The Paul Hornung Award

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

Foursome Combines for 600 Yards, Six Scores to Help Teams to Conference Wins

Louisville, Ky. – Oct. 26, 2020 – Four offensive players / return specialists combined more than 600 yards in total offense and six touchdowns to help their teams to conference wins this weekend: UNC running back Michael Carter, Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mims, Memphis wide receiver Tahj Washington, and Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson.

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.

North Carolina senior running back /return specialist Michael Carter touched the ball 20 times three different ways in the Tar Heels’ 48-21 home win over rival NC State. Carter rushed 17 times for 106 tough yards and the game’s first score, a 16-yard run. He caught two passes for 46 yards and returned a kickoff 24 yards. Carter accounted for six first downs rushing and receiving.

Oklahoma true freshman wide receiver / return specialist Marvin Mims caught two long touchdown passes and returned kicks and punts in the Sooners’ 31-14 road win over TCU. Mims’ 50-yard touchdown reception early in the second quarter proved to be the winning score and his 61-yard score early in the fourth quarter gave Oklahoma a 20-point lead. Mims’ 38-yard punt return set up a field goal, and he finished the game with 193 all-purpose yards.

Memphis red shirt freshman wide receiver / kick returner Tahj Washington touched the ball three different ways and scored twice in the Tigers’ 41-29 home win over Memphis. Washington opened the scoring with a three-yard reception in the first quarter and caught a 26-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter when the Tiger’s erased Temple’s halftime lead. Washington had one carry, two kick returns and five catches.

Ohio State sophomore wide receiver / return specialist Garrett Jackson touched the ball three different ways and scored once in the Buckeyes’ 52-17 home win over Nebraska. Jackson caught a 50-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, returned a punt 22 yards to set up an OSU score, and six of his receptions accounted for Buckeye first downs. He returned one kickoff and fair caught two punts.

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.

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. Online fan voting is now open HERE and factors into the selection of the finalists and winner.