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Hornung Award Winners Shaq Thompson and Odell Beckham Jr. Faceoff in NFL

Panthers look to continue undefeated season and Giants to stay in contention for NFC East title

Louisville, Ky. – Thursday, December 17, 2015 – The two most recent winners of the Paul Hornung Award – Carolina Panther linebacker Shaq Thompson and New York Giant wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. – will lineup across from each other for the first time in their NFL careers this Sunday at 1p.m. EST on FOX at Metlife Stadium. The Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission. Thompson won the Award 2014 and Beckham in 2013.

Thompson, in his rookie season with the Carolina Panthers, has played in 11 games and recorded 32 tackles, one sack and one pass deflection. The Panthers currently are 13-0 and champions of the NFC South for the third consecutive year. As a junior at the University of Washington, Thompson won the Paul Hornung Award as a two-way player, earning first team All-America honors at linebacker and finishing as the Husky’s second-leading rusher at tailback. He scored six touchdowns during his final season at UW – four on defense and two on offense.

Beckham Jr. continues to be one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL in only his second season in the league. Beckham Jr. has started all 13 games this season and amassed 85 receptions for 1,320 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Giants have a 6-7 overall record and are in three-way tie for the division lead with the Redskins and Eagles. Beckham Jr., a former LSU Tiger, won the Paul Hornung Award after finishing the 2013 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. He made numerous circus catches for the Tigers and was tabbed at the time as, “The best receiver to come out of college in a decade,” by NFL.com scouting guru Gil Brandt.

Stanford University sophomore Christian McCaffrey, a workhorse running back and kick return specialist who also lined up at blocking back, slot, quarterback and wide receiver on his way to the NCAA season-record for all-purpose yards, last week was named winner of the sixth annual Paul Hornung Award. McCaffrey was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, MVP in the conference championship game, CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America, finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, and was a finalist for the Doak Walker, Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards.

McCaffrey’s father, Ed, was an all pro receiver who earned two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos and one with the San Francisco 49ers. Christian McCafffrey and his family will be honored on Feb. 25, 2016, at the annual Paul Hornung Award Banquet presented by KentuckyOne Health at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. For more information on tickets to the banquet call Julie Howell at 502 587-6742 or email Julie at jhowell@louisvillesports.org