Close To The Vest

On the advice of a trusted family member, star running back Tavon Austin kept some of his thoughts to himself during a long and heated recruiting process.

Tavon Austin, rated as the number seven running back in the country by Scout.com, was a careful evaluator of the schools that recruited him during his stellar high school career. Although he didn't exactly dodge the media, he was careful to keep his thoughts and opinions about those schools to himself. That decision was based on something his grandmother told him.

"She told me to keep a lot of those things to myself -- that everyone didn't need to know everything that was going on. She told me that I didn't have to share everything with everyone."

That, of course, is a bit different approach than what many high school seniors take when being recruited. However, it worked for Austin, who was able to gather information about all of the schools recruiting him and make an informed decision without having every step examined and rehashed. After making visits and considering all of his offers, he ended up choosing West Virginia earlier this week.

"I was waiting, but it ended up that I jest felt right about West Virginia. All thorugh the process, they just stood out. In the end, it was more of a gut feel. I knew that I would be very happy there."

In addition to his grandmother, Austin credited the help of his mother and cousins for helping him sort through all of the schools and information that came his way.

"I didn't talk with my grandmother about the different schools or anything like that, but she had good advice for me," Austin explained. "My mother, Kathy Green, and my cousins, Aaron Thompson and Shawn Waller, were more into that, and I talked with them a lot. Aaron has played college ball, so he knew a lot about recruiting. I talked with all of them a lot about everything."

Also playing a part in Austin's decision was the friendship of three current Mountaineers.

"When I went over there I hung out with Noel Devine, Brandon Hogan and Jock Sanders," said Austin of three players that he will be competing with on the field. "They were honest and straight up. They told me they wanted me there, but they also said that I had to go where I would be happy and to make the decision that was best for me. they also said that even if I didn't choose West Virginia, they would still stay in touch with me -- that we'd still be friends. That meant a lot to me. It showed me that they cared about me, and I wanted to be around people like that."

With his verbal commitment done, Austin, who said that he should be solid in meeting NCAA qualifying standards, is looking forward to an active spring. He has already started workouts again, and plans to run track before enrolling at WVU for the summer session, where he plans to study in either the sports management or early child education fields.

A shifty and elusive runner, Austin has worked to add size and strength to his frame, and although hes never going to be a bulldozing back, he believes that he will be ready to handle the increased physical demands of college.

"I'm not worried about that," he said with confidence. "I am going to keep working out, and I know I can stand up to it."


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