Baltimore Star RB Tavon Austin Talks Terps

There are few prospects on the 2008 recruiting board as intriguing as Dunbar (Md.) running back Tavon Austin, a dynamic speedster who has become something of an internet phenomenon thanks to his dazzling highlight film and gaudy statistics. TurteSportsReport.com caught up with Austin recently for the scoop on his recruitment, and here it is.


Austin, who recently led his team to its second consecutive Class 1A state title, already has offers from Maryland, Virginia, Rutgers and Boston College.

"I would say Boston College and Virginia [are the favorites right now]," Austin said.

Austin also has been hearing a bit from Florida State, and also likes West Virginia and Ohio State. He grew up a diehard Florida State fan and would seemingly pounce on the chance to become a Seminole.

"I like Maryland a lot but I really want to go down south and play," he said. "I really want to play for Florida State."

Austin is only 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds and thus doesn't fit the Terps' traditional affinity for big, powerful running backs. But he could be a big-time playmaker on the college level. He has a fantastic combination of speed, vision and ability. The Baltimore Sun offensive player of the year as a sophomore, he rushed for more than 2,500 yards and 40 touchdowns this season as a junior.

He said he's concerned with the possibility of having to switch positions at Maryland, in part because of his size and in part because his cousin, former Terp Aaron Thompson, was moved from running back to linebacker during his career.

"Maryland switched his position, too," he said. "He tells me it's my decision, and just to pick the best place for me."

Still, Austin is not ruling out the Terps yet by any means.

"I do look at it like, my family would be able to watch me if I stay close," he said. "I've just got to weigh my options."

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