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W. Virginia's Austin wins return specialist award

Monday - 3/11/2013, 6:20pm  ET

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- West Virginia's Tavon Austin has been named winner of the Johnny Rodgers Award as the top return specialist in college football in 2012.

Austin was second nationally in all-purpose yardage and averaged 12.7 yards on punt returns and 25.4 yards on kick returns. He returned one punt and one kick for touchdowns. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Austin is projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick as a receiver.

Rodgers announced Austin as the winner on Monday. The award is named for the 1972 Heisman Trophy winner from Nebraska who made his mark as a return specialist.

Austin will receive the award at an April 4 banquet in Omaha. Proceeds will benefit Rodgers' foundation, which works to keep at-risk youth on track to graduate from high school.


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