West Virginia’s Tavon Austin has been named winner of the Johnny ‘The Jet’ 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 kickoff for touchdowns. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Austin is projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick as a receiver.
Rodgers, the former Husker star who won the Heisman Trophy in 1972, announced Austin as the winner on Monday.
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.
1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, will receive the Return Specialist Legacy Award. Cannon played three seasons at LSU, helping lead the Tigers to their first national championship in 1958.
The Over the Top Award, honoring two outstanding high school offensive players in the state of Nebraska, will be presented to Isaac Aakre of Millard North and Luke McNitt of Kearney, both of whom were selected by a panel led by The World-Herald’s Stu Pospisil.
More information about the award and the banquet can be found on thejetaward.com.