WEEK 4: Two Offensive Players from the SEC, Big Ten Earn Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll
Saquon Barkely from Penn State, Christian Kirk from Texas A&M Lead Teams to Dramatic Wins
Louisville, Ky. – September 25, 2017 – Saquon Barkley (Penn State) and Christian Kirk (Texas A&M) were named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for Week Four after standout performances on Saturday when they combined for more than 600 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns and led their teams to dramatic, come-from-behind wins in conference matchups.
The Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission to the most versatile player in major college football. The winner of this year’s award and his family will be honored on March 7, 2018, at a banquet presented by KentuckyOne Health at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville, Ky.
Penn State running back / return specialist Saquon Barkley led the Nittany Lions to a last-second, 21-19 victory at Iowa, dominating the Hawkeyes with 358 all-purpose yards on 43 touches, establishing a Penn State single-game record for all-purpose yardage. Barkley rushed for 211 yards on 28 carries, including an 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and caught 12 passes for 94 yards. He accounted for seven first downs rushing and receiving, and on special teams returned three kickoffs for 53 yards.
Texas A&M receiver / return specialist Christian Kirk accounted for 236 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns as the Aggies beat Arkansas 50-43 in overtime in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Kirk led the team in receiving with five catches for 110 yards and two scores, including a 10-yard touchdown reception to win the game in overtime. On special teams, he returned three kickoffs for 136 yards, including a 100-yard return for a score late in the fourth quarter to help set the stage for overtime. Kirk also had five fair catches on punts.
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. Previous winners by year are:
2010: Owen Marecic of Stanford won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award as a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and honorable mention at linebacker;
2011: Brandon Boykin of Georgia won the award as a lockdown, All-American defensiveback who also excelled on offense and special teams;
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);
2013: Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU won the award after finishing the season ranked second in the nation and first in the SEC with 2,222 all-purpose yards and 185.2 average yards per game;
2014: Shaq Thompson of Washington won the award as a two-way player, earning first team All-America honors at linebacker and finishing as the Husky’s second-leading rusher at tailback;
2015: Christian McCaffrey of Stanford won in 2015 after amassing 3,496 all-purpose yards with 1,847 rushing, 540 receiving and 1,109 return, breaking Barry Sanders record of 3,250 set in 1988; and
2016: Jabrill Peppers of Michigan won the award playing 15 different positions, earning consensus All-America at linebacker, and becoming the first player ever to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the year, Linebacker of the Year, and Specialist of the Year.
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 factors into the selection of the Paul Hornung Award finalists and winner.