The Paul Hornung Award

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

Trio Comes Through with Big Scoring Plays to Help Teams Win Important Conference Games

Louisville, Ky. – Oct. 19, 2020 – Three offensive players / return specialists who touched the ball a combined 54 times for four touchdowns and helped their teams to big conference wins earned the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll this past weekend: running back Khalil Herbert from Virginia Tech, running back CJ Marable from Coastal Carolina, and wide receiver Jaylen Waddle from Alabama.

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 and 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.

Virginia Tech graduate student running back / return specialist Khalil Herbert touched the ball rushing, receiving and returning kickoffs in the Hokies 40-14 home win over Boston College. Hebert carried the ball 18 times for 143 yards, caught a 29-yard touchdown pass and return two kickoffs for 52 yards as Virginia Tech ran its record to 3-1 and a tie for second in ACC standings. Khalil accounted for eight first downs and his touchdown reception late in the first quarter proved to be the winning score.

Coastal Carolina senior running back / return specialist CJ Marable touched the ball 24 times and scored two different ways in the Chanticleers 30-27 road win over no. 21-ranked Louisiana. Marable had 17 carries for 70 yards and a one-yard score in the first quarter and caught three passes for 40 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.  Marable accounted for six first downs rushing and receiving, and fair caught four kickoffs. Coastal is 2-0 in the Sun Belt and 4-0 overall.

Alabama junior wide receiver /return specialist Jaylen Waddle touched the ball four different ways and scored the winning touchdown as the no. 2-ranked Crimson Tide beat no. 3 Georgia at home, 41-24. He caught six passes for 161 yards, carried the ball once and returned one punt and one kickoff. Waddle hauled in a long pass in stride and raced 50 yards to the end zone for a 90-yard scoring reception late in the third quarter to give Alabama a 27-24 lead it would not relinquish. Bama is 4-0 on the season.

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.

Texas Roadhouse signed on as presenting sponsor of the Paul Hornung Award in 2011 and will partner with the Louisville Sports Commission to power fan voting again this season. College football fans nationwide will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite player during the regular season and again during the bowl season. Online fan voting is now open HERE and factors into the selection of the finalists and winner.