Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Austin to Play for Team USA
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 23, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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VIENNA, Va.--Arizona quarterback Adam Austin, a former walk-on, will rejoin his initial coach for USA Football's first appearance in the World Championship of American Football this summer in Japan.

Austin, who played a key role as a fifth-year scholarship senior in UA's 6-6 season last fall under coach Mike Stoops, first joined UA's program as a walk-on in 2002 when John Mackovic was UA's coach.

Mackovic is the head coach for the United States National Team and will lead the training camp June 20 to July 4 at San Jose State University. The six-country tournament will be held July 7-15 in Kawasaki, Japan. This year's event is the third staged by the International Federation of American Footballl (IFAF). Team USA will face Germany and Korea in pool play. The other pool will consist of host and two-time defending champion Japan, along with Sweden and France.

Austin, 23, of Mundelein, Ill., is one of 45 players who chosen from a pool of 2006 college seniors. NCAA and NAIA schools were asked by USA Football to nominate up to two seniors, with that list pared down by Team USA coaches during film evaluation.

"The team is a complete cross section of U.S. football," Mackovic said. "We're excited that we are able to blend every level of college football and put together a team of players from schools of every size. We hope to represent our country in the highest fashion and be great ambassadors for football around the world."

As UA's backup quarterback, Austin lettered after appearing in seven games in 2006, with starts in victories against Stephen F. Austin and at Stanford when No. 1 quarterback Willie Tuitama was injured. He finished the year with 52 completions in 111 attempts, for 517 yards and two scores, throwing six interceptions. His start at Stanford was marred by a knee injury before halftime that kept him out of action for the next three games.

Another former UA player, tight end Matt Padron, was selected as an offensive lineman out of Texas State. He lettered at Arizona as a redshirt freshman in Mackovic's final season at UA in 2003. Mackovic compiled a 10-18 record in his UA tenure, which ended shortly before mid-season that year when defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz took over for the final seven games. Padron subsequently transferred.

Austin is one of three quarterbacks on the roster, joining Jeff Ballard of Texas Christian and Rocky Pentello of Capital University (Columbus, Ohio). Thirty-two NCAA and NAIA conferences are represented from 45 different institutions. Austin is the lone participant from the Pacific-10 Conference.

USA Football executive director Scott Hallenbeck said, "Filling out the roster is another important milestone for USA Football. We are looking forward to seeing this team take the field for the first time."

USA Football is a non-profit organization providing programs and resources to inspire participation and improve the quality of the sport in youth, high school and international amateur fotoball. It was endowed by the National Football League and the NFL Players Association in 2002.



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