Amari Rodgers makes Hornung Watch List

CUTrevor 2020-07-23 14:55:30

Louisville, Ky. — July 23, 2020 — The Louisville Sports Commission today named 50 multi-talented college football players to the 2020 Watch List for the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse.

The Paul Hornung Award, now in its 11th 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 2021. 

More information about the Award can be found at

The 2020 Watch List is comprised of 50 players – 18 seniors, 22 juniors, nine sophomores and one grad transfer who play a total of eight different positions. These players represent 50 universities located in 28 states coast-to-coast that are part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. All 10 FBS conferences and one independent school are represented on the Watch List; the SEC leads the conferences with eight players, followed by ACC with seven players and the Pac-12 and MWC with six players each.

The Paul Hornung Award has created an impressive legacy in 10 years. Six winners were first round NFL draft picks – Tavon Austin, Odell Beckham Jr., Shaq Thompson, Christian McCaffrey, Jabrill Peppers and Saquon Barkley. Last year’s winner, third-round draft pick Lynn Bowden Jr. of Kentucky, turned in a Hornung-like performance by moving from all-purpose receiver/back/return specialist to quarterback in mid-season and leading the Wildcats to a 5-2 record and Belk Bowl win over Virginia Tech. 

For the first time in the Award’s history, the Watch List includes a previous winner and two former finalists. Purdue’s Rondale Moore won the Award as a freshman in 2018. Wan’Dale Robinson (Nebraska) was a finalist last year, and Conner Heyward (Michigan State) was a finalist in 2018. Moore is the second player to try to win the Award twice, along with Christian McCaffrey, who won as a sophomore in 2015 but was edged out by Jabrill Peppers of Michigan in 2016.

In 2019, players on the Watch List accounted for 44,223 total yards, including 10,719 rushing yards, 17,850 receiving yards, 11,889 kickoff return yards and 3,658 punt return yards. A total of six players who made the list play defense and accounted for 292 total tackles, 15 interceptions and 45 PBUs. Reminiscent of Hornung during his playing days, members of the Watch List demonstrated a knack for scoring numerous ways. Last season the Watch List players combined for 239 total touchdowns in six different ways – rushing, receiving, passing, and returning punts, kickoffs and interceptions.

“We created this award as a way to reward college players who selflessly take on the burden of playing multiple positions, and excel at a high level the way Paul Hornung did for Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers,” said Karl Schmitt, president and CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission, owners and operators of the Award. “In addition, we wanted to introduce young players to the legacy of Hornung, who said he would do anything his coach asked of him to help his team win games.”

Hornung, who still lives in his hometown of Louisville, played every position in the offensive backfield during his career with the Irish in the 1950s and also played defensive safety, punted, placekicked and returned kickoffs. He was named All-America at quarterback as a senior and won the Heisman Trophy in 1956, then was the first player selected in the NFL draft, going to Green Bay. He earned NFL MVP honors for the Packers in 1961 as a triple-threat halfback and placekicker by setting a single-season NFL scoring record that stood for 46 years. He is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and Vince Lombardi once called him, "The most versatile man ever to play the game."

The 2020 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2019 statistics, career performance, SID recommendations and expectations heading into the 2020 season. In addition to the Watch List, the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll will recognize players whose performances during the regular season meet the Award’s criteria. Players from both the Watch List and the Honor Roll will be eligible to win the Award. 

2020 Watch List Selections

·     Jaylond Adams, Southern Miss

·     Otis Anderson, UCF

·     Tyler Badie, Missouri

·     Journey Brown, Penn State

·     Tre Brown, Oklahoma

·     Treylon Burks, Arkansas

·     Jordan Byrd, SDSU

·     Michael Carter, UNC

·     Britain Covey, Utah

·     Dylan Drummond, Eastern Michigan

·     Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

·     D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan

·     Demetric Felton, UCLA

·     Xavier Gaines, Marshall

·     Hassan Hall, Louisville

·     Thomas Hennigan, Appalachian State

·     Connor Heyward, Michigan State

·     Jevon Holland, Oregon

·     Deon Jackson, Duke

·     Giles Jackson, Michigan

·     D’Shawn Jamison, Texas

·     Amare Jones, Tulane

·     Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee

·     Lopini Katoa, BYU

·     Wesley Kennedy III, Georgia Southern

·     Myron Mitchell, UAB

·     Rondale Moore, Purdue

·     K.D. Nixon, Colorado

·     Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan

·     Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State

·     Stephon Robinson Jr., Kansas

·     Tayvion Robinson, Virginia Tech

·     Wan'Dale Robinson, Nebraska

·     Amari Rodgers, Clemson

·     Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

·     Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa

·     Tyler Snead, ECU

·     Marquez Stevenson, Houston

·     Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

·     Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC

·     Toa Taua, Nevada

·     Juanyeh Thomas, Georgia Tech

·     Thayer Thomas, NC State

·     Deven Thompkins, Utah State

·     Kadarius Toney, Florida

·     Austin Trammell, Rice

·     Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

·     Connor Wedington, Stanford

·     Avery Williams, Boise State

·     Dante Wright, Colorado State