By John Grossi
Long Beach Poly senior Daylen Austin is the perfect package of athleticism, leadership, and humility. With 25+ offers from every major university in the Power Five college football conferences, he has committed to LSU next season, where he hopes to follow in the long line of fellow defensive backs who have played at LSU and then gone onto the NFL.
At Poly this season, Austin will play defensive back, some cornerback and a little bit of offense. However, what he’s really known for throughout the Long Beach Moore League and beyond is his kick-return ability. Austin will be returning all kickoffs and punts this year. And as Poly HS fans have come to know, when he catches that ball, anything can happen.
“Every time Austin gets the ball in his hands, whether through an interception or punt return, he has the ability to score a touchdown. He had multiple touchdowns on returns last year,” says Poly’s head football coach, Stephen Barbee. “He’s just a special player who is going to make a play when the ball is around him offensively or defensively.”
Austin’s speed transfers to the track as well, where he is also a Poly HS star. After football season this year, Austin will compete for CIF medals with the Poly track team in the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 4x100 relay events.
If you get the chance to make it out to a Poly football game this year, make sure to keep your eyes peeled on #8. Defensively, Austin will always be on the other team’s best receiver and you can expect lots of pass break-ups, interceptions, and even pick-6 touchdowns. Friday nights in Long Beach this fall promise a great chance to catch the action of an athlete who will definitely be playing next-level on Saturdays next year, and likely one day on Sundays as a pro.