Four Players Who Excel in Multiple Ways Selected as Paul Hornung Award Finalists
Award Presented by Texas Roadhouse, Given to Nation’s Most Versatile Player
Louisville, Ky. – Nov. 10, 2022 – Four players from Power Five conferences have been named finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player in major college football. Making the list are Jack Colletto, Oregon State; Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State; Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama; and Will Shipley, Clemson.
The Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, now in its 13th 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 2023. For dinner information, contact Julie Howell at 502-587-6742 or JHowell@Louisvillesports.org.
“Paul Hornung was a gamer, and he appreciated players who did whatever their coaches asked of them to help the team win, the way he played the game,” said Karl F. Schmitt Jr., LSC president and CEO. “Hornung would be pleased with this year’s finalists.”
Nicknamed The Golden Boy, Hornung was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Notre Dame in 1956 and an NFL MVP with the Green Bay Packers whose versatility earned him enshrinement in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. At Notre Dame, Hornung played every position in the offensive backfield, handled punting and placekicking duties, returned kickoffs, and started at safety on defense. At Green Bay, he played halfback, handled kicking duties, and set the NFL single-season scoring record in 12 games in 1961 that stood for 46 years.
The 17-person Paul Hornung Award National Selection Committee chose the 2022 finalists, with fans generating the 18th vote online. The 13th annual Paul Hornung Award winner will be chosen from among the finalists and announced on Dec. 7, 2022. Fan voting for the winner, powered by Texas Roadhouse, opens today and continues through Dec. 4 HERE and will again count as the 18th vote. Fans can vote once every 24 hours for their favorite from among the five finalists.
The Paul Hornung Award finalists represent the AAC, the Big 10, The Pac-12 and the SEC.
Jack Colletto, Oregon State senior fullback / quarterback / linebacker. Oregon State three-way player Jack Colletto averages 44 snaps per game, sees spot duty on defense and offense depending on the Beavers’ weekly game plan and is a regular on special teams. Colletto plays wildcat quarterback and occasionally takes direct-snaps at quarterback in short-yardage situations, starting three games and logging most of his time at fullback, and occasionally playing H-back and slot. He leads the team with six touchdowns and has accounted for 17 first downs rushing and one receiving. Primarily a linebacker, Colletto has lined up at defensive back and in the box has recorded 15 tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. He recorded three tackles, recovered a fumble and scored a rushing touchdown against Boise State and scored twice on offense and made three tackles against Fresno State.
Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State sophomore wide receiver / return specialist. Ohio State’s speedy wide receiver Emeka Egbuka also lines up at H-back and in the backfield on offense, is a regular handling punt returns, spot plays on kickoff returns and is a season-long member of the punt coverage team. He averages 60.5 snaps per game, leads the team and is 10th in the Big 10 with 108 all-purpose yards per game and has scored nine times on the season, twice rushing and seven times receiving. Egbuka has four games of 100+ yards receiving and made the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll four times after wins over Notre Dame, Toledo, Michigan State and Iowa. He is fearless fair-catching punts at any location on the field (16 for the season) and averages 8.2 yards per return, second in the Big 10.
Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama senior running back / return specialist. The Crimson Tide’s Jahmyr Gibbs is a workhorse running back who is also used extensively in the passing game and is a regular returning kickoffs. Gibbs averages 47 snaps per game and is ninth in the nation and third in the SEC with 144.4 all-purpose yards per game. He leads the team in scoring, rushing and receptions while ranking second in receiving yards. Gibbs touched the ball 20 times three different ways and scored once in a win over Texas, touched the ball 25 times three different ways in a win over Texas A&M and had a career day in the Tide’s shootout with Tennessee: played 74 snaps, touched the ball 32 times three different ways for 202 all-purpose yards, scored three touchdowns and accounted for 10 first downs.
Will Shipley, Clemson sophomore running back / return specialist. Clemson speedster Will Shipley carries the load for the Tigers at running back while also playing slot, wide receiver, H-back and returning kickoffs. Shipley averages 47 snaps per game, has four 100+ rushing games, averages 26.4 yards per kickoff return and is second in the ACC and 20th nationally in all-purpose yards per game with 131.4. He is one of two FBS players with 800 yards rushing, 150 yards receiving and 150 return yards. Shipley had a career-high 248 all-purpose yards versus Florida State, including a 69-yard kickoff return to open the second half that set up what proved to be the winning score; and he was Mr. Everything versus Syracuse: played 60 snaps, touched the ball 32 times three different ways for 242 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including a 50-yard scoring run that proved to be the game-winner.
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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.
2022 Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll
- Week 1: Jack Colletto, Oregon State; Derius Davis, TCU; Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State; Evan Hull, Northwestern
- Week 2: Jack Colletto, Oregon State; Jahmyr Gibbs. Alabama; Shedro Louis, Liberty; Bumper Pool, Arkansas; Sean Tyler, Western Michigan
- Week 3: Israel Abanikanda, Pitt; Devon Achane, Texas A&M: Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State; Roschon Johnson, Texas; Will Shipley, Clemson; Chris Tyree, Notre Dame
- Week 4: Trey Benson, Florida State; Kaelon Black, James Madison; Jordan Byrd, San Diego State; Nathaniel Dell, Houston; Will Shipley, Clemson; Nohl Williams, UNLV
- Week 5: Shadrick Byrd, Charlotte; Jacob Cowing, Arizona; George Holani, Boise State; Johnnie Lang, Arkansas State; Xavier Worthy, Texas.
- Week 6: Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State; Jamhyr Gibbs, Alabama; George Holani, Boise State; Cameron Stone, Wyoming.
- Week 7: Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama; Amare Jones, Georgia Southern; Marion Lukes, Central Michigan; Jayden Reed, Michigan State; Cameron Rising, Utah; Will Shipley, Clemson.
- Week 8: Ron Cook Jr, Buffalo; Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State; Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame; Bucky Irving, Oregon; Will Shipley, Clemson.
- Week 9: Shadrick Byrd, Charlotte; Lexington Joseph, FIU; Jaylin Lane, MTSU; Nikko Remigio, Fresno State.
- Week 10: Kazmeir Allen, UCLA; Michael Jackson III, USC; Bo Nix, Oregon; Victor Rosa, UConn
All votes for the Paul Hornung Award are independently tabulated by regional accounting firm Dean Dorton, one of the largest accounting and financial advisory firms in Kentucky, with offices in Louisville and Lexington, Ky., and Raleigh, N.C.
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.
Paul Hornung Award Winners:
- 2021: Marcus Jones of Houston was an All-American return specialist and lockdown corner who saw duty on offense. He recorded 48 tackles and five interceptions; returned a pair of kickoffs and punts for touchdowns; and caught 10 passes for 109 yards, including the winning score against Navy.
- 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.