Baltimore Star Tavon Austin and the Terps

There's no lack of junior talent in the Washington-Baltimore area, and one of the headliners of a strong group is Baltimore Dunbar's Tavon Austin. Austin, an electrifying running back whom Maryland has been recruiting for some time now, is beginning to pick up attention from national powers. Here's the latest on his recruitment:


"I don't think he's looking to commit any time soon. He's still getting [interest] from a lot of places," said Dunbar coach Lawrence Smith. "He's really just focusing on football right now."

That's not to say recruiting isn't in full swing, though. Maryland offered first last year, Boston College has jumped on board with an offer and Rutgers could be next. There likely will be many more to come, as he's receiving strong interest from Illinois, Florida, Nebraska, Auburn and Syracuse, to name a few.

Austin took a trip down I-95 to check out the Maryland-West Virginia game last month and will likely be back again this season. Terps running backs coach Phil Zaccarias, his primary recruiter, spent half a day out at Dunbar recently checking in with Austin.

"He really likes Maryland, he's just trying to wait until his junior year is over [before moving closer to a decision]," Smith said.

The ultra-speedy Austin has added some muscle to his 5-foot-9 frame, now checking in at 185 pounds. He's having another fantastic season after earning Baltimore Sun Player of the Year honors as a sophomore, posting 1,100-plus yards and 18 touchdowns in five games for the undefeated Poets. Last week in an blowout win over defending state champion Edmondson, he ran 25 times for a whopping 344 yards and four touchdowns.

His highlight reel, which shows off an array of sensational moves and quickness, has become a hit on Youtube, drawing 17,000 vies and three pages of fawning comments. Not even his coach is immune to it.

"I've coaches him three years and I see something different every time he touches the ball," Smith said. "I've never seen a player like him."

Boston College and Rutgers like Austin at running back while Maryland's coaches, true to form, has told him they'll find any way possible to get the ball in his hands. It's safe to say he's one of the top priorities for next year, and the Terps appear to stand a better chance than anyone at landing his commitment at this early stage.

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