The Paul Hornung Award

Four Offensive Players / Return Specialists Earn Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll

Foursome combines for 10 Touchdowns Scored Three Different Ways

Louisville, Ky. – Nov. 9, 2020 – Four offensive players / return specialists who accounted for 10 touchdowns three different ways earned the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll. Making the list are Michael Carter, North Carolina; Perry Carter Jr., UL Monroe; Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota; and Zonovan Knight, NC State.

The Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, now in its 11th 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 at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2021.

College football fans nationwide have the opportunity to vote for their favorite player during the regular season and again during the bowl season. Online fan voting powered by Texas Roadhouse is now open HERE and factors into the selection of the finalists and winner.

North Carolina senior running back / return specialist Michael Carter touched the ball 21 times three different ways and scored twice to lead the Tar Heels to a 56-24 road win over Duke. Carter carried the ball 17 times for 85 yards, scored on a 10-yard run, caught three passes for 46 yards and caught a 22-yard touchdown pass. He accounted for three first downs rushing, three first downs receiving and returned one kickoff.

UL Monroe junior wide receiver / return specialist Perry Carter, Jr. touched the ball eight times receiving, rushing, returning kicks and punts and scored three times in the Warhawks 52-34 road loss to Georgia State. Carter caught four passes for 124 yards, including touchdown receptions of 50 and 39 yards. He carried the ball twice for 20 yards and scored on a two-yard run. Carter also returned punts and kickoffs.

Minnesota running back / return specialist Mohamed Ibrahim was a workhorse in the Gophers’ 41-13 road win over Illinois, touching the ball 33 times for 282 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. He carried the ball 30 times for 224 yards, had nine carries of 10 yards or more and scored twice from the one-yard line and once from the four. His second quarter touchdown proved to be the winning score. Ibrahim also handled a kickoff return.

NC State sophomore running back / return specialist Zonovan Knight touched the ball 15 times three different ways and scored twice in the Wolfpack’s hard fought, home loss to Miami, 44-41. He scored twice in the third quarter, both times giving NC State a seven point lead, the first time on a one-yard run and the second time on a 100-yard kickoff return. Knight also had one reception.

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 Fans also can follow online on Twitter (@hornungaward) and Become a Fan on Facebook.

Previous Paul Hornung Award winners by year:

  • 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.