The Next Level is a weekly Recruiting Report feature that focuses on natives of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County who appear on NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision rosters. Chris Eckard, a senior at the University of Maryland and Baltimore Sun sports department intern, is your author.
West Virginia junior wide receiver Tavon Austin (Dunbar) hasn't had quite the season he envisioned this year while adjusting to a new offensive system under first-year coach Dana Holgorsen.
Against Rutgers on Saturday afternoon, though, Austin showed his playmaking ability once again. He ripped off an 80-yard rushing touchdown on an end-around play in the first quarter, and sealed the win with a 20-yard touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter.
Austin and the No. 25 Mountaineers rebounded from last week's embarrassing loss to Syracuse to defeat Rutgers on the road, 41-31. The junior finished with 96 rushing yards on two carries and 67 receiving yards on eight catches.
Austin now has 691 receiving yards and three touchdown catches this season. He leads the Mountaineers with 56 receptions.
For his efforts against Rutgers, Austin is your Next Level Player of the Week.
West Virginia junior safety Terence Garvin (Loyola) had two solo tackles (five total) and a pass breakup in the win.Honorable mention
• Colorado State sophomore linebacker Shaq Barrett (Baltimore native, Boys Town (Neb.) grad) returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown and had four solo tackles (nine total) in the Rams' 38-35 loss to UNLV.
• North Carolina senior linebacker Zach Brown (Wilde Lake) wreaked havoc on Wake Forest in the Tar Heels' 49-24 win Saturday. The senior forced and recovered a fumble on a 9-yard sack early in the first quarter, intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter and led the team with seven solo tackles (nine total). Wake Forest sophomore wide receiver Michael Campanaro (River Hill) led the Demon Deacons with 88 receiving yards on six receptions, while junior linebacker Joey Ehrmann (Gilman) had three solo tackles (five total) in the loss.
• Virginia freshman wide receiver Darius Jennings (Gilman) caught a 53-yard first-quarter touchdown pass in the Cavaliers' 28-21 win against Miami. It was the first collegiate touchdown for Jennings, who finished with 78 receiving yards and 23 kickoff return yards. Virginia senior defensive tackle Nick Jenkins (Westminster native, Good Counsel grad) had two tackles in the win.
• Virginia Tech sophomore cornerback Kyle Fuller (Mount St. Joseph) recovered a fumble, recorded a 10-yard sack, broke up three pass attempts and had a team-high five solo tackles (eight total) in the No. 14 Hokies' 14-10 win against Duke.
• Arkansas State senior cornerback Darron Edwards (Dunbar) had a solo tackle (four total) and a pass breakup in the 37-14 win against North Texas.
• Army junior slotback Kelechi Odocha (Atholton) had four rushes for 32 yards in the Black Knights' 55-0 win against Fordham.
• Connecticut junior safety Jerome Junior (Archbishop Curley) forced a fumble and had two solo tackles (seven total) in the Huskies' 35-20 loss to Pittsburgh.
• East Carolina sophomore defensive end Derrell Johnson (Cardinal Gibbons) had a 5-yard sack in a 34-13 win against Tulane.
• Maryland junior safety Eric Franklin (Archbishop Curley) led the team with six solo tackles (11 total) and broke up a pass in the Terps' 28-17 loss to Boston College. Sophomore defensive end David Mackall (Edmondson) had two tackles in the loss.
• Michigan freshman cornerback Blake Countess (Owings Mills native, Good Counsel grad) had two solo tackles (three total) and broke up two passes in the Wolverines' 36-14 win against Purdue.
• New Mexico freshman safety Zach Dancel (Ellicott City native, Good Counsel grad) had a solo tackle (five total) in the Lobos' 42-0 loss to Air Force.
• Penn State freshman cornerback Adrian Amos (Calvert Hall) returned a kickoff 23 yards and had a tackle in the Nittany Lions' 10-7 win against Illinois.
• Syracuse junior wide receiver Alec Lemon (Arundel) had 23 receiving yards on four catches in the Orange's 27-10 loss to Louisville.
• UAB sophomore quarterback Jonathan Perry (Dunbar) had 215 passing yards (8-for-13, two interceptions) and 18 rushing yards in a 59-14 loss to Marshall.
• UTEP sophomore defensive lineman Horace Miller (Dunbar) had three tackles in a 31-13 loss to Southern Miss.
Getty photo of Tavon Austin by Patrick McDermott / Oct. 29, 2011