Expected to battle T.J. Turner for the starting job at MIKE linebacker . . .
AS A JUNIOR: Started the first five games of the 1998 season at MIKE linebacker before being sidelined for six games with a chip fracture in his left ankle . . . recorded 49 tackles (30 solos, 19 assists), including four for losses (22 yards) . . . returned to the lineup for the ?98 season finale vs. Penn State and contributed seven stops (4-3) . . . ranked fourth on the team in tackles after the first five games (42) . . . registered a career-high 13 tackles each vs. Michigan (9-4) and Colorado State (8-5) . . . had five stops (3-2) vs. Notre Dame, including two for losses (17) . . . also returned his first career interception 23 yards in the third quarter vs. Notre Dame . . . played a total of 139 minutes, including a season-high 30.5 minutes in the ?98 season opener vs. Colorado State . . .
AS A SOPHOMORE: Appeared in 10 games in 1997, including nine starts at MIKE linebacker (vs. Western Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois, Penn State and Washington) . . . missed two games (vs. Memphis and Notre Dame) after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Sept. 10 to repair cartilage damage in his left knee . . . ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 76 (41 solos, 35 assists), including seven for losses (12 yards) . . . had nine stops (7-2) in the ?97 regular-season finale vs. Penn State . . . recorded a season-high 12 tackles each vs. Illinois (4-8) and Purdue (6-6) . . . credited with eight stops each vs. Ohio State (3-5) and Michigan (5-3) . . . played a season-high 61 snaps vs. Michigan . . . had six tackles (4-2) vs. Northwestern, including two for losses (3 yards) with a sack (1) . . .
AS A FRESHMAN: Saw action in all 12 games in 1996, including nine starts at SAM linebacker (vs. Purdue, Nebraska, Louisville, Eastern Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana) . . . played 263 minutes as a true freshman . . . tied for third on the team in tackles with 63 (39 solos, 24 assists), including fiv for losses (15 yards) . . . had a season-high eight tackles in the season opener vs. Purdue (5 solos, 3 assists) . . . had seven stops each vs. Indiana (3-4), Wisconsin (5-2) and Eastern Michigan (4-3) . . . recorded his only sack vs. Indiana (4 yards) . . . credited with six tackles each vs. Michigan (5-1) and Nebraska (2-4) . . . played a season-high 37.5 minutes vs. Michigan . . .
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: First-team All-Ohio and All-Southwest Ohio selection as a senior . . . also earned academic all-league honors . . . ranked among the Midwest's top linebackers by both Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report (No. 6) and Blue Chip Illustrated (No. 8) . . . named to the National Recruiting Advisor's All-Midwest Team . . . played in Ohio-Pennsylvania Big 33 and Ohio North-South all-star games . . . had 116 tackles, including 20 for losses, and two interceptions in 1995 . . . gained 503 yards rushing and scored six touchdowns as a fullback . . . played for Coach Dick Kerschbaum at Xenia (Ohio) High School . . . also lettered in track with a personal best of 10.8 in 100 meters . . . member of the National Honor Society . . . served as class president for three years . . . born April 23, 1977 . . . a finance major.
Austin's Career Statistics
G/GS UT AT TM TFL-Yds. Sacks Int.-Yds 1996 12/9 39 24 63 5-15 1-4 0-0 1997 10/9 41 35 76 7-12 1-1 0-0 1998 6/5 30 19 49 4-22 0-0 1-23 Career 28/23 110 78 188 16-49 2-5 1-23