The college football awards season still had one more trophy to present, and that was the 2013 Paul Hornung Award, presented annually to the nation’s most versatile playmaker.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the winner of the prestigious Paul Hornung Award,” Austin said in a release. “Whether I am on the field as a receiver, in the backfield or as a returner, I have high expectations for myself, and I have always tried to use my versatility to help my team be successful. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for helping me achieve this honor.”
West Virginia’s blazing fast Tavon Austin has been honored with the relatively young award, according to West Virginia Illustrated. Whereas the Heisman, for example, has been handed to a great collegiate player every year since 1935, Austin is only the third student-athlete to win the Paul Hornung Award.
Austin dazzled Mountaineers fans in his final, senior, year on campus. At only 5-foot-9 and 171 pounds, Austin may seem diminutive, but he is an absolute assassin on the football field.
On the year, Austin collected 111 receptions for 1,287 yards, surpassing both the 100-reception and 1,000-yard barrier in consecutive seasons. Further, he averaged just under nine yards per rushing attempt in collecting 652 yards on a mere 73 attempts — but wait, there’s more. Austin returned 32 kickoffs for 813 yards, averaging 25.4 yards per return.
He is one of only two FBS members to pile up more than 500 yards in three different statistical categories.
Austin finished eighth-overall in the balloting for the 2012 Heisman Trophy. Hornung himself, as a star running back for Notre Dame in the mid-’50s, won the Heisman in 1956.
In a statement, he expressed his excitement over presenting the award named in his honor to such a talented individual as Austin.
“I like the way Tavon Austin plays the game,” Hornung said in a statement. “He is tough, he generates yardage almost every way possible and has a nose for the end zone. Tavon Austin is a deserving winner of the Paul Hornung Award. We look forward to having him with us at our banquet in Louisville in February.”