July 5, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisiana Tech receiver and returner D.J. Banks was one of 44 student-athletes named to the 2013 Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse Watch List Friday, announced by the Louisville Sports Commission.
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. Profiles of each player and information about the Award can be found at www.PaulHornungAward.com.
Banks set a school record with 1,044 kick return yards last season on 39 kick returns, averaging 26.77 yards per return and ranking 19th in the nation. He had two returns for over 90 yards in 2012 including a 98-yard return for a touchdown against Utah State on Nov. 17 that sparked a furious comeback as Tech rallied from a 24-point deficit to force overtime in the final 15:48 of the game.
The West Monroe, La. native also returned 20 punts for 120 yards and caught 33 passes for 434 yards and two touchdowns.
The versatile player from Louisiana Tech is one of two players on the watch list from Conference USA (Trey Watts, Tulsa) and is one of only two from Louisiana (Odell Beckham Jr., LSU).
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 Selections
Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Antonio Andrews, WKU
Dri Archer, Kent State
D.J. Banks, Louisiana Tech
Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
Corey Brown, Ohio State
Isaiah Burse, Fresno State
Trey Burton, Florida
Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest
Brandon Carter, TCU
Chris Coyer, Temple
Quandre Diggs, Texas
Stefon Diggs, Maryland
Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
Tyler Ervin, San Jose State
Cody Fajardo, Nevada
JD Falslev, BYU
D.J. Foster, Arizona State
Jerry "BooBoo" Gates, Bowling Green
Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech
Scott Harding, Hawaii
Akeem Hunt, Purdue
Kyshoen Jarrett, Virginia Tech
Duke Johnson, Miami (FLA)
Christion Jones, Alabama
Marqise Lee, Southern California
Tommylee Lewis, Northern Illinois
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Venric Mark, Northwestern
Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
Marcus Murphy, Missouri
LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State
Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida
Bernard Reedy, Toledo
Jamill Smith, Ball State
Damien Thigpen, UCLA
De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
Tramaine Thompson, Kansas State
Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Trey 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.
Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse
Created by the Louisville Sports Commission in 2010, the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football. The Award is designed to promote college football and help preserve the legacy of one of Kentucky's best-known and accomplished athletes who has always called Louisville home. Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner at Notre Dame and NFL MVP for the Green Bay Packers, set a single season NFL scoring record that stood 46 years. Hornung is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and Vince Lombardi once called Hornung, "The most versatile man ever to play the game." A national selection committee comprised of 16 sports journalists and former NFL stars votes for the Hornung Award, with fan voting powered by Texas Roadhouse comprising the 17th vote. All votes are tabulated independently by regional accounting firm Dean Dorton Allen Ford. The winner is honored at a banquet presented by KentuckyOne Health in late January in downtown Louisville. For more information, visit www.paulhornungaward.com Fans can also follow online on Twitter (@hornungaward) and Become a Fan on Facebook.
Louisville Sports Commission
The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) is a Louisville, Kentucky-based 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to create a legacy of economic and social vitality through sports. LSC attracts and hosts sporting events and activities that have a positive economic impact on Louisville, enhance the area's image as a premier sports destination, promote healthy lifestyles and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages. More information is available online at www.louisvillesports.org and www.facebook.com/louisvillesportscommission.
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Texas Roadhouse opened its doors in 1993. Texas Roadhouse has grown to more than 400 locations in 48 states. The company is famous for hand-cut steaks, made-from-scratch sides, fresh-baked bread and its lively atmosphere. In 2007 and 2008, Forbes magazine ranked the company as one of the 200 Best Small Companies and in 2009 the company was ranked "Best Value" by readers of Consumer Reports magazine. For more information, visit www.texasroadhouse.com.
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