Austin, who ran a blazing 40 time of 4.32 seconds during the 2022 NFL Combine, has parlayed that speed into an NFL career. Austin showcased his speed during the Steelers' second training camp practice on Friday when he got behind the defense to secure a 46-yard pass from Kenny Pickett.
Austin, in case you were wondering, has always been fast.
"Yeah, I have," Austin said with a laugh during a post-practice interview with CBS Sports. "I ran my first track meet when I was 8, and I won it. And from then on, I was running track and have been fast ever sense."
A second-team All-American in track during his time at Memphis, Austin was a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft after posting consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons with the Tigers. But a season-ending injury during last summer's camp prevented Austin from contributing to the team as a rookie. The experience -- sitting out an entire year -- was life-changing.
"Last year, camp didn't go the way I wanted because I had the injury," Austin said. "It put everything in perspective. I'm so blessed to just be out here. I was watching 'Quarterback' and I was listening to what Kirk Cousins said. He said he wanted to be a steward of his gift that God gave. God gave me a gift, so I'd be doing a disservice to him if I didn't do my ultimate best to be the best that I can be."
Austin is certainly making the most of his opportunity this summer. He's made several impressive plays so far, none more impressive than his big catch downfield on Friday. Along with finding a space in the defense, Austin was able to snatch the ball out of the air before securing it as he went to the ground.
"There's just been a big emphasis, I feel like, throughout this whole spring and now camp, just getting more routes down the field," Austin said. "That's what I'm trying to make my specialty. I'm just coming here each day, working, trying to improve on everything.
"That was just one of many plays. That practice is over. It's time to look at what I could have done to get better, reevaluate and come back and have a big day."
Austin is hoping to be an integral piece in Pittsburgh's offensive puzzle that also includes wideouts Diontae Johnson, George Pickens and Allen Robinson. And while his speed will surely be utilized, Austin will embrace whatever the Steelers ask him to do.
"Training camp is about defining roles," he said. "Whatever my role is going to be at the beginning, I'm going to be the best at that, and if there's another role that happens to come up, I'm going to do my best to be my best at that role, too."
Here's a look at what else happened during what was a hot and muggy practice from Saint Vincent College.
Several Steelers exit practice early
Diontae Johnson, tight end Connor Heyward and defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal missed periods of practice due to heat-related issues, Tomlin told reporters following practice. While a breeze occasionally provided relief, it was a hot day with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees.
Offense wins Seven Shots
Touchdowns by Pickett and Mitch Trubisky powered Pittsburgh's offense to a 5-2 win during camp's first Seven Shots, a seven-play drill pitting the offense and defense against each other from the 2-yard-line.
The defense took an early lead when Pickett and Pickens were unable to connect on a throw to the left flat. Sandwiched between Pickett scoring passes to Robinson and running back Anthony McFarland was a nice breakup from safety Damontae Kazee on a pass intended for tight end Pat Freiermuth. The starting units played to a 2-2 draw before the second teams took the field.
With Trubisky under center, the offense ran away with the drill. A touchdown run by Trubisky gave the offense the lead for good. Trubisky followed that up with impressive completions to Gunner Olszewski (who sold the slant before cutting back outside) and fellow wideout Dez Fitzpatrick on a slant.
Robinson continues to shine
Along with Austin, Allen Robinson has also had a strong start to camp. Following his score during Seven Shots, the former Pro Bowler made an impressive, diving catch during an 11-on-11 drill. While it is early, initial signs would suggest that Robinson is going to have a significant role in the offense.
Highsmith looking the part
While he is playing alongside T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith is performing (and is now being compensated) like a top-tier pass rusher. He blew past Dan Moore Jr. on a play that forced Pickett to leave the pocket. Speaking of pass rushers, rookie Nick Herbig also made his presence felt by batting down a pass.
Highsmith's success against Moore is notable given that Moore is trying to beat out rookie Broderick Jones for the starting left tackle spot. Jones, who continues to practice largely with the second team, will undoubtedly lean on his physical attributes as he continues to adapt to pass blocking at this level. He more than held his own Friday while going up against backup outside linebacker Markus Golden.
Running > Throwing
Yes, the Steelers have been vocal about their desire to be more of a big-play passing offense. But let's not forget that Pittsburgh's second-half resurgence in 2022 was largely on the strength of the running game. The Steelers' running game once again took center stage late in practice after the passing game was stalled by near misses and the opposing pass rush.
Najee Harris looked good on an outside run while following the lead blocking of new starting left guard Isaac Seumalo. While he's still learning his rebuilt line, Harris' movements looked fluid as he had no issues finding the spaces his linemen were creating. Harris also made a nifty cutback that allowed him to get several more yards after he was already downfield.
Warren followed that up with a strong run between the tackles. While Warren's quickness and decisiveness was impressive, what was more impressive was the fact that Warren had gotten 10-plus yards downfield before he was touched.
Defense > Offense
Yes, the offense won Seven Shots. But as Friday's practice unfolded, it became clear that the superior unit on the Steelers rests on the defensive side of the ball. That shouldn't come as a surprise given that the Steelers' defense boasts four former first-round picks (Watt, Cameron Heyward, Patrick Peterson and Minkah Fitzpatrick) who could each have a Hall of Fame case when their careers are said and done.
That revelation, however, is not an inditement on Pittsburgh's offense. The unit is going to be good and, at a minimum, will be better than last year's group. More time together and figuring out who fits where within the offense is going to go a long way in the offense's overall growth and effectiveness. Pickett's growth, obviously, will also be big as far as how good Pittsburgh's offense is in 2023.
It should also be noted that the offense may possess the team's deepest unit: the offensive line. It's a big, physical group that should be able to tire opposing defenses out late in games. That unit includes newcomer Nate Herbig, a former Eagle and Jet who is embracing his first camp in Latrobe.
"I love this place," Herbig told CBS Sports following practice. "I love the fans. It's super cool to see how much the young kids are into it. It makes me proud to wear the Steelers logo on my chest. I want to wear it humbly and wear it the way it should be represented."