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43 Players Named to 2018 Paul Hornung Award Watch List

Players accounted for more than 47,000 all-purpose yards, 294 tackles and 229 TDs in 2017

Louisville-based Texas Roadhouse to Sponsor Award for Eighth Year

 

Louisville, Ky. – July 26, 2018 – The Louisville Sports Commission today named 43 multi-talented college football players to the 2018 Watch List for the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse.

 

The Paul Hornung Award, now in its ninth season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner presented by Jewish Hospital Sports Medicine, to be held at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2019. This will be The Paul Hornung Award’s third year as an associate member of the National College Football Awards Association.

 

The Paul Hornung Award has an impressive legacy. Saquon Barkley, the 2017 Paul Hornung Award winner, was the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft; the three 2017 finalists also are currently on NFL rosters. The six most-recent winners, including Barkley, were NFL first round draft picks in their respective years.

 

“Due to the leadership and hard work of the Louisville Sports Commission, the award created in my name has come a long way in a short time,” said Paul Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner who played every position in the offensive backfield during his Notre Dame career and was a triple threat halfback and placekicker for the title town Green Bay Packers of the early 1960s. “We’ve selected outstanding college players, many who have gone on to do extremely well in the NFL. I’m pleased that we are able to acknowledge outstanding players who contribute any way possible to help their teams win, the same way I did.”

 

Hornung, who maintains an office in downtown Louisville, earned NFL MVP honors for the Packers in 1961 by setting a single-season NFL scoring record that stood 46 years. He is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and Vince Lombardi once called him, “The most versatile man ever to play the game.”

 

The 2018 Watch List is comprised of 14 seniors, 19 juniors and 10 sophomores who play a total of 10 different positions. They represent 43 universities in 27 states coast-to-coast across the 10 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), as well as three independent schools. The ACC leads the conferences with six players, followed by the Big Ten and the SEC with five players each.

 

Players on this year’s Watch List accounted for 11,109 rushing yards, 14,601 receiving yards, 19,281 kickoff return yards, 2,861 punt return yards and 294 total tackles in 2017. Reminiscent of Hornung during his playing days, members of the Watch List demonstrated a knack for scoring numerous ways. Last season the Watch List players combined for 229 total touchdowns in six different ways – rushing; receiving; passing; and returning punts, kickoffs and interceptions.

 

The 2018 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2017 statistics, career performance, SID recommendations, and expectations heading into the 2018 season. Information about the Award can be found at www.paulhornungaward.com. Players will be added to the Watch List during the 2018 regular season based on performance.

 

2018 Watch List Selections

 

Lynn Bowden, Jr. , Kentucky

Tony Brooks-James, Oregon

Brittain Brown, Duke

Shun Brown, Arizona

Parris Campbell, Ohio State

Andrew Clair, Bowling Green

Ashtyn Davis, Cal

Keion Davis, Marshall

Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Greg Dortch, Wake Forest

Malik Dunner, Ball State

Kaden Elliss, Idaho

Marcus Green, Louisiana-Monroe

Mecole Hardman, Georgia

Isaiah Harper, Old Dominion

N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

Darnay Holmes, UCLA

Jason Huntley, New Mexico State

Andy Isabella, UMass

Ty Johnson, Maryland

Diontae Johnson, Toledo

Marcus Jones, Troy

Austin Kafentzis, BYU

McLane Mannix, Nevada

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan

Malcolm Perry, Navy

Tony Pollard, Memphis

Anthony Ratliff-Williams, UNC

Joe Reed, Virginia

Sean Riley, Syracuse

Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

Marcus Simms, West Virginia

Kelvin Smith, North Texas

Rodney Smith, Minnesota

JD Spielman, Nebraska

Deddrick Thomas, Mississippi State

KaVontae Turpin, TCU

Kell Walker, Army

Michael Walker, Boston College

Juwan Washington, San Diego State

Braeden West, SMU

Avery Williams, Boise State

Isaiah Wright, Temple

 

The Louisville Sports Commission successfully launched the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 to honor its namesake and native son, and to promote outstanding performances by versatile college football players who often go unnoticed. Each week during the season, a panel of college football experts selects players for the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll based on performance. A national selection committee comprised of 17 sports journalists and former NFL stars votes for the Hornung Award finalists and the winner, with fan voting powered by Texas Roadhouse comprising the 18th vote. Regional accounting firm Dean Dorton independently tabulates all votes. For more information, visit www.paulhornungaward.com. Fans can also follow online on Twitter (@hornungaward) and Become a Fan on Facebook.

 

Previous Paul Hornung Award winners by year:

  • 2017: Saquon Barkley of Penn State won the award as an electrifying All-American running back who lined up at slot and wildcat quarterback, and returned kicks and punts;
  • 2016: Jabrill Peppers of Michigan won the award by playing 15 different positions on defense, offense and special teams, and earning first team All-America at linebacker;
  • 2015: Christian McCaffrey of Stanford won the award after breaking the NCAA record for all-purpose yards, finishing with 3,864;
  • 2014: Shaq Thompson of Washington won the award as a two-way player, earning first team All-American honors at linebacker and finishing as the Husky’s second-leading rusher at tailback;
  • 2013: Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU won the award after finishing the season ranked second in the nation and first in the Southeastern Conference with 2,222 all-purpose yards and 185.2 average yards per game;
  • 2012: Tavon Austin of West Virginia won the award as one of two players in the nation with more than 500 yards in three different categories (rushing, receiving and kick returns);
  • 2011: Brandon Boykin of Georgia won the award after excelling on defense, offense and special teams; and
  • 2010: Owen Marecic of Stanford won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award as a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker.

Below are past winners and finalists who have made their mark in the NFL:

  • Ameer Abdullah* RB; Nebraska / Detroit Lions
  • Joe Adams WR; Arkansas / Carolina Panthers
  • Antonio Andrews WR; Western Kentucky / Tennessee Titans
  • Dri Archer RB; Kent State / Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tavon Austin* RB; West Virginia / St. Louis, Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys
  • Saquon Barkley* RB; Penn State / New York Giants
  • Odell Beckham Jr* WR; LSU / New York Giants
  • Brandon Boykin CB; Georgia / Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens
  • Randall Cobb* WR; Kentucky / Green Bay Packers
  • Marion Grice RB; Arizona State / Arizona Cardinals
  • Nyheim Hines* RB; NC State / Indianapolis Colts
  • Myles Jack* LB; UCLA / Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Adoree’ Jackson* CB; USC / Tennessee Titans
  • LaMichael James RB; Oregon / Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills
  • Jeremy Kerley* WR; TCU / San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets
  • Joel Lanning* LB; Iowa State / Dallas Cowboys
  • Marqise Lee* WR; USC / Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Johnny Manziel QB; Texas A&M / Cleveland Browns
  • Owen Marecic DB; Stanford / Cleveland Browns
  • Christian McCaffrey* RB; Stanford / Carolina Panthers
  • Ty Montgomery* RB; Stanford / Green Bay Packers
  • Marcus Murphy RB; Missouri / New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills
  • Robert Nkemdiche* DL; Ole Miss / Arizona Cardinals
  • Jabrill Peppers* DB; Michigan / Cleveland Browns
  • Dante Pettis* WR; Washington / San Francisco 49ers
  • Shaq Thompson* LB; Washington / Carolina Panthers
  • Dede Westbrook* WR; Oklahoma / Jacksonville Jaguars

*Currently active in NFL

 

Texas Roadhouse signed on as presenting sponsor of the Paul Hornung Award in 2011 and will team with the Louisville Sports Commission to power fan voting again this season. College football fans nationwide will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite player during the regular season and again during the bowl season. Fan voting will open in late September and factor into the selection of the finalists and winner.

 

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Texas Roadhouse

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Texas Roadhouse opened its doors in 1993 and has more than 525 locations in 49 states and seven countries. The family-friendly restaurant is famous for hand-cut steaks, made-from-scratch sides, fresh-baked bread, and a lively atmosphere. Texas Roadhouse was consecutively voted #1 Steak by Nation’s Restaurant News Consumer Picks Survey in 2015 and 2016. Restaurant Business named Texas Roadhouse the #1 Full-Service Chain in Sales and Satisfaction in 2016 and most recently, the company was recognized as one of America’s Best Large Employers by Forbes. For more information, visit www.texasroadhouse.com.

 

Jewish Hospital

Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, is an internationally renowned, high-tech tertiary referral center, developing leading-edge advancements in hand and microsurgery, heart and lung care, orthopedics and sports medicine, neuroscience, organ transplantation and outpatient care. The hospital is the site of the world’s first successful hand transplant and AbioCor® implantable replacement heart procedures, in addition to the first trial of adult cardiac stem cells in chronic heart failure. Jewish Hospital continues to be recognized for its specialized heart care procedures, including the implantation of ventricular assist devices (VAD), and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). The Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center is in a select group of hospitals nationwide that perform heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation. The center also includes a Pancreas Disease Center, a GI Motility Clinic, and Advanced Heart Failure and Ventricular Assist Device programs. Jewish Hospital services may also be accessed throughout the community at multiple freestanding outpatient/ambulatory/emergency care centers, as well as through the Healthy Lifestyle Center located on the downtown medical campus.

 

Louisville Sports Commission

The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) is a Louisville, Kentucky-based 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to create a legacy of economic and social vitality through sports. The LSC attracts and hosts sporting events and activities that have a positive economic impact on Louisville, enhance the area’s image as a premier sports destination, promote active lifestyles and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages, and connect local businesses with student-athletes for future job opportunities. More information is available online at www.louisvillesports.org and www.facebook.com/louisvillesportscommission.

 

National College Football Awards Association

The Paul Hornung Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more.