If you don’t already know, Fan-I Sports is based out of Baltimore, Maryland. In Baltimore, sports are somewhat a way of life, contrary to many belief. Our love for sports may not be as celebrated like football in the south or basketball in New York, but it’s a strong sense of pride here. We have a certain way of playing here and its always HARD and TOUGH, no matter what the sport is.
So to give you a sense of what my city can produce, “Baltimore Sons” will showcase a few players that made high school history and gained national attention. First up, the one-n-only Tavon Austin.
If you were present in the city from 2005-2009, you knew who Tavon Austin was. Friday Nights became an event if Dunbar was playing because you were without a doubt going to get a show from Tavon.
I never seen a player with that much quickness and speed on a football field. He could change direction quicker than you can blink, and it seem like while everybody was in 5th gear, he was still in 4th gear. Tavon could have made Barry Sanders say “How did he do that?” Tavon dominated the Baltimore football scene and when state playoffs came around, the dominance continued.
As a Dunbar Poet, he smashed the state record for rushing yards 7,962, total offensive yards 9,258, touchdowns 123, and points 790. He led the Poets to three consecutive state titles, one of which he scored the game winning touchdown to cap his junior season.
I don’t think this state will see another high school player like Tavon. He is without question one of the most dynamic players to play on the gridiron.
Tavon was still slept on throughout the national recruiting scene. He did received scholarships from schools all over the country, but he was only considered to be a 4-star caliber player and according to Rivals.com, the 8th best player in the state of Maryland.
He took his talents to Morgantown and became a 4-year star for the Mountaineers. Tavon played all 13 games his freshman year and started 11. West Virginia’s wide open offense was perfect for Tavon because in open field, you can’t contain him. His best game may have been when he torched Oklahoma for 572 total yards, 344 of them coming on the ground.
Watching that game was nostalgic because it took me back to his Dunbar days when he played running back. At West Virginia he was mainly a wide receiver and people often forgot he can tote the rock out the backfield, everybody was reminded after that game. In four seasons at West Virginia, Tavon tallied 7,077 total yards and 40 TDs while becoming an All-American his senior season. Not bad for a 4-star recruit.
Not only did Tavon out-shine the 7 players that were ranked ahead of him in his class but he also was the first skilled player drafted in the 2013 NFL draft that was filled with lineman in the top 10. At 5’9 175lbs, he was drafted 8th overall to the St.Louis Rams.
I can’t think of another Baltimore born player to be drafted that high, at least not in my generation. This was not only a great moment for Tavon but also the city. Baltimore is a city filled with talented individuals but also broken dreams. To make it out of here without losing focus maybe the hardest thing one will endure in their life. To not get caught up in the daily ills of the city is a job in itself, especially for teenagers and young adults. So to see a legend in our city stand on stage with the commissioner of the NFL was a joyous moment for us all