The Paul Hornung Award

Two Juniors and a Freshman Named to Weekly Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll

Players Touch the Ball Eight Different Ways, Account For Five Touchdowns

Louisville, Ky. – Sept. 21, 2020 – Three players who combined to touch the ball eight different ways and account for five touchdowns were named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll: Georgia Tech freshman running back / return specialist Jahmyr Gibbs; Georgia State junior defensive back / return specialist Quavian White; and NC State junior running back / return specialist Ricky Person, Jr.

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.

Georgia Tech’s Jahmyr Gibbs accounted for 219 all-purpose yards and two scores as the Yellow Jackets fell to UCF at home 49-21. Gibbs opened the game with a 75-yard kickoff return that set up Tech’s first score. He caught a nine-yard touchdown pass late in the first half and rambled 33 yards for a score on the ground early in the second half as Georgia Tech narrowed UCF’s lead to 28-21.

Georgia State’s Quavian White was a workhorse on defense and special teams as the Panthers battled no. 19-ranked Louisiana before losing 34-31 in overtime at home. On defense, White made seven solo tackles, made two pass deflections and picked off a pass. On special teams he returned two punts and one kickoff and finished the game with 51 return yards.

NC State’s Ricky Person, Jr. touched the ball four different ways and accounted for touchdowns two different ways, including the winning score, as the Wolfpack outlasted Wake Forest 42-38 in Raleigh. Pearson scored on a one-yard run in the second quarter, threw a two-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and ran three yards for the winning score with 3:21 remaining. He also caught two passes and handled three kickoffs.

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. Fan voting will open in late September and factor into the selection of the finalists and winner.