The Times West Virginian

Sports

May 4, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN: Geno Smith compared to Joe Namath

(Continued)

MORGANTOWN — o o o o o o

The Rams ought to be sending WVU assistant Lonnie Galloway a bonus ... a big bonus.

Not only did Galloway coach WVU’s Austin and Bailey, being the prime recruiter on Austin, too, but he either coached or recruited current Rams’ receivers Briant Quick and Chris Givens.

He helped bring Quick to Appalachian State before coming to WVU for the first time and coached Givens in his two years coaching at Wake Forest before returning to the Mountaineers last season.

o o o o o o

You talk about the right man at the right time in the right place, you’re talking about Tavon Austin in the NFL draft.

At another time, Austin well might have been a third- or fourth-round draft pick rather than a first-round pick of the St. Louis Rams, but he comes along just as the league is reshaping itself, in part because of the way the rules have changed and in part because of the way college football has changed.

There was a time when the NFL would not even look at someone who was 5-8 and weighed 174 pounds, but in today’s NFL a player like that can not only survive but star if he has the skills Austin has.

This is the way Peter King of SI.com put it:

“I think Tavon Austin became the most desired skill player in the draft because of the way the game is going. People want multi-faceted offensive players, and Austin, though very small, scored four ways last fall. The Rams might get him killed doing it, but they plan to use him as a slot receiver (maybe 700 snaps) and a punt-returner (maybe 50 punts) and are open to using him as a kick-returner too. Think of Austin — after watching his highlights over the last few days — playing on the Ed Jones Dome turf. What a weapon.”

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

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