The electrifying moves of elusive former Dunbar star Tavon Austin haven't gone unnoticed.

The speedy West Virginia all-purpose standout is projected to go in the first round of the NFL draft in April after catching 114 passes for 1,289 yards and a dozen touchdowns last season. He also rushed for 643 yards and three touchdowns, gaining 344 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 21 carries against Oklahoma last season. The performance was captured in this highlight video.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman acknowledged the similarities between Austin and Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin.

"He is a very explosive player," Spielman said. "It's amazing what he does for his size. He's a pretty unique football player."

Austin finished his career with 288 catches for 3,413 yards and 29 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,033 yards and six touchdowns.

The 5-foot-9, 171-pounder isn't scheduled to meet with the media at the NFL scouting combine until Friday. He works out on the field Sunday.

"Tavon, to me, is a guy who you have to think about in the late first," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. "He’s just too dynamic. He is a true playmaker. The only thing that works against him is [his size], but this is a football player. I saw that in high school. He was kind of a man among boys there.

"And at West Virginia, he didn’t miss a beat there, a dynamic return man, incredibly fast, incredibly explosive. He’s a touchdown waiting to happen. So, if you need a slot receiver, if you need a return man, if you need a guy who’s going to change that scoreboard, he would be the kind of guy to look at."

awilson@baltsun.com

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