The Paul Hornung Award

WEEK 5: Five Players From across the US Earn Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honors

ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West, Sun Belt Conferences Represented in Week Five

Louisville, Ky. – October 1, 2018 – Four offensive play-makers and one stalwart defender, all of whom double as return specialists, combined for nine touchdowns and more than 700 yards in total offense to earn Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll this week. The players are: Ugochukwu Amadi (Oregon, DB/RS), Greg Dortch (Wake Forest, WR/RS), Jabir Doughtry-Frye (Troy, RB/RS), KJ Hamler (Penn State, WR/RS), and John Hightower (Boise State, WR/RS), representing the Pac-12, Sun Belt, ACC, Big Ten and Mountain West, respectively.

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.

Oregon senior safety Ugochukwu Amadi touched the ball four different ways by picking off two passes, fielding a punt, making tackles and breaking up a pass as the Ducks won their Pac-12 North opener on the road against Cal 42-24. Amadi’s first interception came in the first quarter when the score was close; his second was a 32-yard pick-six late in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach for Oregon. Amadi made seven solo tackles and had a key pass deflection as the Ducks’ opportunistic defense helped lead Oregon to its first road conference win since 2016.

Wake Forest sophomore wide receiver Greg Dortch touched the ball three different ways and accounted for 198 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns as the Demon Deacons beat Rice 56-24 at home. Dortch opened the scoring for the Demon Deacons with a 54-yard touchdown reception, then added a 10-yard scoring reception as Wake built a 21-0 first quarter lead. He caught a 34-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter when the Demon Deacons put the game out of reach, followed by a four-yard scoring reception early in the second half. He returned a punt and a kickoff, and made three fair catches.

Troy sophomore running back Jabir Doughtry-Frye accounted for 210 all-purpose yards and scored touchdowns rushing and receiving as the Trojans beat Coastal Carolina 44-21 in a home conference game. Doughtry-Frye caught a 35-yard scoring pass in the first quarter to give Troy a 14-0 lead, broke off a 22-yard run in the second quarter to help set up a field goal, then sprinted 74 yards for a touchdown on the ground early in the fourth quarter for the Trojan’s final score. He finished the game with 140 yards rushing on five carries and added a 35-yard kickoff return.

Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler touched the ball three different ways and accounted for 190 all-purpose yards and a touchdown in the Nittany Lions’ heartbreaking, 27-26 home loss to Ohio State. In the second quarter, Hamler caught a short pass over the middle and outraced several Ohio State DBs for a 93-yard score that gave Penn State a 13-0 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Hamler hauled in a 36-yard reception for a first down on third and long that kept alive a Penn State scoring driving. He also returned a punt and a kickoff.

Boise State junior wide receiver John Hightower touched the ball five different ways for 104 all-purpose yards, scored a touchdown receiving and blocked a punt as the Broncos opened their Mountain West conference season with a 34-14 road win over Wyoming. Hightower caught a 31-yard reception that set up the Bronco’s second touchdown at the one-yard line, blocked a punt that led to what proved to be the Bronco’s winning field goal in the second quarter, and his 41-yard touchdown reception mid-fourth quarter closed out the team’s scoring. He also returned one punt and 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