Paul Hornung Award Finalists Lead Teams in Regular Season Finales
Louisville, Ky. – November 24, 2015 – The four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse, all demonstrated their versatility last weekend and again will put their talents on display this Saturday in important conference games. Adoree’ Jackson (Southern Cal), Christian McCaffrey (Stanford), Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss) and Jabrill Peppers (Michigan) all are expected to play a major role in their team’s regular season finale.
The Lineup of Games.
- Jackson and the Trojans hosts UCLA and the winner will earn the right to face Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship.
- McCaffrey and the Cardinal, who have clinched a spot in the Pac-12 championship, host Notre Dame as the Irish hunt for a College Football Playoff spot.
- Nkemdiche and the Rebels host Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl with hopes alive for the SEC West crown.
- Peppers and the Wolverines host Ohio State in the Big House with hopes alive for the Big Ten East crown.
Adoree’ Jackson, Southern Cal, DB / WR / KOR / PR. Last Saturday, Jackson turned in another stellar performance in a tough loss to Oregon on the road. He returned a punt 41 yards for a touchdown, picked up a kickoff fumbled by USC and returned it 26 yards, returned a kickoff 26 yards and had four tackles on defense. He played five downs on offense, 63 on defense and 14 on special teams. He is the only player nationally with at least 300 yards receiving, 500 in kickoff returns, 200 in punt returns and 20 tackles. On Saturday, the Trojans face UCLA Saturday with the Pac-12 South title on the line.
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford. RB / KOR / PR. Last Saturday, McCaffrey turned in another dominating, record performance on offense and special teams as the Cardinals beat Cal 35-22 to clinch the Pac-12 North division title. McCaffrey set a school record with 389 all-purpose yards as he rushed for 198 yards on 29 carries; zig-zagged 49 yards for a touchdown on a screen pass; and returned three kickoffs for 148 yards, including a 98-yard touchdown gallop. On Saturday, McCaffrey and company face off against Notre Dame in Palo Alto in a game that has strong CFP implications for the Irish and a faint glimmer for Stanford, who also will face the winner of the USC – UCLA game in the Pac-12 Championship game on Dec. 5.
Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss. DL / RB. Last Saturday, Nkemdiche finished with three tackles (one solo), a pass breakup and played on special teams in the Rebels’ 38-17 win over LSU. His pressure in the LSU backfield helped Ole Miss keep the Tigers’ offense off balance all day and limited the nation’s rushing leader, Leonard Fournette, to 108 rushing yards and no touchdowns. It is the first time Ole Miss has beaten Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the same season. With a win over rival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl on Saturday and an Alabama loss, the Rebels would capture the SEC West.
Jabrill Peppers, Michigan. DB / RB / KOR / PR. Last Saturday, Peppers again contributed on defense, offense and special teams in the Wolverines’ hard fought, 28-16 road win on the road over Penn State. On defense, he made three tackles and broke up three passes; on offense he rushed for 19 yards on five carries; and on special teams he returned two punts and made one fair catch. With a win over Ohio State on Saturday in the Big House and a Michigan State loss, the Wolverines would capture the Big Ten East.
Sizing Up the Finalists with Paul Hornung
On the Numbers. Hornung wore number five at Notre Dame and Green Bay. Peppers, Nkemdiche and Peppers also wear number five. Jackson wears number two.
- Before settling in at quarterback as a junior and senior, Hornung played every position in the offense backfield for Notre Dame as a sophomore. During his career, he also played safety; returned punts and kicks; and kicked off, kicked field goals and PATs, and punted.
- As a sophomore this year, Jackson has played cornerback, wide receiver, slot back, and returned kicks and punts.
- As a sophomore this year, McCaffrey has played running back, slot, wildcat quarterback, wide receiver, and returned punts and kicks.
- As a sophomore this year, Peppers has played several positions on defense, played wide receiver and running back on offense, and returned punts and kicks.
- As a junior this year, Nkemdiche has played defensive tackle and defensive end, running back, protector on the punt team and blocked a field goal.
- Hornung scored running, receiving, passing, on a kickoff return; and he kicked field goals and extra points.
- McCaffrey scored running, receiving, passing and kickoff return.
- Peppers scored two touchdowns rushing
- Jackson scored receiving and via interception, kickoff return and punt return.
- Nkemdiche scored receiving and rushing
- Hornung earned 12 letters playing football, basketball and baseball.
- Jackson played football and basketball, and was a standout sprinter and long jumper in track and field.
- McCaffrey earned eight letters playing football and running track, where he was a member of several record-setting, state champion sprint relays.
- Nkemdiche played football, basketball and track.
- Peppers played football and set records as a state champion sprinter in track.