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First things first, I'm Steve Gould, an assistant sports editor for The Baltimore Sun. Welcome to The Next Level, a weekly feature on Varsity Letters where you can find out how former standouts from local high schools who now play for NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision teams fared in their games. Check back each Monday for a recap of their statistics and standout plays. (The list of players I'm working off isn't comprehensive, so if I'm leaving someone out please leave a comment below or e-mail me, and I'll make sure to include him.)

Well, with that stuff out of the way, let's get down to it:

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Three-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro Player of the Year Tavon Austin made his college debut in West Virginia's 33-20 home win over Liberty. Austin, who starred at Dunbar, came off the bench to rush once for 4 yards and catch one pass for 3 yards. He also returned a kickoff for 14 yards. Freshman defensive back Terence Garvin, who also played running back while at Loyola, made one solo tackle for the Mountaineers.

There wasn't much for Maryland fans to cheer as California rolled over the visiting Terps, 52-13, but a pair of former local standouts started on defense for UM. A.J. Francis, a redshirt freshman, lined up at nose tackle and recorded three total tackles (one solo and two assists). Francis played his high school ball at Gonzaga Prep in Washington, D.C., but is from Severn. Senior Jamari McCollough (Randallstown) started at cornerback and logged one tackle for a loss of 2 yards. His contributions, however, were overshadowed by his leaving with a foot injury. Sun reporter Jeff Barker reported that McCollough was seen on crutches on the Maryland sideline. Terps junior wide receiver LaQuan Williams (Poly) also played in the game but did not record any statistics.

Connecticut redshirt freshman strong safety Jerome Junior (Archbishop Curley) got the start in his first college game and turned in a notable performance, making five tackles (two solo, three assists) in the Huskies' 23-16 win over host Ohio.

Former Arundel standout Alec Lemon was a favorite target of quarterback Greg Paulus in host Syracuse's 23-20 overtime loss to Minnesota. The wide receiver, a true freshman, caught five passes — the second most for the Orange — for 17 yards, his longest a 10-yard reception. Senior tight end Andrew Robinson (Calvert Hall), who threw for 2,192 yards and 13 touchdown passes while playing quarterback for Syracuse in 2007, did not play.

Starting senior free safety Mike Newton (Calvert Hall) made six tackles (four solo, two assists) in visiting Buffalo's 23-17 win over Texas-El Paso.

Freshman defensive back Kwame Johnson (Parkville) came off the bench to make three solo tackles as Temple fell to Villanova, 27-24, at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field.

Virginia's Raynard Horne (Overlea), a junior running back, caught one pass for 13 yards in the Cavaliers' 26-14 home loss to Football Championship Subdivision opponent William and Mary.

Junior wide receiver Shaky Smithson, who played at Douglass in high school before attending East Los Angeles Community College and transferring to Utah, returned one kickoff for 21 yards in the Utes' 35-17 victory over visiting Utah State.

Freshman linebacker Joey Ehrmann (Gilman) got some playing time for Wake Forest in the host Demon Deacons' 24-21 loss to Baylor, but his only tackle was negated by a holding penalty on the Bears. Wake freshman running back Michael Campanaro, The Sun's 2008 Howard County Player of the Year after rushing for 1,848 yards and 29 touchdowns for River Hill, did not play.

Junior linebacker Jacob Bohn (Mount St. Joseph) made one tackle on special teams in Army's 27-14 road win over Eastern Michigan.

Senior quarterback Greg Zingler (Severna Park) and senior linebacker Jerry Hauburger (Eastern Tech) saw the field as visiting Navy gave No. 6 Ohio State a scare before falling, 31-27, but neither player recorded any statistics.

Louisville's Horace Miller (Dunbar), a freshman linebacker, played in the host Cardinals' 30-10 rout of Indiana State but did not record any statistics.

I'm not listing some of the numerous players — many of them freshmen — who didn't see game time this week, but if you have a question about a specific player who wasn't mentioned, please comment below and I'll respond.

Thanks for stopping by, and keep checking in Mondays for more updates. If all goes well, we'll look to have a similar feature when basketball season comes around.

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