LOUISVILLE, Ky. (USC) - South Carolina junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington has been named to the 2013 Paul Hornung Award Watch List, as announced by the Louisville Sports Commission on Friday. Ellington is one of 44 players named to the preseason list.
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its fourth 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 2013 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2012 statistics, career performance and expectations heading into the 2013 season.
Ellington is coming off a breakout season on the gridiron in 2012 where he led the team in receiving yards with 600 on 40 catches, including seven touchdowns. He has also been the Gamecocks' top kickoff returner each of the past two seasons and has made 15 career starts.
Three Paul Hornung Award finalists from last season are back on the list in 2013 - Antonio Andrews from Western Kentucky, Dri Archer from Kent State and Marqise Lee from the University of Southern California.
The Watch List is comprised of 19 seniors, 21 juniors and four sophomores, representing 41 universities and 10 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The SEC is the leading conference with nine players followed by the ACC with six players. There are five players from both the Big Ten and Big 12.
In 2012, players on this year's Paul Hornung Award Watch List accounted for 17,035 rushing yards, 17,112 receiving yards, 17,148 kickoff return yards, 4,874 punt return yards and 350 total tackles. Reminiscent of Hornung during his playing days, members of the Watch List demonstrated a knack for scoring, posting 408 total touchdowns in five different scoring capacities a year ago.
"The Paul Hornung Award Watch List for the upcoming season is an impressive group of players who excel at multiple positions to help their teams win, which is how I played the game," Hornung said. "It will be interesting to see which players excel during the season and emerge as the top choices of our selection committee."
"We have had the opportunity to welcome great young men to Louisville as winners of the Paul Hornung Award in years past, and I believe we are in line to welcome another great player to our community in 2014," Hornung continued. "I look forward to honoring the winner here in Louisville at one of the best banquets the country has to offer for college football players and their families."
2013 Watch List SelectionsJared Abbrederis, WisconsinAmeer Abdullah, NebraskaAntonio Andrews, WKUDri Archer, Kent StateD.J. Banks, Louisiana TechOdell Beckham Jr., LSUCorey Brown, Ohio StateIsaiah Burse, Fresno StateTrey Burton, FloridaMichael Campanaro, Wake ForestBrandon Carter, TCUChris Coyer, TempleQuandre Diggs, TexasStefon Diggs, Maryland Bruce Ellington, South CarolinaTyler Ervin, San Jose StateCody Fajardo, NevadaJD Falslev, BYUD.J. Foster, Arizona StateJerry "BooBoo" Gates, Bowling GreenJustin Gilbert, Oklahoma StateJamal Golden, Georgia TechScott Harding, HawaiiAkeem Hunt, PurdueKyshoen Jarrett, Virginia TechDuke Johnson, Miami (FLA)Christion Jones, AlabamaMarqise Lee, Southern CaliforniaTommylee Lewis, Northern IllinoisTyler Lockett, Kansas StateJordan Lynch, Northern IllinoisJohnny Manziel, Texas A&MVenric Mark, NorthwesternMalcolm Mitchell, GeorgiaMarcus Murphy, MissouriLaDarius Perkins, Mississippi StateLoucheiz Purifoy, FloridaBernard Reedy, ToledoJamill Smith, Ball StateDamien Thigpen, UCLADe'Anthony Thomas, OregonTramaine Thompson, Kansas StateSammy Watkins, ClemsonTrey Watts, Tulsa
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 that often go unnoticed. Owen Marecic of Stanford, a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker, won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award; Brandon Boykin of Georgia won the award in 2011 after excelling on defense, offense and special teams; Tavon Austin of West Virginia won the award in 2012 being one of two players in the nation with more than 500 yards in three different categories (rushing, receiving and kick returns).
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. Fan voting will open in late September and factor into selection of the finalists and winner.
The winner will be honored at the official Paul Hornung Award Banquet sponsored by KentuckyOne Health, held at the Galt House in downtown Louisville in late January 2014.
Players from all FBS teams are eligible and appearing on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List is not a prerequisite for winning the Award. The Selection Committee is comprised of 16 national sports journalists and former college and NFL players who vote for finalists then a winner. Their votes are tabulated by public accounting firm Dean Dorton Allen Ford.