The Paul Hornung Award

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

Group Combines for 88 Touches Five Different Ways; 1,169 Yards and 12 Scores

Louisville, Ky. – Nov. 23, 2020 – Six offensive players / return specialists who combined to touch the ball 88 times for 1,169 yards and 12 scores were named to the weekly Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll. Making the list are: D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan; Jeremiah Haydel, Texas State; Zonovan Knight, NC State; Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan; Kadarius Toney, Florida; and Deandre Torrey, North Texas.

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 to honor 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.

Western Michigan senior wide receiver / return D’Wayne Eskridge caught three touchdown passes, including the game winner, returned kickoffs and recovered two onside kicks late in the game to help preserve the Broncos’ 52-44 road win over Central Michigan. Eskridge scored on a 33-yard pass in the second quarter, then hauled in bombs of 72 and 85 yards for scores in the third quarter. He recovered two onside kicks when CMU was staging a late-game rally that fell just short.

Texas State senior wide receiver / return specialist Jeremiah Haydel touched the ball 11 times four different ways for 193 yards and a touchdown in the Bobcats’ wild win over Arkansas State, 47-45. Haydel caught four passes for 94 yards, including a 47-yard scoring reception in the second quarter, carried the ball once and accounted for five first downs. He also returned two punts for 28 yards and three kickoffs for 78 yards.

NC State sophomore running back / return specialist Zonovan Knight touched the ball 19 times three different ways and scored two touchdowns, including the game winner, in the Wolfpack’s 15-14 comeback win over no. 21 ranked Liberty. Knight carried the ball 14 times for 94 yards and two scores, including a four-yard, fourth quarter scamper that closed out the scoring. He caught five passes for 34 yards and accounted for seven first downs rushing and receiving. Knight also returned two kickoffs.

Central Michigan junior wide receiver / return specialist Kalil Pimpleton touched the ball 14 times four different ways and scored four times in the Chippewas’ 52-44 home loss to Western Michigan. Pimpleton carried the ball seven times for 107 yards and three touchdowns, caught three passes for 42 yards, including a two-point conversion, completed a pass for 30 yards and returned two punts. He scored on runs of 65, 25 and five yards, twice in the fourth quarter during a furious comeback attempt.

Florida senior wide receiver / return specialist Kadarius Toney touched the ball 11 times four different ways for 191 all-purpose yards and a touchdown in the Gators’ 38-17 win over Vanderbilt. Toney caught six passes for 107 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, carried the ball once and accounted for four first downs in the game. He returned three kickoffs for 74 yards and returned a punt seven yards.

North Texas senior running back / return specialist Deandre Torrey touched the ball 23 times four different ways and scored once in the Mean Green’s 27-17 comeback win over Rice at home. Torrey carried the ball 19 times for 102 yards and a touchdown, caught two passes and returned two kickoffs and two punts, and finished the game with 158 total yards. He accounted for six first downs, and his one-yard touchdown run mid-fourth quarter put the game out of reach.

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.