The Paul Hornung Award

WEEK 9: Six Players from Power Five Make Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll

Versatile Group Scores 10 TDs Rushing, Receiving, Passing, Returning Punts

Louisville, Ky. – October 29, 2018 – Six offensive players / return specialists who combined for nearly 1,400 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns four different ways made the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for week nine of the college football season. Honorees are Britain Covey, Utah; N’Keal Harry, Arizona State; Deon Jackson, Duke; J.J. Taylor, Arizona; Tyler Vaughns, Southern Cal.; and Pooka Williams Jr., Kansas.

The Paul Hornung Award, now in its ninth 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 dinner presented by Jewish Hospital Sports Medicine, to be held at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2019. This will be the Paul Hornung Award’s third year as an associate member of the National College Football Awards Association.

Utah sophomore wide receiver / return specialist Britain Covey touched the ball rushing, receiving, passing and returning punts as the Utes beat UCLA 42-10 on the road. Covey caught a 17-yard pass, then threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to give Utah a 10-7 lead. His 36-yard punt return just before halftime set up what proved to be the winning score. Covey finished the game with 132 all-purpose yards.

Arizona State junior wide receiver / return specialist N’Keal Harry touched the ball three different ways for 203 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns as the Sun Devils beat USC 38-35 in the LA Memorial Coliseum. Harry scored on a 44-yard reception in the first quarter; he then had a spectacular 92-yard punt return late in the third quarter to put ASU ahead to stay. He carried the ball twice, had four catches and four punt returns.

Duke sophomore running back / return specialist Deon Jackson touched the ball 19 times, scored a touchdown and set a school record with 404 all-purpose yards in the Blue Devils’ 54-45 road loss to Pitt. Jackson recorded an astounding 22 yards per touch on 10 carries for 162 yards, four receptions for 89 yards and a score, and six kickoff returns for 162 yards.

Arizona redshirt freshman running back / return specialist J.J. Taylor touched the ball 34 times and scored twice as the Wildcats’ rolled over Oregon 44-15 in Tucson. A workhorse in the backfield, Taylor carried the ball 30 times for 212 yards (seven yards per carry) and two touchdowns, caught two passes and returned two kickoffs. He accounted for 10 first downs rushing and receiving.

USC sophomore wide receiver Tyler Vaughns accounted for touchdowns three different ways in the Trojans’ 38-35 shootout loss to ASU at home. Vaughns opened the scoring with an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter, gave SC a short-lived lead in the third quarter by throwing a 36-yard touchdown pass, then hauled in a 48-yard touchdown reception late in the game to narrow the margin to three. He finished with 151 all-purpose yards.

Kansas freshman running back/ return specialist Pooka Williams, Jr. had 172 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns as Kansas outlasted TCU 27-26 in Lawrence. Williams caught seven passes for 102 yards and two scores, including a 27-yard, fourth-quarter scoring strike that proved to be the game-winner. He had 11 carries, seven receptions, returned two kicks and accounted for seven first downs.

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:

  • 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