Coach Harbaugh and Jabrill Peppers

The Paul Hornung Award

WEEK 9: Two Players from Big 10, ACC Earned Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll in Week 9

Greg Dortch, Justin Jackson Lead Teams to Big Conference Victories in Close Games

Louisville, Ky. – October 30, 2017 – Greg Dortch (Wake Forest) and Justin Jackson (Northwestern) earn the Paul Hornung Award for the first time, combining for five touchdowns three different ways and leading their teams to signature conference victories.

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.

Wake Forest wide receiver/ return specialist Greg Dortch led the Demon Deacons to a 42-32 home victory against Louisville with four touchdown catches, three in the first half when Wake built a lead it would not relinquish. Dortch had 15 touches on offense and special teams: 10 catches for 67 yards, one carry, two kickoff returns, and two punt returns. Wake Forest broke a string of three tough conference loses and improved its record to 5-3 on the season.

Northwestern running back Justin Jackson touched the ball 25 times and accounted for two touchdowns in the Wildcat’s 39-31 triple overtime home win over No. 16 Michigan State. Jackson had 17 carries for 41 yards and scored during the second overtime when the Wildcats answered Michigan State to send the game into triple-overtime. He threw a 12-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and finished the game with seven receptions for 51 yards. NU is now tied for second in the Big 10 West division.

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.