The Paul Hornung Award

WEEK 3: Four Players from Group of Five Earn Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll

Sun Belt, C-USA, Mountain West are Represented in Week Three

Louisville, Ky., – September 17, 2018 – Junior WR/KR Maurice Alexander (FIU), freshman DB/KR Marcus Hayes (New Mexico), junior RB/KR Tra Minter (South Alabama), and junior RB/KR Juwan Washington (San Diego State) earned the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll by combining for six touchdowns four different ways and helping lead their respective teams to wins in week three of the college football season.

The Paul Hornung Award, now in its ninth 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 presented by Jewish Hospital Sports Medicine, to be held at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2019. This will be The Paul Hornung Award’s third year as an associate member of the National College Football Awards Association.

Junior Maurice Alexander of FIU scored on a 38-yard reception in the second quarter and a 69-yard punt return in the third quarter as FIU overwhelmed UMass 63-24 at Miami. Alexander also returned each of the first four punts of the game for double-digit yardage to start the Panther’s scoring drives. He finished the game with 190 all-purpose yards.

Redshirt freshman Marcus Hayes of New Mexico intercepted two passes, including a 69-yard pick six, made four tackles and returned punts to help lead the Lobos to a 42-25 win over New Mexico State at Las Cruces. Hayes’ 27-yard punt return set up New Mexico’s first score and his first interception late in the game ended an Aggies scoring threat inside the five yard line. His second interception accounted for the game’s final score.

Junior Tra Minter of South Alabama touched the ball four different ways on offense and special teams and scored twice on short runs in the second quarter to keep the game close and the Jaguars rallied to beat Texas State 41-31 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. Minter accounted for 159 all-purpose yards rushing, receiving and returning punts and kickoffs.

Junior Juwan Washington of San Diego State touched the ball four different ways and accounted for 175 all-purpose yards and a touchdown as the Aztecs upset no. 23 Arizona State 28-21 in San Diego. Washington was a workhorse on the ground, rushing for 138 yards on 27 carries. He accounted for 10 first downs rushing and receiving, caught two punts and returned one kickoff.

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 Paul Hornung Award winners by year:

  • 2017: Saquon Barkley of Penn State won the award as an electrifying All-American running back who lined up at slot and wildcat quarterback, and returned kicks and punts;
  • 2016: Jabrill Peppers of Michigan won the award by playing 15 different positions on defense, offense and special teams, and earning first team All-America at linebacker;
  • 2015: Christian McCaffrey of Stanford won the award after breaking the NCAA record for all-purpose yards, finishing with 3,864;
  • 2014: Shaq Thompson of Washington won the award as a two-way player, earning first team All-American honors at linebacker and finishing as the Husky’s second-leading rusher at tailback;
  • 2013: Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU won the award after finishing 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 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);
  • 2011: Brandon Boykin of Georgia won the award after excelling on defense, offense and special teams; and
  • 2010: Owen Marecic of Stanford won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award as a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker.

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. For more information and to vote, go to