5-Star RB Sets UNC Official Visit

Scout.com five-star prospect Tavon Austin has narrowed his choices down to two schools. North Carolina is one of the finalists.

"With North Carolina, it was just the tradition, and I was looking at how they were using Brandon Tate and they said I could step into his role right away because he's a senior this year," Austin told Inside Carolina Wednesday night.

West Virginia is Austin's other finalist.

"[At West Virginia] I can fit in my regular position I'm playing now, running back, and I can line up in the slot," Austin said. "I'll basically be used how I've been used in high school."

Austin, who has held a prominent role in Baltimore (Md.) Dunbar's pro-style I offense since his freshman year, became the feature tailback his junior season, responding with 2,553 yards (12.9-yard average) and 32 touchdowns on the ground. The 5-foot-9, 156-pound athlete also caught 17 passes for 335 yards and three scores, and returned two punts and two kicks for touchdowns.

Thus far this season, Austin has rushed for 700 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Ideally, Austin would like to remain in the same role on the collegiate level.

"Running back has always been my dream since I was little, so I don't want to take away from my dream, but I don't mind playing wide receiver," Austin said. "I know I might not be an every down ‘back, but I know I can line up in the backfield for most of the downs of a game."

Austin has held a UNC scholarship since his junior season. However, it wasn't until a month ago that he gave strong consideration to UNC.

"My coach had sat down with me and explained to me how they were going to use me [at UNC]," Austin said. "He told me how good of a coach Butch Davis is. I already knew he was a good coach, but my coach broke it down. I started to think about [UNC], so I started to consider them."

Since that point, Austin says he has spoken often to Tommy Thigpen, his primary UNC recruiter.

"Coach [Tommy] Thigpen and I, we can both relate to each other," Austin said. "We just don't talk about football all the time. We talk about life. I can see myself really playing for him."

With his choices narrowed down to two schools, Austin is focused on the finish line of his recruitment.

"I just want to see how comfortable I feel on each campus and which school I'll play early or have to red shirt," Austin said.

Austin already took his official visit to West Virginia earlier in the month. He is scheduled to officially visit UNC during the weekend of Nov. 7 when the Tar Heels host Georgia Tech.

"[During the UNC official], I just want to hang with the players," Austin said. "I want to talk to the coaches and see how they're really going to use me. And I want to see how comfortable my family and I feel."

A couple weeks after his UNC official trip, Austin plans to make his collegiate decision.

Tavon Austin Profile

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