52 Players from 10 Conferences, plus 3 Independents, Named to 2022 Paul Hornung Award Watch List
Players accounted for more than 25,000 total yards, 240 touchdowns and 326 tackles in 2021
Louisville-based Texas Roadhouse to Sponsor Award for 12th Consecutive Year
Louisville, Ky. — July 28, 2022 — The Louisville Sports Commission today named 52 multi-talented college football players to the 2022 Watch List for the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse.
Now in its 13th season, the Paul Hornung Award is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission in the memory of the late football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2023.
More information about the Award can be found at www.paulhornungaward.com.
Players on the 2022 Watch List represent 52 teams from all 10 football conferences and three independents that are part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The Big Ten leads the conferences with eight players on the Watch List, the Big 12 and the AAC each have seven, the MAC has six, the SEC and the ACC have four, the Pac 12 has three and the Sun Belt has two. Independents Army, Liberty and Notre Dame each have one player on the list.
The Paul Hornung Award has created an impressive legacy in 12 years including seven winners who were first round NFL draft picks – Tavon Austin, Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., Christian McCaffrey, Jabrill Peppers, DeVonta Smith and Shaq Thompson. Houston speedster Marcus Jones won the Award in 2021 as a defensive back who returned kickoffs and punts and saw spot duty on offense. Jones was drafted by the New England Patriots.
In 2021, the 52 players on this season’s Watch List accounted for more than 25,000 total yards in total offense and 215 touchdowns rushing, receiving and 16 returning kickoffs and five punts. On defense, the player combined for 325 tackles, six interceptions and one safety.
“Paul Hornung’s approach to playing football at Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers was to take on any assignment in order to help his team win games,” said Karl Schmitt Jr., president & CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission, owners and operators of the Award. “We created this award as a way to reward college players who selflessly take on the burden of playing multiple positions and excelling at a high level. In addition, we are pleased to introduce new generations of players to the legacy of Hornung, recognized as one of the most versatile players in the history of college and pro football.”
Hornung, who passed away in his hometown at age 84 on Nov. 13, 2020, played every position in the offensive backfield during his career with the Irish in the 1950s and also played defensive safety, punted, placekicked and returned kickoffs. He was named All-America at quarterback as a senior and won the Heisman Trophy in 1956, then was the first player selected in the NFL draft, going to Green Bay. He earned NFL MVP honors for the Packers in 1961 as a triple-threat halfback and placekicker by setting a single-season NFL scoring record that stood for 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 2022 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of statistics, career performance, SID recommendations and expectations heading into the 2022 season. In addition to the Watch List, the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll will recognize players whose performances during the regular season meet the Award’s criteria. Players from both the Watch List and the Weekly Honor Roll are eligible to win the Award.
2022 Watch List Selections
Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh
Devon Achane, Texas A&M
Rasheen Ali, Marshall
Kazmeir Allen, UCLA
Amad Anderson, Temple
Brian Battie, USF
Hassan Beydoun, Eastern Michigan
Tank Bigsby, Auburn
Jermaine Brown Jr., UAB
Jordan Byrd, San Diego State
Shadrick Byrd, Charlotte
Stefan Cobbs, Boise State
Jack Colletto, Oregon State
Ron Cook Jr., Buffalo
Blake Corum, Michigan
Aron Cruickshank, Rutgers
Derius Davis, TCU
Demario Douglas, Liberty
Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
Maquel Haywood, Navy
Jha’Quan Jackson, Tulane
D’Shawn Jamison, Texas
Charlie Jones, Purdue
Malik Knowles, Kansas State
Jaylin Lane, Middle Tennessee
Kenny Logan Jr., Kansas
Jo’Quavious Marks, Mississippi State
Devin Maddox, Toledo
D.J. Matthews Jr., Indiana
Bryan Massey, SMU
Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
Ryan Montgomery, Cincinnati
Taylor Morin, Wake Forest
Ryan O’Keefe, UCF
Trey Palmer, Nebraska
Brennan Presley, Oklahoma State
Myles Price, Texas Tech
Jayden Reed, Michigan State
Nikko Remigio, Fresno State
Brenden Rice, Southern California
Tyrell Robinson, Army
Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois
Will Shipley, Clemson
Tarheeb Still, Maryland
Jaylen Stinson, Duke
Jonathan Sutherland, Penn State
Titus Swen, Wyoming
Milan Tucker, Appalachian State
Sean Tyler, Western Michigan
Chris Tyree, Notre Dame
Jalen Walker, Miami (OH)
Luke Wysong, New Mexico
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. Each week during the regular season, a panel of college football experts selects players for the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll based on performance. A national selection committee comprised of 17 sports journalists and former NFL stars votes for the Hornung Award finalists and the winner, with fan voting powered by Texas Roadhouse comprising the 18th vote. Regional accounting firm Dean Dorton independently tabulates all votes. For more information, visit www.paulhornungaward.com. Fans also can follow online on Twitter (@hornungaward) and Become a Fan on Facebook.
Previous Paul Hornung Award winners by year:
• 2021: Marcus Jones of Houston was a lockdown cornerback with 48 tackles, five interceptions and 13 PBUs. He earned consensus All-American specialist with two touchdowns on punt returns and two on kickoff returns and saw spot duty on offense at wide receiver.
• 2020: DeVonta Smith of Alabama topped the nation in receiving yards and yards after catch, and averaged 24 yards per punt return leading the Crimson Tide to the national championship. He scored touchdowns rushing, receiving and returning punts and was a gunner on punt coverage.
• 2019: Lynn Bowden Jr. of Kentucky made the move from all-purpose receiver/wildcat quarterback/return specialist to quarterback in mid-season and led the Wildcats to a 5-2 record and Belk Bowl win over Virginia Tech.
• 2018: Rondale Moore of Purdue was a dynamic All-American freshman sensation who broke the school record for all-purpose yards in a season and a game with 2,215 and 313, respectively.
• 2017: Saquon Barkley of Penn State was an electrifying All-American running back who lined up at slot and wildcat quarterback, and returned kicks and punts;
• 2016: Jabrill Peppers of Michigan played 15 different positions on defense, offense and special teams, and earned first team All-America at linebacker;
• 2015: Christian McCaffrey of Stanford was a workhorse on offense and special teams who broke the NCAA record for all-purpose yards, finishing with 3,864;
• 2014: Shaq Thompson of Washington was a two-way player, earning first team All-American honors at linebacker and finished as the Husky’s second-leading rusher at tailback;
• 2013: Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU finished 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 earned All-American by scoring 17 touchdowns receiving, rushing, returning kicks and punts; and amassing 2,272 all-purpose yards, including 572 yards versus Oklahoma.
• 2011: Brandon Boykin of Georgia was a lockdown cornerback on defense; scored three touchdowns playing quarterback, running back and slot on offense; and led the SEC in punt and kick returns.
• 2010: Owen Marecic of Stanford was a two-way starter who averaged 110 snaps per game and earned first team All Pac-10 at fullback and honorable mention at linebacker.
Below are past winners and finalists who currently are playing in the NFL:
• Ameer Abdullah RB; Nebraska / Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders
• Tavon Austin RB; West Virginia / St. Louis, Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills
• Saquon Barkley RB; Penn State / New York Giants
• Odell Beckham Jr WR; LSU / New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams
• Lynn Bowden, Jr. WR; Kentucky / Miami Dolphins
• Randall Cobb WR; Kentucky / Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans
• D’Wayne Eskridge WR; North Carolina / Seattle Seahawks
• Travis Etienne RB; Clemson / Jacksonville Jaguars
• Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB; LSU / Kansas City Chiefs
• KJ Hamler WR; Penn State / Denver Broncos
• N’Keal Harry WR; Arizona State / New England Patriots, Chicago Bears
• Nyheim Hines RB; NC State / Indianapolis Colts
• Myles Jack LB; UCLA / Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers
• Adoree’ Jackson CB; USC / Tennessee Titans, New York Giants
• Marqise Lee WR; USC / Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots
• Christian McCaffrey RB; Stanford / Carolina Panthers
• Ty Montgomery RB; Stanford / Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots
• Robert Nkemdiche DL; Ole Miss / Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers
• Jabrill Peppers DB; Michigan / Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, New England Patriots
• Dante Pettis WR; Washington / San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears
• Joe Reed WR; Virginia / Los Angeles Chargers
• DeVonta Smith WR; Alabama / Philadelphia Eagles
• Shaq Thompson LB; Washington / Carolina Panthers
• Kadarius Toney WR; Florida / New York Giants
• Dede Westbrook WR; Oklahoma / Jacksonville Jaguars
Texas Roadhouse signed on as presenting sponsor of the Paul Hornung Award in 2011 and will partner 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.