WEEK 5: Three Players from the AAC and Big Ten Earned Paul Horning Award Honor Roll
Trio Touched the Ball Eight Different Ways, Led Teams to Big Conference Victories
Louisville, Ky. – October 2, 2017 – Two offensive workhorses and one defensive stalwart representing the AAC and Big Ten, all who double as return specialists, made up this week’s Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll. Saquon Barkley (Penn State) who made the list for the second week in a row, is joined by newcomers Mike Hughes (Central Florida), and D.J. Moore (Maryland).
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 221 all-purpose yards in the Nittany Lions’ 45-14 home win over Indiana. Barkley returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, rushed for 56 yards, caught four passes for 51 yards, and threw a 16-yard touchdown pass. He accounted for 221 all-purpose yards and two scores as Penn State upped its season record to 5-0 and moved to number four in the national polls.
Central Florida defensive back / return specialist Mike Hughes was a key factor in the Knights’ 40-13 win over Memphis. On defense, Hughes had eight total tackles, including four solo tackles, deflected two passes, and intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards to set up a Knights’ touchdown drive. On special teams, he returned a kick 17 yards and returned two punts for 12 yards. UCF is now 3-0 on the season and ranked number 25 in the nation.
Maryland wide receiver / return specialist D.J. Moore made a big difference for the Terrapins in a 31-24 conference road victory over Minnesota. Moore caught eight passes for 90 yards and one touchdown, carried the ball one time for 24 yards, and returned three punts for 35 yards. Late in the fourth quarter, Moore caught three passes in the Terrapins’ game-winning scoring drive.
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 have the opportunity to vote for their favorite player during the regular season and again during the bowl season. Fan voting is now open at paulhornungaward.com and factors into the selection of the Paul Hornung Award finalists and winner.