« Football 2008

Austin Starr

School

Indiana University

Position
Kicker

Classroom

Austin is one of the top student-athletes at Indiana University. The biology major major holds a 3.75 cumulative GPA, and is scheduled to graduate this semester. After graduation, if not playing in the NFL, he plans to attend dental school. CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine named Austin an Academic All-American last season. Starr is also a two-time CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine All-District selection and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, with his third honor in each category to come this season. He became just the sixth Hoosier to earn Academic All-America honors and only the second Hoosier to ever earn All-America honors on and off the field.  In reward for his efforts in the classroom, Austin received the team’s Ted Whereatt “Senior Excellence” Award, given to the senior who has excelled academically.

Character

Austin is truly one of the leaders on this team. As one of only 13 seniors, he is looked upon as one of the role models. During off-season workouts, Starr consistently took it upon himself to lead by his example. He is never late for any team-related function, interview, or academic meeting and is an upstanding young man and one of the most dependable players on the team. Austin continually puts his teammates ahead of himself and is a true testament to what a student-athlete should be at Indiana University. A testament to his character, Starr received the inaugural Harold Mauro Award, given to the IU football player that best exemplifies valued qualities demonstrated by Harold Mauro to Indiana University and the Bloomington community.

Community

Starr continues to be active in the community. He often serves as a liaison between the team and fans, making numerous public appearances to promote IU Football, rather it be visiting Greek Houses to promote the upcoming Spring Game or to encourage fans to purchase season ticket sales. Despite his hectic life as a student-athlete, Austin is constantly making time to encourage and interact with local youth. In 2007, he ran a mini-football clinic for youth participating in the Boys & Girls Club and served as a mentor for high school teenagers through Saint Paul Catholic Church Confirmation/Affirmation. He has volunteered at the child’s Elementary School during their Spring Carnival for the past three years in which he personally ran games and signed autographs for attendees. During Read Across America at Edgewood Primary School, Austin read to students, and then took time to visit a life skills class in which he spoke about the importance of perseverance. Students at the Monroe County Youth Football Championship Games and the Fazolli’s Kids Fun Night were able to visit with Austin and get his autograph and at the IU Recreational Sports Family Night, Starr ran drills for children and adults. He has raised funds for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life, volunteered during the Coach Hep Indiana Cancer Challenge cycle/run/walk event, and participated in the awards ceremony for the “Circle of Live” cancer run. In addition, Austin is also very active at the Saint Paul Catholic Church during services in which he speaks to the congregation on stewardship and how to give back to the church through time, talent, and/or treasure.

Competition

For the 2008-09 season, Starr became just the fifth kicker in school history to break the 40-field goal mark in a career. He finished fourth on the school’s career field goals list (43), fourth on the career extra points (103) list and sixth on the career points (232) list.  Austin leaves Indiana with multiple honors.  In addition to being named to the Lou Groza Award Watch List, he was a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy, the Awards and Recognition Association (ARA) National Sportsmanship Award, and a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy (for the nation’s top scholar-athlete).  He was al All-Big Ten Selection for the fourth consecutive season and hit 10 field goals with a long of 46 yards and connected on 27 extra points.  Starr led the team with 57 points and averaged 66.0 yards per kickoff with 17 touchbacks on 53 kicks.  Over the course of the season, Austin was a four-time Hoosier special teams player of the week.