Feb. 28, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football player Matt Austin has been granted a sixth year of eligibility after having missing the 2009 season with a foot injury and having his 2010 season cut short with a knee injury, announced USU head coach Gary Andersen and the USU compliance office Tuesday.
Austin, a wide receiver from Monrovia, Calif. (Charter Oaks HS/Mt. San Antonio JC), was granted an extension of eligibility waiver by the Western Athletic Conference and the NCAA.
"I'm honored and excited for this opportunity. I can't wait to get back to work on the field with my team, learn our new offense and be a leader to help us have an even better season next year," Austin said. "I'm thankful for my coaches and teammates keeping me motivated and helping me stay positive throughout this entire process. I'm also grateful for all the hard work by Jake Garlock (Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance) and the administration for helping make this happen."
In 2011, Austin played in all 13 games, making eight starts. He tallied 34 catches for 465 yards with six TD's, leading USU in all three categories. In USU's last five games, he totalled five TD catches, including two game-winners, snaring the game-winners in the San Jose State and New Mexico State games, both with less than a minute to play. Austin corralled a season-high six catches in the Auburn game and his season-long reception was a 49-yard TD against Weber State.
"Matt is a tremendous team leader for us both on and off the field. He is a standout wide receiver for us and we know we can count on him to make the big play when needed as he showed last season with two game-winning catches for us. His talent-level on the field makes him one of the best wide receivers in our conference," Andersen said. "His ability to be a team leader and a mentor to the younger players at all positions is just as important to our program as the plays he makes on the field."
Austin was one of USU's team captains in 2011 and also served on the Aggies' leadership council.
"I'd also like to especially thank Jake Garlock, everyone in our compliance office and our administration for all of their hard work in this. It is a great day for Aggie football," Andersen said.
After coming to USU from Mt. San Antonio Junior College in 2009, Austin missed that season with a foot injury. Returning to the field in 2010, Austin started the Aggies' 2010 season-opener at Oklahoma, and made one catch for 59 yards, but suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Sooners.
Off the field, Austin graduated in the fall of 2011 with a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies and his currently pursuing a master's of education in heath, physical education and recreation.
Utah State football opens spring camp on March 27 and concludes spring drills with the Blue-White Spring Game, sponsored by Orbit Irrigation Products, on Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. (MT).
Utah State football season ticket renewals and new sales for the 2012 season are available at 2011's prices until May 1. Renewals are available online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu. Fans interested in new sales should contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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