Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

MICKEY FURFARI

November 30, 2012

WVU's trio all-time greats

MORGANTOWN — Despite its 6-5 overall record and 3-5 in the Big 12 Conference, West Virginia University has three of the most talented and most productive athletes in college football.

Quarterback Geno Smith, four-position standout Tavon Austin, and junior wide receiver Stedman Bailey have continued to share a variety of career records this season.

All three rank high in Big 12 Conference and even National rankings, too.

Let’s check into each of these men’s chief credentials as the Mountaineers head in Saturday’s regular-season finale here Saturday against Kansas (1-10, 0-8 Big 12)

Smith, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior from Miami, is No. 1 on the WVU career passing chart (11,054) and career total offense (11,395).

He also is the school’s career leader in completions (946), attempts (1,413) and passing touchdowns (93).

Smith is No. 3 nationally in points responsible for per game (21.3), completions per game (29.7), and completion percentage (70.2). He is No. 6 in passing yards per game (327.0), and total offense per game (340.6), and No. 9 in passing efficiency (59.07).

Smith also is No. 11 nationally in total passing yards (3,597).

Tavon Austin a 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior from Baltimore, Md., is listed in the WVU media guide as a wide receiver. But, he also sees action as a running back, kick returner and punter returner.

Like Smith, he is projected by some pro scouts as a high first round NFL draft selection in 2013.

Austin is No. 1 on WVU’s career reception list with 288 and receiving yards with 2,373. He also leads in all-purpose (6,949) and is No. 2 in touchdown receptions (29).

Austin ranks No. 1 in the country in receptions per game (9.6), No. 2 in all-purpose yards per game (233.9), No. 8 in receiving yards per game (104.5), tied for No. 25 in punt returns (11.0), and No. 25 in kickoff returns (26.4) per game.

He’s also No. 26 in scoring (8.9) per game.

You may recall that Austin finished with 572 all-purpose yards against Oklahoma, a Big 12 and WVU record. It also was the second biggest in NCAA history.

Bailey, a 5-foot-10, 193-pound wide receiver from Miami, is No. 1 on WVU’s receiving touchdown list for most in a season (21) and career (37).

He and Austin hold WVU’s all-time record for most 100-yard receiving games (12).

Bailey, a finalist for the Biletnikof Award, is tied for No. 3 nationally in scoring per game (11.5), No. 3 in receiving yards per game (122.0), No. 5 in receptions per game (8.6), No. 5 in receptions per game (8.6), and No. 31 in all-purpose yards (132.4) per game.

If I were voting for All-America football players, all three of these true stars would get my votes.

It’s rare to find three players as talented as Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey on the same team.

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MICKEY FURFARI