WEEK 6: Five Offensive Players/Return Specialists Lead Teams to Wins, Earn Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll
Award Presented by Texas Roadhouse, Given to Nation’s Most Versatile Player
Louisville, Ky. – October 7, 2019 – Two seniors, a junior, a sophomore and a freshman were named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll in week six of the college football season: Amare Jones, Tulane running back/kick returner; Javon Leake, Maryland running back/kick returner; Wan’Dale Robinson, Nebraska wide receiver/kick returner; Rodney Smith, Minnesota running back/kick returner and Temple senior wide receiver and returner Isaiah Wright.
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.
Sophomore running back and kick returner Amare Jones of Tulane amassed 249 all-purpose yard and two touchdowns – one rushing and one receiving – and helped lead the way as Tulane defeated Army 42-33 in West Point. Jones scored the Green Wave’s first touchdown on a 15-yard reception in the first quarter, and then ran for a two-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter for what proved to be the winning score. He carried the ball nine times, caught six passes and returned four kicks.
Junior running back and kick returner Javon Leake of Maryland touched the ball three different ways and scored three times – a 42-yard run, a 12-yard run and a 100-yard kickoff return – as the visiting Terrapins blew out Rutgers 48-7. He finished the game with 190 all-purpose yards rushing, receiving and returning kicks. Maryland now is 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in the Big Ten.
Freshman wide receiver and kick returner Wan’Dale Robinson of Nebraska touched the ball running, receiving and returning kicks and scored the Cornhuskers’ lone touchdown in a tough, 13-10 home win over Northwestern. Robinson raced 42 yards to the end zone on Nebraska’s first possession, and then added a big 32-yard reception late in the game to set up the winning field goal. He finished the game with 186 all-purpose yards as Nebraska ran its record to 4-2.
Senior running back and kick returner Rodney Smith of Minnesota was a workhorse on the ground with 24 carries for 211 yards and a score, and caught a pass and returned a kick as Minnesota defeated Illinois 40-17 at home. Smith had a long run of 64 yards and scored on an eight-yard run to begin the fourth quarter and finished the game with 237 all-purpose yards. Golden Golphers are 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Big Ten.
Senior wide receiver and returner Isaiah Wright of Temple touched the ball three different ways and scored the winning touchdown on a six-yard reception to close the third quarter as the Owls beat East Carolina 27-17 on the road. Wright had nine catches for 104 yards, returned a punt 14 yards and added a 53-yard kickoff return that set up a second quarter touchdown. Five of his catches led to first downs. Temple now is 4-1 on the season.
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/