Four Offensive Players / Returns Specialists Named 2019 Paul Hornung Award Finalists
Louisville, Ky. – November 14, 2019 – Three wide receiver / return specialists, including one who is subbing fulltime at quarterback, and a workhorse running back / kick returner have been named 2019 Paul Hornung Award Finalists. The 10th annual Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission to the most versatile player in major college football. Chosen as finalists by a 17-member Selection Committee are: Lynn Bowden Jr. (Kentucky), Clyde Edwards-Helaire, (LSU); Joe Reed (Virginia) and Wan’Dale Robinson (Nebraska).
The Paul Hornung Award finalists represent the SEC, ACC and Big 10 and have combined for 5,056 total yards and 30 touchdowns receiving, rushing, passing and returning kicks.
The announcement was made today by the Louisville Sports Commission, owners and operators of the Award, along with football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The 17-person Paul Hornung Award National Selection Committee chose the finalists, with fans generating the 18th vote online. The 2019 Paul Hornung Award winner will be chosen from among the finalists and announced Wed., Dec. 11, 2019.
Fan voting for the winner, powered by Texas Roadhouse, opens today and continues through Dec. 8, 2019, at www.paulhornungaward.com and will again count as the 18th vote. Fans can vote once every 24 hours for their favorite among the four finalists.
“These guys are tough and are willing to do whatever it takes to help their teams win football games,” Hornung said. “That’s the way I played the game.”
Nicknamed The Golden Boy, Hornung was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Notre Dame in 1956 and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player with the Green Bay Packers whose versatility earned him enshrinement in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. At Notre Dame, Hornung played every position in the offensive backfield, handled punting and placekicking duties, returned kickoffs, and started at safety on defense. He set an NFL single-season scoring record for the champion Green Bay Packers in 1961 that stood for 46 years.
Paul Hornung award finalists will be on display the remainder of the season as Lynn Bowden and UK face Vanderbilt, UT-Martin and in-state rival Louisville; Clyde Edwards-Helaire and LSU face Ole Miss, Arkansas and Texas A & M; Joe Reed and UVA face Liberty and Virginia Tech; and Wan’Dale Robinson and Nebraska face Wisconsin, Maryland and Iowa.
Lynn Bowden, Jr., Wide Receiver / Return Specialist / Quarterback
Junior, 6-1, 190 lbs.
Kentucky Wildcats (4-5, 2-5 conference)
Lynn Bowden Jr. spent the first half of the year as a receiver returning kicks and punts and has filled in at quarterback, leading the Wildcats to a 2-2 record. He has recorded 1,563 total yards, averaging seven yards per carry, 11 yards per reception, 12 yards per punt return and 25 yards per kickoff return. Bowden scored two touchdowns rushing and one passing against Arkansas and two rushing against Missouri. He made the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll following victories over Eastern Michigan, Arkansas and Missouri.
Total Yards: 1,563
Rushing: 749 yards, 4 TDs
Receiving: 348 yards, 1 TD
Punt Return: 53 yards
Kick Return: 200 yards
Passing: 213 yards, 1 TD
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Running Back / Kickoff Returns
Junior, 5-8, 209 lbs.
LSU Tigers (9-0, 5-0 conference)
With 1,209 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns rushing, receiving and returning kicks, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has a knack for making big plays in big games. He earned the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll by racking up 199 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner, as the Tigers beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He rushed for 133 yards against Auburn, including four consecutive carries for 45 yards and the game-winning score. Edwards-Helaire has returned nine kickoffs for 199 yards. He made the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll following a win over Alabama.
All-purpose yards: 1,209
Rushing: 786 yards, 11 TDs
Receiving: 202 yards, 1 TD
Kick Return: 199 yards
Joe Reed, Wide Receiver / Kick Returner
Senior, 6-1, 215 lbs.
Virginia Cavaliers (7-3, 5-2 conference)
Joe Reed has 1,269 all-purpose yards receiving, returning kicks and rushing. He is second in the nation with 35.4 yards per kickoff return and is the only player in the nation with 500+ kick return yards and 500+ receiving yards. Reed has caught five touchdown passes on the season and returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score against William & Mary and 95 yards for a score against Duke. He scored the game-tying touchdown against FSU. He made the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll following wins over FSU and Duke.
All Purpose Yards: 1,301
Rushing: 28 yards
Receiving: 530 yards, 5 TDs
Kick Return: 743 yards, 2 TDs
Wan’Dale Robinson, Receiver / Running Back / Kick Returner
Freshman, 5-10, 190 lbs.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-5, 2-4 conference)
True freshman Wan’Dale Robinson has been an impact player for the Cornhuskers with 1,015 all-purpose yards rushing, receiving and returning kicks, second nationally among freshmen. He scored five times on the season, including three scores in Nebraska’s road win over Illinois and the game-winner against Northwestern. He averaged 11 yards per reception and 22 yards per return. He made the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll following wins over Illinois and Northwestern.
All Purpose Yards: 1,015
Rushing: 326 yards, 3 TDs
Receiving: 453 yards, 2 TDs
Kick Return: 236 yards
All votes for the Paul Hornung Award are independently tabulated by regional accounting firm Dean Dorton, one of the largest accounting and financial advisory firms in Kentucky, with offices in Louisville and Lexington. The winner and his family will be honored on March 4, 2020, at the annual Paul Hornung Award Banquet at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. For banquet tickets, contact Julie Howell at 502-587-6742 or JHowell@Louisvillesports.org.
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.
Previous Paul Hornung Award winners by year:
• 2018: Rondale Moore of Purdue won the award as a dynamic All-American freshman sensation who broke a school record for all-purpose yards in a season and a game with 2,215 and 313 respectively.
• 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.
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. For more information and to vote, go to www.louisvillesports.org/paul-hornung/award-poll/