Paul Hornung 2023 Award Preseason Watch List

Paul Hornung 2023 Award Preseason Watch List
All 10 Conferences + Two Independents Represent the PHA List

Louisville, Ky. – Fifty-three players, representing all 10 conferences plus two of the independents that compete for the Football Bowl Series, have been selected for the Paul Hornung Award Pre-Season Watch List.

Now in its 14th season, the Paul Hornung Award is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission in memory of the late football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner in Louisville, Ky., in March 2024.

Photo – Paul Hornung – ‘The Golden Boy’  (Courtesy of the Green Bay Packers)

More information about the Award can be found at

Frank Coyle is a long-time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long-time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards – Heisman, Biletnikoff, Thorpe, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi etc for the past 25 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a consultant to many NFL player agents related to all levels of preparation for the NFL Draft process. He was a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year-round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

The players represent 53 different schools and last season combined for more than 56,000 total yards and more than 1,700 points. The vast majority of the players on the Watch List – 47 – play offensive skill positions and all but one are return specialists; six players are defensive backs and return specialists.

By conference, the ACC leads with nine players, followed by the Big 12 with eight, the Pac 12 with seven, and the Big 10 and CUSA with six each. The SEC and Mountain West each have five players on the list, the AAC four, the MAC three and the Sun Belt two. Independent schools Notre Dame and UConn each have one player on the list.

The Paul Hornung Award has created an impressive legacy in 13 years including seven winners who were first-round NFL draft picks – Tavon Austin, Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., Christian McCaffrey, Jabrill Peppers, DeVonta Smith and Shaq Thompson. Jack Colletto from Oregon State was named the 13th winner of the Paul Hornung Award in 2022 and the fourth from the Pac-12. A fifth-year senior with a degree in mechanical engineering who was named Academic All-District by the College Sports Communicators, on the field, the “Jackhammer” engineered the transition from part-time starting quarterback as a sophomore to a utility player who played nine different positions on offense and defense depending on the Beavers’ weekly game plan, and was a regular on all special teams.

Hornung, who passed away in his hometown at age 84 in Nov. 2020, played every position in the offensive backfield during his career with the Irish in the 1950s and also played defensive safety, punted, placekicked and returned kickoffs. He was named All-America at quarterback as a senior and won the Heisman Trophy in 1956, then was the first player selected in the NFL draft, going to Green Bay. He earned NFL MVP honors for the Packers in 1961 as a triple-threat halfback and placekicker by setting a single-season NFL scoring record that stood for 46 years. He is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and Vince Lombardi once called him, “The most versatile man ever to play the game.”

The 2023 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of statistics, career performance, SID recommendations and expectations heading into the 2023 season. In addition to the Watch List, the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll will recognize players whose performances during the regular season meet the Award’s criteria. Players from both the Watch List and the Weekly Honor Roll are eligible to win the Award.

2023 Watch List Selections

Brian Battie, Auburn
Trey Benson, FSU
Jonathan Brady, New Mexico State
Barion Brown, Kentucky
Jermaine Brown Jr., UAB
Phillip Brooks, Kansas State
Shadrick Byrd, Charlotte
Joshua Cephus, UTSA
Ron Cook Jr., Buffalo
Jacob Cowing, Arizona
Cooper DeJean, Iowa
MJ Devonshire, Pitt
Chimere Dike, Wisconsin
Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State
Trevor Etienne, Florida
Malik Fleming, Houston
Jaelen Gill, Fresno State
Anthony Gould, Oregon State
Lideatrick Griffin, Mississippi State
Smoke Harris, Louisiana Tech
George Holani, Boise State
Tory Horton, Colorado State
Travis Hunter, Colorado
Kris Hutson, Oregon
Jha’Quan Jackson, Tulane
Lexington Joseph, FIU
Jeshaun Jones, Maryland
Jawhar Jordan, Louisville
Brant Kuithe, Utah
Caullin Lacy, South Alabama
Jaylin Lane, Virginia Tech
Kenny Logan Jr., Kansas
Jaylin Lucas, Indiana
Jayden McGowan, Vanderbilt
Jaylin Noel, Iowa State
Ryan O’Keefe, Boston College
Trebor Pena, Syracuse
Ja’Shaun Poke, WVU
Brennan Presley, Oklahoma State
Victor Rosa, UConn
Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois
Will Shipley, Clemson
Nicholas Singleton, Penn State
Cameron Skattebo, Arizona State
Jaylen Stinson, Duke
Jacquez Stuart, Toledo
Milan Tucker, Appalachian State
Chris Tyree, Notre Dame
Terrell Vaughn, Utah State
Tahj Washington, USC
LaJohntay Wester, FAU
Xavier Worthy, Texas
Luke Wysong, New Mexico

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.

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