Hornung Award Finalists Peppers and Nkemdiche Help Lead Teams to Special Seasons; Finalists McCaffrey and Jackson Square Off in Pac-12 Championship Game
Louisville, Ky – Friday, December 4, 2015 – The four finalists for the 2015 Paul Hornung Award – Adoree’ Jackson (USC), Christian McCaffrey (Stanford), Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss) and Jabill Peppers (Michigan) – continue to play major roles in their teams’ success.
The Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse, is given to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission.
2015 Hornung Finalists’ Face-off.
For the first time in the six-year history of the Paul Hornung Awardtwo finalists will square off in a conference championship game when Stanford plays USC Saturday for the Pac-12 title. The Cardinal’s Christian McCaffrey and the Trojans’ Adoree’ Jackson very well could come face-to-face on the field. On defense, Jackson plays both corner and safety for USC while McCaffrey is Stanford’s primary running back who lines up at several other positions in the offensive backfield. Both are big play makers returning punts and kickoffs, and Jackson is a proven threat in spot play at running back and receiver. McCaffrey was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and leads the nation with 3,035 all-purpose yards while Jackson is the only player nationally with at least 300 yards receiving, 500 yards in kickoff returns, 200 yards in punt returns and 20 tackles.
2013 and 2014 Hornung Award Finalists to Face-off in the NFL.
On Dec. 20 at MetLife Stadium, 2013 Hornung Award winner from LSU Odell Beckham Jr. and his New York Giants host the Carolina Panthers and rookie outside linebacker Shaq Thompson the 2014 Hornung Award winner from the University of Washington.
Robert Nkimdiche Plays Big in Big Season for Rebels.
The first-ever defensive lineman named a finalist for the Hornung Award, Nkemdiche played a major role disrupting opponents’ backfields from his D-line spots, and made in an impact on offense and special teams as Ole Miss defeated Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State for the first time ever in the same season. Considered a highly sought after NFL draft choice, Nkemdiche played defensive tackle, defensive end, H-back/tight end and served as one of three protectors on all Ole Miss punts. He recorded 29 tackles, three sacks, seven tackles for loss scored three touchdowns on offense and blocked a kick.
Jabrill Peppers Helps Resurrect Wolverines.
For his versatility on defense, offense and special teams, Peppers was called “the Willie Mays of college football” by Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and was a huge part of the Wolverines’ amazing season under the rookie coach. Peppersstarted every game this season at safety, saw playing time at four other defensive positions, returned kicks and punts, and during the second half of the season was used on offense as well. He finished the Wolverines’ 9-3 regular season with 45 tackles and 10 pass breakups, while returning 17 punts for an 11.4 average and eight kickoffs for a 27.9 average, rushed for 72 yards and two touchdowns, and made eight catches for 79 yards.