Player Profile #55- DT Marvin Austin

Marvin Austin would like a second chance. The big defensive tackle out of Washington, D.C. and the University of North Carolina knows what he missed after being suspended for the 2010 season because of contact with agents and accepting impermissible benefits.

“I went from being one of the top players and prospects in the nation to being a guy that is not even talked about,” Austin said. “And it was a tough situation having to sit back and watch all the other defensive linemen go out and play and perform and not be able to do anything. It made you put things in perspective a lot more.”

That was Austin speaking at the NFL Combine where he admitted to taking trips paid for by an agent. He knew they were bad decisions when he made them, but still he got on the airplane and flew twice to California and twice to Florida.

“It was a mental mistake,” Austin said. “I got ahead of myself. I learned that I can never take anything for granted. This is a privilege. A lot of guys would kill to be in these shoes, so you have to take advantage of it and never abuse the privilege.”

Now, Austin prepares to join the ranks of professional football in a draft slot far lower than was expected a year ago.

Here is his story.

FAMILY FILE

Marvin Austin

Born – January 1, 1989 in Washington, D.C.

Parents – He was raised by his mother Donna Johnson. His father was not in the picture. He has a brother Lionel and a sister Janae.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 6-feet, 1 ½ inches.
  • Weight – 309 pounds.
  • Arm – 32 5/8 inches.
  • Hand – 10¼ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.84 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.78 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.64 seconds.
  • Bench press – 38 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 30½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 4 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL(S)

Austin was a member of the graduating class of 2007 at Ballou High School in Washington D.C. He also played at Coolidge High School.

2006 – Austin helped Ballou win its first D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association title with a 34-33 victory over defending champion Dunbar. He earned Parade Magazine All-America status and was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He earned All-Metro first team designation from the Washington Post. He had 113 total tackles, 14 TFL and 15 sacks. He joined Moses Ware, who left Coolidge High where he was the defensive coordinator, to become head coach at Ballou. Austin was one of six transfers from Coolidge that joined Ballou, causing great controversy in high school athletic circles in the District.

2005 – Playing for Coolidge, he helped the Colts reach the DCIAA title game for the first time in 20 years. He had 12 sacks and 12 TFL as Coolidge finished 9-3, losing to Dunbar 43-14 in the championship finale.

2004 – The Colts finished with a 5-6 record and Austin played both ways.

2003 – As a freshman at Coolidge, Austin earned starting spots at defensive tackle and fullback.

RECRUITING

Considered a five-star recruit, Austin was named USA Today’s National Defensive Player of the Year. He was recruited heavily by Florida State, Southern California, Illinois, Maryland, LSU, Tennessee and North Carolina. In February 2007, he committed to the Tar Heels.

COLLEGE

Austin was working on a Communications degree at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

2009 – Played in 13 games with 12 starts; he earned second-team All-ACC honors. He finished with 42 tackles, 6 TFL, 4 sacks. Against North Carolina State he had 7 tackles, 2.5 TFL and 2 sacks.

2008 – Austin played in 13 games with 11 starts and finished with 38 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT that he returned for a TD.

2007 – He played in all 12 games, starting three and finishing the season with 26 tackles and 4 sacks.

SUSPENSION/2010

Summer – The NCAA begins an investigation of the North Carolina football program for players receiving improper benefits from agents. The NCAA was looking at trips taken by Austin, WR Greg Little, DE Robert Quinn and others, reportedly to California and Florida. These trips were set up by North Carolina assistant coach John Blake and were paid for by agent Gary Wichard.

August 26 – the NCAA investigation expands to include possible academic misconduct involving a tutor and several players.

September 1 – Tar Heels head coach Butch Davis announces that Austin was indefinitely suspended for violating team rules. “Marvin neglected his responsibilities to the team,” Davis said in a statement.

October 11 – North Carolina announced that Austin had been kicked off the team.

 Year

 

G

 

S

Tot.

Tkl.

 

TFL

 

Sks.

 

QH

 

FF

 

Int.

2010

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2009

13

12

42

6

4

5

1

0

2008

13

11

38

1.5

1

5

0

1

2007

12

3

26

6

4

3

0

0

Totals

38

26

106

13.5

9

13

1

1

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – Explosive off the snap, with a quick first step whether going north, east or west, he has displayed remarkable agility for someone so big and wide. Very strong in upper and lower body, he can push a pass blocker back into the pocket and he can stymie a run blocker and clog his gap. Austin has strong hands which he uses well in hand fighting or grabbing and pulling an opponent. Hustles on just about every play and will run down field for a tackle.

Weaknesses – Austin doesn’t always bend his knees and sometimes plays upright and that takes away all his leverage and power. There are times when he blanks on assignments and is not where he’s supposed to be in the defense. Obvious questions about his maturity and motivation after everything that happened at North Carolina. He’s shown a selfish tendency back to his high school days and that came through loud and clear during his suspension.

Analysis – A year out of the game really leaves people wondering just what they are going to get from this young man. He showed up for all-star games and the NFL Combine in good shape and he says he’s learned from his transgressions. But he cost himself millions of dollars by being selfish and stupid and that’s not a good combination.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

A scout for an AFC team said – “This kid has been on the make going back to his senior year in high school. I think he’s more concerned about being Marvin Austin football star than he is in doing the work necessary to reach that level. I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole.”

A scout for an NFC team said – “Somebody will get a good player at good value, but they’ll have to understand the risks. He’s a boom or bust player if you ask me. Either he’ll wash out quickly, or he’ll have a long and productive career. Problem is, it’s a flip of the coin.”

WHAT HE SAID

When asked what the best part of his game was, Austin said – “My passion and my effort. I go sideline to sideline and I try to go as hard as I can every play.”

“There were so many rumors about I did this and was getting cars and a lot of things that weren’t true – things about me as a person and it was extremely hard. It’s still hard to watch some of the stuff that’s said about my character. I’ve never taken a drink in my life; I’ve never smoked in my life. I’ve done everything to get to this point, but one mistake, taking a couple of trips, and one of them was taken to help me get better as an athlete, has cost me my whole senior season and my image.”

“There’s no room for excuses. I see my mom going to work every day and putting a roof over our heads and she never complains. If she can do that, I can go out there and work like she does.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

No, not unless they know something nobody else does. Always remember this question when trying to divine who Pioli/Haley will select in the draft – is he more concerned about giving to the game, or more concerned about what the game can give him? Austin’s track record says he likes to take from the game. He doesn’t fit.


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