2013 WINNER – ODELL BECKHAM, JR. (LSU)
Odell Beckham Jr.
LSU junior Odell Beckham Jr., a gifted athlete who plays wide receiver, runs the ball and returns kick and punts, was named winner of the 2013 Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse. This marks the fourth edition of the Paul Hornung Award, presented annually to the most versatile player in major college football.
“Odell Beckham Jr. brings the entire package as a versatile football player,” said Gil Brandt, longtime NFL scouting guru and Paul Hornung Award Selection Committee member. “In my opinion, Beckham is the best college receiver in the country, and the best kick and punt returner in the country. He’s a devastating blocker and has the speed and size to make outstanding plays in tough situations, which he demonstrated on a consistent basis in the big games in the toughest league in the country. He’s also a quality individual with a terrific attitude and work ethic.”
“It’s just an honor and a blessing to even be mentioned with the other guys who were up for the Hornung Award,” Beckham said. “I am proud to accept the award and thank the committee for recognizing me. It means a lot to me personally because I have worked extremely hard, long before this season started. I had great teammates help me along the way, especially on kickoff and punt returns. None of the opportunities to display my versatility would have been possible if it weren’t for my teammates and coaches who put me in a position to succeed.”
In perhaps the most impressive measure of his versatility and team spirit, Beckham played the role of Johnny Manziel on the scout team offense during LSU’s preparation for Texas A&M during an open week in the season. The Tiger defense held Manziel to less than 300 yards total offense and picked off two of his passes, by far his worst performance of the season, as LSU beat the Aggies 34-10.
“I love the way Odell Beckham plays the game,” Paul Hornung said. “He can run, catch, block and return kicks, and plays with great determination. And he has my admiration for lining up on the scout team during the season to help his defense get better. That’s how I played the game – doing anything I could to help my team win.”
“I am excited for Odell to win this outstanding award,” said LSU Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron. “He’s a tremendous representative of LSU and our football program, and we are thrilled to have him as a big part of our offense and returns teams. I have never been around a more versatile player, so this award is very fitting.”
Beckham was chosen as the Paul Hornung Award winner from among five finalists by a 16-member national Selection Committee comprised of sports journalists and retired NFL players and secured an additional first place vote from online fan voting. On Nov. 21, Beckham, Antonio Andrews (Western Kentucky), Marion Grice (Arizona State), Myles Jack (UCLA) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) were named as Paul Hornung Award finalists.
Beckham By The Numbers
Beckham excelled throughout 2013 as one of college football’s most prolific all-purpose offensive and special teams players, ranking second in the nation and first in the Southeastern Conference with 2,222 all-purpose yards and 185.2 average yards per game. He was named first-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches as an all-purpose player.
During the 2013 regular season, Beckham caught 57 passes for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns, returned 30 kicks for 806 yards, returned 14 punts for 141 yards and carried the ball five times for 58 yards. He was fourth in the SEC in punt return average, fifth in receptions per game, fourth in receiving yards per game, and third in kick return average.
In addition to his consistent play against SEC opponents, Beckham’s versatility was on full display in the first two games of the season against non-conference opponents where he amassed 603 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns. In the season opener, he led LSU to a 37-27 win over TCU in AT&T Stadium in Dallas with 272 all-purpose yards. Beckham carried the ball twice for 18 yards, caught five passes for 118 yards, and returned four kickoffs for 136 yards, averaging an astounding 34 yards per kickoff return.
On Sept. 7 versus UAB, he recorded a season-high 331 all-purpose yards. He returned a missed field goal for a touchdown from nine yards deep in the end zone, caught five passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns, returned three punts and a kickoff for a combined 80 yards, and carried the ball one time for 15 yards.
Beckham’s 2,222 total all-purpose yards ranks third on the SEC’s single-season list behind Randall Cobb (2,396 yards, Kentucky, 2010) and Darren McFadden (2,310 yards, Arkansas, 2007) and is an LSU single-season record. Under the direction of head coach Les Miles, LSU finished the regular season 9-3 and 5-3 in the SEC, third in the SEC West. The regular season included a 14-point win over No. 2 Auburn and a blowout win over Texas A&M.
Odell Beckham Jr. was selected by the New York Giants as the 12th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. In his first season with the Giants, despite missing the first four games with an injury, Beckham broke many Giants franchise records, including: Most receiving yards in a season, rookie (1,305), Most receptions in a season, rookie (91), Most receptions in a game, rookie (12), Most all-purpose yards by a WR, rookie (1,326), and Highest average receiving yards per game (108.8). He also broke several NFL-wide records, including being the only player in NFL history to play in 12 or fewer games in a season and still have over 1,300 receiving yards for that season and being the youngest player in NFL history to have multiple games in a season with over 10 receptions.
Click here to view the 2014 Paul Hornung Award Banquet program.
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Five elite players were named finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse and given annually to the most versatile player in major college football. Running backs/return specialists Marion Grice (Arizona State University) and Antonio Andrews (Western Kentucky University), wide receiver/return specialist Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU), quarterback Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) and linebacker/running back Myles Jack (UCLA) were selected as finalists for the award by a vote of 16 Selection Committee Members. Online fan voting counted for a 17th vote.
The five finalists combined for 10,101 all-purpose/passing yards and 84 touchdowns during the 2013 season and led their teams to a collective record of 37-13. Four of their teams were ranked in the BCS and AP Top 25: Texas A&M (number 12/9), UCLA (number 14/14), Arizona State (number 17/19) and LSU (number 22/18).
For the second consecutive season, Western Kentucky senior running back and all-purpose specialist Antonio Andrews earned a spot as a Paul Hornung Award finalist. Andrews is among the most prolific, multi-purpose players in college football, and currently is the FBS all-purpose leader with 2,192 yards, an average of 219.2 yards per game. Andrews has been used as WKU’s primary ball carrier, kick and punt returner, and has been a key part of the WKU receiving game this season. He maintained a 23-game streak with 100 or more all-purpose yards, nine games longer than any other player in the nation. Andrews compiled 5,343 all-purpose yards during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, ranking him fourth on the NCAA’s all-time list for all-purpose yards in a two-year span, and his 6,372 career all-purpose yards ranks 30th all-time in NCAA history. In 2013, Andrews had a season-high five scores and 291 all-purpose yards leading the Hilltoppers to a 58-17 victory over Morgan State. Andrews helped WKU (6-4) become bowl eligible for the third straight season following a 21-17 win over Army in West Point. The Hilltoppers also posted wins over FBS non-conference foes Kentucky (35-26 on Aug. 31) and Navy (19-7 on Sept. 28), putting themselves in position to earn their second straight bowl appearance in just the fifth year of bowl eligibility for WKU since making the transition to the FBS.
A four-time 2013 Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll Selection, Arizona State running back and kick return specialist Marion Grice piled up 1,673 all-purpose yards, recording 173 carries for 901 yards and 14 touchdowns, 43 receptions for 366 yards and six touchdowns, and 17 kick returns for 406 yards. He averaged 167.3 all-purpose yards per game for the 2013 season and is second in the nation in scoring with 120 points. Grice is second in the nation with 20 touchdowns and became the third Sun Devil in school history and just the 15th Pac-10/12 player in the past 36 seasons to score that many touchdowns. In ASU’s 32-30 upset win over Wisconsin at Sun Devil Stadium in week three of the season, Grice accounted for 198 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns: rushed 22 times for 84 yards, including a long run of 18 yards; caught five passes for 50 yards, including a long reception of 20 yards; added three kickoff returns for 64 yards, including a long of 23 yards. Grice added four touchdowns in the Sun Devils’ 62-41 early-season win over USC. His 20 touchdowns are within striking distance of the ASU single-season touchdown record of 22 held by legendary Wilford “Whizzer” White. Grice suffered a lower leg injury in the win over UCLA and did not play the final three games of the year.
UCLA linebacker and running back Myles Jack, a true freshman who established himself as a rock solid defender through the Bruin’s first eight games in 2013, sent notice that he would be a force on offense in just two games. Jack rushed for 120 yards on his first six carries, including a 66-yard touchdown run to help the injury-depleted Bruins beat Arizona 31-26 on Nov. 9. On defense, Jack had eight tackles, one tackle for a loss of 2 yards, two pass break-ups and recovered a fumble in the UCLA end zone as the Bruins won in Tucson for the first time since 2003. The following week, Jack started on offense and scored four rushing touchdowns – the most in a game for a Bruin freshman – as UCLA stayed in control of its destiny in the Pac-12 South race with a 41-31 victory over Washington. Jack also had five tackles and one pass break-up in stellar duty for the defense against the Huskies. Earlier in the 2013 season his interception with 16 seconds left sealed UCLA’s 34-27 road win over Utah. Jack turned in a rock-solid defensive performance in the Bruins’ 42-14 Sun Bowl win over Virginia Tech, including a 24-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Through 10 games as a third-year sophomore, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel entered the discussion as the national’s most versatile player by racking up huge yardage and touchdowns, playing big in the big games and leading the Aggies to immediate respect in the toughest of all conferences, the SEC. Manziel finished the 2013 regular season as the SEC leader in total offense per game (368.2), total yards (4,418), touchdowns (41), passing yards per game (311.0), completion percentage (69.1), total passing yards (3,732), completions (270) and passing TDs (33). Manziel lived up to expectations against Alabama by accumulating 562 total yards of offense in a 49-42 losing effort at home to the two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide. Manziel and wide receiver Mike Evans connected three times for long passes on A&M’s first two drives, setting up two short touchdowns that put the Aggies up 14-0 halfway through the first quarter. Manziel went 28-for-39 passing and racked up 464 yards through the air for five touchdowns. He also carried the ball 14 times for 98 yards. In the 2013 season Manziel threw for 400+ yards in four games, 300+ yards in two games, rushed for 100+ yards twice and accounted for four touchdowns or more in six games, generated 300+ yards in every game he started and rushed or passed for at least two touchdowns in every game. In the postseason, Manziel lit up the scoreboard and his teammates in an emotional, come-from-behind Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Duke. “Johnny Football” completed 30-38 passes for 38 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 79 yards and a touchdown as the Aggies overcame a 38-17 halftime deficit to win 52-48.