43 Players Named to 2016 Paul Hornung Award Watch List
Players accounted for 46,000 all-purpose yards, 552 tackles and 216 TDs in 2015
Louisville, KY. — Friday, July 15, 2016 — The Louisville Sports Commission today named 43 multi-talented college football players to the 2016 Watch List for the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse.
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its seventh 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 Banquet presented by KentuckyOne Health, to be held at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in February 2017. The Paul Hornung Award recently was named an associate member of the prestigious National College Football Awards Association.
The 2016 Paul Hornung Award Watch List contains three of the four 2015 Paul Hornung Award finalists: Adoree’ Jackson from Southern California, Jabrill Peppers from Michigan and Christian McCaffrey from Stanford University. McCaffrey won the Paul Hornung Award in 2015 after amassing 3,496 all-purpose yards, breaking Barry Sanders’ record of 3,520 set in 1988. The Watch List also includes 16 of the top-100 all-purpose players from 2015 according to yards-per-game average from ncaa.com.
The 2016 Watch List is comprised of 21 seniors, 13 juniors and nine sophomores who start at a total of seven different positions, and represent 42 universities and all 10 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The Pac-12 leads the conferences with eight players followed by the ACC and SEC with seven players and the Big Ten with six players.
Players on this year’s Watch List accounted for 9,257 rushing yards, 15,787 receiving yards, 17,332 kickoff return yards, 3,676 punt return yards and 552 total tackles in 2015. 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 216 total touchdowns in seven different ways – passing, rushing, receiving, punt return, kickoff return, interception and fumble recovery/fumble return.
“I’m ecstatic that the Paul Hornung Award has gained national prominence in such 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 for the title town Green Bay Packers of the early 1960s. “During the past six years the quality of our winners, finalists and weekly honorees has been impressive, and I’m pleased that we are able to acknowledge outstanding players who contribute any way possible to help their teams win the way I did.”
“I enjoy following the players on our Watch List and watching many of our winners and finalists from the first six years as they make their marks in the NFL,” continued Hornung who maintains an office in downtown Louisville. Hornung won the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback and earned NFL MVP honors for the Green Bay Packers in 1961, setting a single-season NFL scoring record rushing, receiving, passing and kicking 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 2016 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2015 statistics, career performance, SID recommendations and expectations heading into the 2016 season. Profiles of each player and information about the Award can be found at www.paulhornungaward.com. Players will be added to the Watch List during the 2016 regular season based on performance.
2016 Watch List Selections
Ishmael Adams, UCLA
Victor Bolden Jr., Oregon State
Antonio Callaway, Florida
Seth Collins, Oregon State
Jared Cornelius, Arkansas
Tim Crawley, San Jose State
DeVon Edwards, Duke
Brisly Estime, Syracuse
Johnathan Ford, Auburn
Janarion Grant, Rutgers
Nyheim Hines, NC State
Brandon Holloway, Mississippi State
Adoree’ Jackson, USC
D’Ernest Johnson, South Florida
Quay Johnson, East Carolina
Xavier Johnson, South Alabama
Corey Jones, Toledo
Desmond King, Iowa
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
Donovan Lee, Colorado
William Likely, Maryland
Jalen McCleskey, Oklahoma State
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Elijah McGuire, Louisiana Lafayette
Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia
Charles Nelson, Oregon
Zach Pascal, Old Dominion
Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
Darius Phillips, Western Michigan
Trevor Ryen, Iowa State
Artavis Scott, Clemson
R.J. Shelton, Michigan State
Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
Ryan Switzer, North Carolina
Jahad Thomas, Temple
Aregeros Turner, Northern Illinois
KaVontae Turpin, TCU
Tim White, Arizona State
Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh
Brandon Wilson, Houston
Dontre Wilson, Ohio State
Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia
A panel of college football experts selects players for the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll based on performance each week during the season. A national selection committee comprised of 16 sports journalists and former NFL stars votes for the Hornung Award finalists and the winner, with fan voting powered by Texas Roadhouse comprising the 17th vote. Regional accounting firm Dean Dorton independently tabulates all votes. The winner is honored at a banquet presented by KentuckyOne Health in late February in downtown Louisville. For more information, visit www.paulhornungaward.com. Fans can also follow online on Twitter (@hornungaward) and Become a Fan on Facebook.
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. Owen Marecic of Stanford, a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker, won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award in 2010; Brandon Boykin of Georgia won the award in 2011 after excelling on defense, offense and special teams; Tavon Austin of West Virginia won the award in 2012 as one of two players in the nation with more than 500 yards in three different categories (rushing, receiving and kick returns); Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU won the award in 2013 after finishing the season ranked second in the nation and first in the SEC with 2,222 all-purpose yards and 185.2 average yards per game; Shaq Thompson of Washington won the award in 2014 as a two-way player, earning first team All-America honors at linebacker and finishing as the Husky’s second-leading rusher at tailback; and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford won in 2015 after amassing 3,496 all-purpose yards with 1,847 rushing, 540 receiving and 1,109 return, breaking Barry Sanders record of 3,250 set in 1988.
Past winners and finalists who have made their mark in the NFL or are beginning their careers in 2016 include: Austin (Los Angeles), Beckham Jr. (New York Giants), Thompson (Carolina), Kentucky’s Randall Cobb (Green Bay), TCU’s Jeremy Kerley (Detroit), Kent State’s Dri Archer (Buffalo), Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah (Detroit), Stanford’s Ty Montgomery (Green Bay) and Missouri’s Marcus Murphy (New Orleans), Ole Miss’ Robert Nkemdiche (Arizona).
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.