OMAHA, NEB. – West Virginia senior Tavon Austin
has been named the 2012 Jet Award Return Specialist winner.
The Jet Award honors the best return specialist in college football. Drawing its name from former Heisman trophy winner Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers, the Jet Award is voted on by a selection committee featuring football writers and broadcasters from around the country, as well as Johnny Rodgers.
To be considered for the Jet Award players must be a primary kick or punt returner for his team. They must be among the national leaders in return categories and show leadership, courage, desire, respect for authority and discipline.
Austin finished second in the country in all-purpose yardage averaging more than 220 yards a game combining rushing, receiving, punt and kick return yards. The former Mountaineer averaged more than 25 yards a kickoff return with both a kickoff and punt return touchdown.
Veteran college football return specialists will be honored with an award each year as well, with the first winner being Billy Cannon for his performance in 1959. This year’s veteran will receive a trophy at the Jet Award ceremony. Up to five former players are expected to be named each year.
The award event will benefit the Johnny Rodgers Youth Foundation’s charitable programs. Currently through his youth foundation, Rodgers has joined the fight to keep kids in school until graduation.