The Paul Hornung Award

Six Wide Receivers / Return Specialists Earn Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll

Honorees Played Multiple Positions on Offense and Special Teams

Louisville, Ky. – Dec. 14, 2020 –Six offensive players / return specialists were named to the weekly Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll. Making the list are: Britain Covey, Utah; Justin Hall, Ball State; Bo Melton, Rutgers; Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan; Kadarius Toney, Florida; and DJ Turner, Pitt.

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 pay tribute to 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.

Utah junior wide receiver / return specialist Britain Covey touched the ball four different ways, compiled 210 all-purpose yards and scored the winning touchdown in the Utes’ 38-21 win over Colorado on the road. Covey caught six passes for 76 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter that put the Utes ahead 24-21. He returned three kickoffs for 88 yards, returned three punts for 44 yards and carried the ball once. His 40-yard kickoff return and 28-yard punt return led to Utah scores.

Ball State senior wide receiver / return Justin Hall touched the ball three different ways and scored twice in the Cardinals’ 30-27 come-from-behind win over Western Michigan to clinch a trip to the MAC Championship. Hall caught 10 passes for 175 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, a 55-yard score in the fourth quarter to tie the game, and a 14-yard pass on the Cardinals’ winning field goal drive. He carried the ball twice for 17 yards and returned a kickoff 21 yards.

Rutgers senior wide receiver / return specialist Bo Melton touched the ball three different ways and scored twice on the ground in the Scarlet Knights’ 27-24 overtime win over Maryland on the road. He carried the ball twice and scored both times – a 44-yard run in the second quarter and an 18-yard run in the fourth quarter when the lead changed hands three times. Melton led the team in receptions with four catches for 44 yards and returned a kickoff from the up position 18 yards to the 38-yard line.

Central Michigan junior wide receiver/ return specialist Kalil Pimpleton touched the ball four different ways, including three completions at wildcat quarterback for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Chippewas’ 24-23 loss at Toledo. Pimpleton also caught three passes for 36 yards, two for first downs; carried the ball twice; and handled five punts for 16 yards, including fair catch. He threw the ball five times, including an 18-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Florida senior wide receiver/ return specialist Kadarius Toney touched the ball three different ways for 248 all-purpose yards and a score in the Gators’ heartbreaking loss to LSU at home, 37-34. He caught nine passes for 182 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter. He was Florida’s second-leading rusher with 56 yards on three carries and accounted for eight first downs rushing and receiving, including two first down receptions in UF’s final drive. He also returned one punt.

Pitt senior wide receiver/ return specialist DJ Turner touched the ball 13 times four different ways and scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the Panthers’ 34-20 road win over Georgia Tech. Turner led the team in receiving with five caches for 82 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter and his catch for a conversion that closed out the scoring. He carried the ball twice for 27 yards, returned three kickoffs for 70 yards and handled two punts for nine 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. 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.