The Paul Hornung Award

WEEK 2: Four Players Earn Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll in Week Two

Award Presented by Texas Roadhouse, Given to Nation’s Most Versatile Player

Louisville, Ky. – Sept. 12, 2023 – Four standout players from the Big 12 Conference and Pac-12 Conference comprise this week’s Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll.

Together with its 12 member awards, the National College Football Awards Association will package national players of the week this college football season. Cincinnati’s senior wide receiver Braden Smith was chosen as the Hornung Award’s National Player of the Week after helping the Bearcats earn a major road victory over Pittsburgh.

Accompanying Smith on the second Honor Roll of the season are senior wide receiver Phillip Brooks, Kansas State; sophomore wide receiver/cornerback Travis Hunter, Colorado; and senior wide receiver Lincoln Victor, Washington State. Hunter is a repeat member of the group having earned the first national player of the week honor.

The Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, now in its 14th season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission. The Award pays tribute to the late football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner in downtown Louisville in March 2024.

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 selecting the finalists and winner.

Cincinnati senior WR Braden Smith touched the football four different ways in a 27-21 victory at Pittsburgh. He had five receptions for 59 yards, including a diving 21-yard scoring catch in the third quarter that became the Bearcats’ winning touchdown. Three of Smith’s catches produced first downs. He also completed a 30-yard pass to the Pittsburgh seven-yard line to set up a score. Smith returned two punts for five yards and made one tackle following an interception.

Kansas State senior WR Phillip Brooks played an integral role in the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Troy. Brooks made seven receptions for 94 yards to average 13.4 yards per catch. He scored on a 39-yard pass play 10 seconds before halftime to expand the K-State lead to 21-10 and set the tone for the second half. Brooks also ran two yards for another touchdown for the Wildcats. He returned two kickoffs for 45 yards and had three punt returns for 37 yards.

Colorado sophomore WR/CB Travis Hunter continued to dominate opponents on both sides of the ball in the Buffaloes’ 36-14 defeat of Nebraska. Hunter, who opened the season as the Paul Hornung Award’s National Player of the Week, had three pass receptions for 73 yards. Defensively, he collected four tackles and broke up a pass. For the second consecutive week, Hunter rarely came off the field participating in 124 total plays, missing only 17 snaps.

Washington State senior WR Lincoln Victor demonstrated his versatility in the Cougars’ 31-22 victory over no. 19 Wisconsin. In addition to his seven pass receptions for 55 yards and four first downs, Victor threw a 39-yard pass early in the second quarter to the Badgers’ one-yard line. Victor’s pass completion set up his one-yard touchdown catch on the following play that pushed Washington State to a 14-3 advantage. He also returned two kickoffs for 33 yards.

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.

2023 Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll

  • Week 1: Zachariah Branch, USC; Erik Brooks, Fresno State; Malik Fleming, Houston; Travis Hunter, Colorado; Jayden McGowan, Vanderbilt; Jalen McMillian, Washington