"The first thing he did was point to a picture of Tavon Austin and say, 'You need to get that guy the ball as much as you can,'" the WVU coach remembered Tuesday.
Holgorsen followed orders as much as he followed the irresistible urge to facilitate a player who was the first skill position player drafted. Austin would touch the ball more than 300 times in two seasons with Holgorsen and nearly 12 times per game.
Austin joins a brand new brood now, but not before giving WVU one more piece of history. In addition to all the game, season and career records he set for rushing, receiving or returning punts or kickoffs, he gave the Mountaineers first-round picks in consecutive seasons for the first time ever. The Seattle Seahawks picked defensive end Bruce Irvin at No. 15 last year.
The Rams were just as eager to take Austin, too. Fearful of the New York Jets at No. 9, St. Louis surrendered Nos. 16, 46, 78 and 222 to get to Nos. 8 and 71. Austin said he spoke with Rams Coach Jeff Fisher, who set up plans for Austin to arrive at the team facility today and prepare for his new life.
"He said, 'You're a part of the family now,'" Austin said.
St. Louis plays eight home games a year on artificial turf inside the Edward Jones Dome, which was also home to the "Greatest Show on Turf" in the days of quarterback Kurt Warner, receivers Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Az-Zahir Hakim and running back Marshall Faulk, who Austin said was one of his favorite players when he was a kid who figured his future was as a running back.
He's a receiver now and addresses a major need. The Rams lost slot receiver Danny Amendola to free agency after Amendola, who played for Holgorsen at Texas Tech, signed with the New England Patriots. Amendola caught 196 passes for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns in four seasons with the Rams.
While Austin's spot wasn't a surprise, the plight of Austin's quarterback, Geno Smith, was. Commonly regarded as the best quarterback available, Smith was heavily scrutinized as the draft neared and watched from a backstage area as Florida State's E.J. Manuel went to the Buffalo Bills at No. 16.
"People are missing his drive for the game," Austin said. "They're missing the whole thing about the way he approaches the game. They don't see the emotion he's got for the game. People can say all they want about him, but if you're not really there, if you don't know him as a person, it's hard for you to really judge him.
"At the end of the day, I played with him for four years. I know what type of person he is. I know he's going to give 100 percent every day at practice and then he's going to go off on the side and do all the work he has to do to be ready."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blogis at blogs.dailymaily.com/wvu.