Coach Harbaugh and Jabrill Peppers

The Paul Hornung Award

Odell Beckham Jr.

2013 Winner – Odell Beckham Jr. – LSU

LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr., a gifted athlete who plays wide receiver, runs the ball and returns kick and punts, was named winner of the 2013 Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse. 2013 marks the fourth edition of the Paul Hornung Award, presented annually to the most versatile player in major college football. The announcement was made by the Louisville Sports Commission and Paul Hornung.

Beckham excelled throughout 2013 as one of college football’s most prolific all-purpose offensive and special teams players, ranking second in the nation and first in the Southeasterodell-beckhamn Conference with 2,222 all-purpose yards and 185.2 average yards per game. He was named first-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches as an all-purpose player.

“Odell Beckham, Jr. brings the entire package as a versatile football player,” said Gil Brandt, longtime NFL scouting guru and Paul Hornung Award Selection Committee member. “In my opinion, Beckham is the best college receiver in the country and the best kick and punt returner in the country. He’s a devastating blocker and has the speed and size to make outstanding plays in tough situations, which he demonstrated on a consistent basis in the big games in the toughest league in the country. He’s also a quality individual with a terrific attitude and work ethic.”

During the 2013 regular season, Beckham caught 57 passes for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns, returned 30 kicks for 806 yards, returned 14 punts for 141 yards and carried the ball five times for 58 yards. He was fourth in the SEC in punt return average, fifth in receptions per game, fourth in receiving yards per game and third in kick return average.

“It’s just an honor and a blessing to even be mentioned with the other guys who were up for the Hornung Award,” Beckham said. “I am proud to accept the award and thank the committee for recognizing me. It means a lot to me personally because I have worked extremely hard, long before this season started. I had great teammates help me along the way, especially on kickoff and punt returns. None of the opportunities to display my versatility would have been possible if it weren’t for my teammates and coaches who put me in a position to succeed.”

In perhaps the most impressive measure of his versatility and team spirit, Beckham played the role of Johnny Manziel on the scout team offense during LSU’s preparation for Texas A&M during an open week in the season. The Tiger defense held Manziel to less than 300 yards total offense and picked off two of his passes, by far his worst performance of the season, as LSU beat the Aggies 34-10.

“I love the way Odell Beckham plays the game,” Hornung said. “He can run, catch, block and return kicks and plays with great determination. And he has my admiration for lining up on the scout team during the season to help his defense get better. That’s how I played the game – doing anything I could to help my team win.”

In addition to his consistent play against SEC opponents, Beckham’s versatility was on full display in the first two games of the season against non-conference opponents where he amassed 603 all-purpose yards and scored four TDs. In the 2013 season opener, he led LSU to a 37-27 win over TCU in AT&T Stadium in Dallas with 272 all-purpose yards. Beckham carried the ball twice for 18 yards, caught five passes for 118 yards, and returned four kickoffs for 136 yards, averaging an astounding 34.0 yards per kickoff return. On Sept. 7 versus UAB, he recorded a season-high 331 all-purpose yards. He returned a missed field goal for a TD from nine yards deep in the end zone, caught five passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns, returned three punts and a kickoff for a combined 80 yards and carried the ball one time for 15 yards.

“I am excited for Odell to win this outstanding award,” said LSU Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron. “He’s a tremendous representative of LSU and our football program, and we are thrilled to have him as a big part of our offense and returns teams. I have never been around a more versatile player, so this award is very fitting.”

Beckham’s 2,222 total all-purpose yards ranks third on the SEC’s single-season list behind Randall Cobb (2,396 yards, Kentucky, 2010) and Darren McFadden (2,310 yards, Arkansas, 2007) and is an LSU single-season record.

Under the direction of head coach Les Miles, LSU finished the regular season 9-3 and 5-3 in the SEC, third in the SEC West. The regular season included a 14-point win over No. 2 Auburn and the blowout win over Texas A&M.  LSU and Beckham closed out their season in the Outback Bowl versus the Iowa Hawkeyes on Jan. 1.

Beckham was chosen as the Paul Hornung Award winner from among five finalists by a 16-member national Selection Committee comprised of sports journalists and retired NFL players and secured an additional first place vote from online fan voting. On Nov. 21, Beckham, Antonio Andrews (Western Kentucky), Marion Grice (Arizona State), Myles Jack (UCLA) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) were named as Paul Hornung Award finalists. All votes were independently tabulated by regional accounting firm Dean Dorton, one of the largest accounting and advisory firms in Kentucky, with offices in Louisville and Lexington.

Post-Collegiate Career

Odell Beckham Jr. was selected by the New York Giants as the 12th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. In his first season with the Giants, despite missing the first four games with an injury, Beckham broke many Giants franchise records, including: Most receiving yards in a season, rookie (1,305), Most receptions in a season, rookie (91), Most receptions in a game, rookie (12), Most all-purpose yards by a WR, rookie (1,326), and Highest average receiving yards per game (108.8). He also broke several NFL-wide records, including being the only player in NFL history to play in 12 or fewer games in a season and still have over 1,300 receiving yards for that season and being the youngest player in NFL history to have multiple games in a season with over 10 receptions.