WEEK 2: Five Players from Five Conferences Named to Week Two Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll
WR/RB/DB Returns Specialists Account for 1,200 All-purpose Yards; Scored 11 Times
Louisville, Ky. – September 11, 2017 – Five versatile players representing the SEC, Big Ten, MAC and Mountain West, and who accounted for 11 total touchdowns four different ways and more than 1,200 all-purpose yards, were named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for Week Two of the college football season. South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel made the list for the second week in a row, and is joined by newcomers Saquon Barkley (Penn State), Rashaad Penny (San Diego State), Darius Phillips (Western Michigan), and Akrum Wadley (Iowa).
The Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission to the most versatile player in major college football. The winner of this year’s award and his family will be honored on March 7, 2018, at a banquet presented by KentuckyOne Health at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville, Ky.
Penn State running back / return specialist Saquon Barkley accounted for 183 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in the Nittany Lion’s 33-14 victory over rival Pitt. Barkley led PSU with 88 rushing yards and a score, 45 receiving yards and a score, and had 50 yards on two kickoff returns.
San Diego State running back / return specialist Rashaad Penny led the Aztecs to a 30-20 upset at Arizona State by scoring three touchdowns and churning up 353 all-purpose yards. Penny rushed for 216 yards and a touchdown, had four receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown, and returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score.
Western Michigan cornerback / return specialist Darius Phillips accounted for both WMU’s touchdowns in a hard fought, 28-14 loss at Michigan State. Phillips returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score, and forced a fumble which he then returned 67 yards for a score. Phillips also had an interception, made one solo tackle, knocked down three passes, and had one tackle for a loss.
South Carolina receiver / return specialist Deebo Samuel was the deciding factor in the Gamecocks 31-13 win at Missouri. With USC trailing 10-0 early in the second quarter, Samuel returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score and seconds later, following a USC interception, put the Gamecocks ahead for good with a 25-yard touchdown run.
Iowa running back / return specialist Akrum Wadley was the workhorse for the Hawkeyes in a 44-41 overtime win over rival Iowa State at Ames. He rushed for 188 yards and a score, and caught a 46-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of regulation to force overtime. He added 70 yards on kickoff returns to finish the game with 260 all-purpose 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. Previous winners by year are:
- 2010: Owen Marecic of Stanford won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award as a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and honorable mention at linebacker;
- 2011: Brandon Boykin of Georgia won the award as a lockdown, All-American defensiveback who also excelled on offense and special teams;
- 2012: Tavon Austin of West Virginia won the award as one of two players in the nation with more than 500 yards in three different categories (rushing, receiving, and kick returns);
- 2013: Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU won the award after finishing the season ranked second in the nation and first in the SEC with 2,222 all-purpose yards and 185.2 average yards per game;
- 2014: Shaq Thompson of Washington won the award as a two-way player, earning first team All-America honors at linebacker and finishing as the Husky’s second-leading rusher at tailback;
- 2015: Christian McCaffrey of Stanford won in 2015 after amassing 3,496 all-purpose yards with 1,847 rushing, 540 receiving, and 1,109 return, breaking Barry Sanders record of 3,250 set in 1988; and
- 2016: Jabrill Peppers of Michigan won the award playing 15 different positions, earning consensus All-America at linebacker, and becoming the first player ever to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the year, Linebacker of the Year, and Specialist of the Year.
Texas Roadhouse signed on as presenting sponsor of the Paul Hornung Award in 2011 and will team 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 factors into the selection of the Paul Hornung Award finalists and winner.