WEEK 5: Four Multi-Purpose Players Who Led Teams to Wins Earn Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll
Award Presented by Texas Roadhouse, Given to Nation’s Most Versatile Player
Louisville, Ky. – September 30, 2019 –Three seniors and a junior who led their teams to wins in week five of the college football season were named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll: Cedric Byrd II, Hawai’i, wide receiver/return specialist; Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State, running back/return specialist; De’Michael Harris, Southern Miss, running back/return specialist; and Isaiah Rodgers, UMass, defensive back/return specialist.
The Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, now in its 10th 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 on March 4, 2020.
Senior wide receiver/return specialist Cedric Byrd II of Hawai’i touched the ball four different ways and scored three times, including the first two touchdowns of the game, as the Rainbow Warriors overwhelmed Nevada 54-3 on the road. Byrd II had 138 yards in total offense rushing, receiving and returning punts and kicks as Hawai’i won its Mountain West Conference opener and upped its overall record to 4-1.
Junior running back/return specialist Darrynton Evans of Appalachian State returned kicks, was a workhorse on the ground and scored twice in the first half as the Mountaineers outlasted Coastal Carolina 56-37 at home in a Sun Belt Conference opener. Evans carried the ball 16 times, caught a pass and averaged 32 yards on four kickoff returns as App State stayed perfect on the season at 4-0.
Senior running back/return specialist De’Michael Harris of Southern Miss touched the ball three different ways and scored touchdowns receiving and rushing as the Golden Eagles beat UTEP 31-13 at home in a C-USA matchup. Harris caught a screen pass and raced 74 yards to the end zone on the first series and added a two-yard touchdown run later in the quarter. He also returned two kickoffs for 49 yards.
Senior corner back and returner Isaiah Rodgers of Massachusetts made four tackles, handled kickoff and punt return duties and had a pick six in the Minutemen’s 37-29 home win over Akron. Rodgers 58-yard interception return for a touchdown posted UMass to a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
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 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 www.paulhornungaward.com. Fans can also follow online on Twitter (@hornungaward) and Become a Fan on Facebook.
Previous Paul Hornung Award winners by year:
• 2018: Rondale Moore of Purdue won the award as a dynamic All-American freshman sensation who broke a school record for all-purpose yards in a season and a game with 2,215 and 313 respectively.
• 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 www.louisvillesports.org/paul-hornung/award-poll/