Smith Highlights Big 12 Honorees

If there were any doubts as to the lofty expectations West Virginia has entering its first season as a member of the Big 12 Conference, they were quickly erased Wednesday.

Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith was chosen as the league's preseason offensive player of the year and its All-Big 12 quarterback, leapfrogging Oklahoma's Landry Jones for the honors.

Smith finished with 4,385 yards passing, good for fourth-best nationally, in 2011. He led West Virginia to a 10-3 record, a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl win over Clemson.

Smith was joined on the All-Big 12 team by teammate Tavon Austin, who made the list both as a receiver and a punt returner.

Austin caught 101 passes for 1186 yards and 8 touchdowns a season ago. He added another 938 yards and two scores as a kickoff returner and 268 yards on 19 attempts returning punts.

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