Virginia's Tavon Austin is the best returning playmaker in all of college football.
Notice that I didn't say "Austin might be" or "Austin will be," I said "Austin is."
I said "is" because it is a 100% fact. There should be no debate—just check his stats.
WVU's all-purpose star led the nation in both total all-purpose yardage and all-purpose yards per game last season.
In the Mountaineers' 13 games, the Baltimore native compiled an NCAA-leading 2,574 yards for an average of 198 yards per game, also the highest in the country.
For his exploits, Austin was named first to the team all-Big East Conference squad, the first team all-bowl team, and an Associated Press third team all-American.
After this year's preseason all-American voting, it will be a travesty if he is not selected to the first team.
Austin has been a three-year starter at WVU and hasn't missed a single game in his career while compiling 4,377 all-purpose yards.
As explosive as the WVU offense was last season, it figures to be even better this year, as it will bring back roughly nine defensive starters, only losing two offensive linemen and two non-starting receivers.
With more and more repetition, the Mountaineers' already potent passing attack will become even more dangerous.
There are still plenty of unknowns as WVU makes its transition to the Big 12 conference.
But, all things considered, the Mountaineer offense is poised to explode and they'll need as much Austin as they can get to do so.
His playmaking ability will be needed not only for him to haul in receptions and put up points himself, but to also draw the attention of the opposing defenses.
This will open up the field for some of WVU's other playmakers, like Stedman Bailey, Dustin Garrison, Shawne Alston, as well as the incoming freshmen.
Austin and Bailey were a pillar of consistency for West Virginia last year and they will need to continue that next season.
The competition level will ratchet up with the move to the Big 12, so the Mountaineers will to play well week in and week out.
Just one off-day could ruin WVU's chances at at Big 12 title and BCS berth.
The Mountaineers will have plenty of games where they will be favored which will require them to play to their potential to win.
But, unlike in the Big East, they will also see some of the best teams in the country on their conference slate.
Luckily for them, Austin is a true ballplayer, known for showing up in big games.
The Big 12 season will be much tougher for West Virginia, so they will have to lean on the best playmaker in the country to make it through.
If Austin and the WVU offense improve as expected, he could crack 3,000 yards of all-purpose yardage.
It's a good thing Austin is in Morgantown, because WVU is going to need him.Back to the West Virginia Mountaineers Newsfeed