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Tavon’s Quick Twitch, Geno’s Heisman Beginning

September 22, 2012
By JIM ELLIOTT ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MORGANTOWN - In sports, it's not uncommon for words that are often used behind the closed doors of the industry to make their way to light, catch on like wildfire, and be turned into cliches within, say, a week.

Who could forget the MLB trade deadline at the end of July where general managers were seemingly standing on life-sized chess boards, trading ''pieces?''

Say, the Dodgers got a lot of nice pieces at the deadline, didn't they?

Yes, but they gave up a lot of nice pieces too.

Turns out, they were talking about human beings the whole time.

Another one popped up this week when the West Virginia coaches were talking about Maryland receiver/kick returner Stefon Diggs and his comparison to the Mountaineers' Tavon Austin. The teams meet at noon today at Mountaineer Field.

It's a word that heretofore had been reserved for doctors and trainers, or about people who are nervous.

''On tape, he has some twitch,'' West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said of Diggs, ''but there are a whole lot of kids that have twitch.''

He continued.

''Everybody else on our schedule is going to have a quick-twitch return guy that can make plays and is problematic because of talent and all the rest. We faced a guy that was just like it in the bowl game last year. They're called good players, and there are more than just Tavon Austin and Stefon Diggs across the country, I can assure you that.''

Shannon Dawson, WVU's offensive coordinator and recevier's coach, says it has a lot to do with Austin's muscle makeup.

''His start to stop, to start to stop again, to start to stop again, that's nothing but genetically his body makeup,'' Dawson said. ''I'd have to be a doctor to figure out how his muscles are attached in certain ways.

''He is a quick twitch guy. With him being a quick-twitch guy, if he was a marathon runner, he probably wouldn't be very good. But he's playing a certain sport at a certain position where it's beneficial to be like him.''

Heisman Hype

When you put up the kind of numbers WVU quarterback Geno Smith has through two games and your name was already among a handful of preseason Heisman hopefuls, the hype is going to crank a little more each week.

On Tuesday, Smith was invited to be a guest of the Jim Rome Show. He was on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated prior to the season. This week, he holds the top spot on just about every Heisman race list, though many say they want to see him do it against better competition.

Does Geno mind the publicity?

''No, not at all,'' he said.

How much attention does he pay to it?

''Zero,'' he said. ''I don't see it, I just hear about. I'm a guy that's always going to be humble. But I understand it comes with the territory. I want to be on the best team. As a quarterback on a good team, you're going to get that national exposure. It is what it is. I know it's not going to last forever so you might as well soak it up why you can.''

So far, so good for the Mountaineers' record-setting quarterback.

Jim Elliott can be reached via e-mail at:

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