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January 20, 2012
Austin leads football award winners
West Virginia announced its award winners for the 2011 season Friday afternoon after the Mountaineers finished the season 10-3, capping it off with a 70-33 victory over Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl.
Permanent captains for the BIG EAST Championship winning squad are junior quarterback Geno Smith, senior offensive lineman Don Barclay, senior linebacker Najee Goode and senior cornerback Keith Tandy.
Offensive Player of the Year was given to junior wide receiver Tavon Austin, who served as the dynamic playmaker for the Mountaineers offense. Austin finished the season with a bang with four receiving touchdowns and 280 all-purpose yards in the Orange Bowl.
The Baltimore, Md. native recorded over 1186 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns, to go along with 182 yards rushing and another score. Austin also served as a dynamic option in the return game, earning BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year, averaging 26.1 per kick return with two brought back for touchdowns and 14.1 yards per punt return.
Goode was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year after developing into the leader's unit throughout the course of the season. A former walk-on, Goode finished as the team's leader in tackles with 87 to go along with 5 sacks and an interception.
Goode has exhausted his eligibility at West Virginia.
Special Teams Player of the Year was awarded to long-snapper red-shirt senior Cody Nutter, who received praise throughout the regular season for his efforts in the Mountaineers kicking game. Nutter, a native of Parkersburg, W.Va., earned special teams player of the week for his performance against Rutgers in inclement weather. Like Goode, Nutter has used up his eligibility.
The Scout Team Players of the Year were given to Cody Clay on offense and Ismail Showell on the defensive side. Clay is a redshirt freshman tight end/lineman from Charleston, W.Va, while Showell is freshman defensive back from Mays Landing, N.J.