngTDRetYdsAvgLngTDFumLost
2013 STL 1334041810.581T4915116.865T1332808.598T141
2014 STL 158312427.8280362246.21923539111.278150
2015 STL 1615524739.166T5524348.3604342687.975132
2016 LAR 1515585098.843T3281595.730T1443648.347051
2017 LAR 16913473.6130592704.627T112534.412054
2018 DAL 70814017.564T26559.218010585.822000
2019 DAL 5089011.323033712.320T17325.610010
Total87502101,9199.181T141931,3306.965T101751,4468.398T3238

Postseason

YearTeamGamesReceivingRushingReturningFumbles
GPGSRecYdsAvgLngTDAttYdsAvgLngTDRetYdsAvgLngTDFumLost
2017 LAR 11000.000000.000000.00000
2018 DAL 21252.5701-3-3.0-3057314.651000
Total31252.5701-3-3.0-3057314.651000

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