BC’s Michael Walker Named to 2018 Paul Hornung Award Watch List
Louisville-based Texas Roadhouse to sponsor award for eighth year
|LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Louisville Sports Commission today named 43 multi-talented college football players to the 2018 Watch List for the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse. Included in the group of national standouts is Boston College senior wide receiver/kick returner/punt returner Michael Walker.
A 2018 Preseason All-America selection by Athlon Magazine, Walker returns as one of the most dangerous kickoff and punt returners in the nation.
Walker led the nation in combined kick and punt return yards (1,203) as a junior as he was named to the All-ACC third-team as a return specialist. Walker was sixth nationally and first in the ACC with 13.1 yards per punt return in 2017.
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its ninth 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 winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner presented by Jewish Hospital Sports Medicine, to be held at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2019. This will be The Paul Hornung Award’s third year as an associate member of the National College Football Awards Association.
The Paul Hornung Award has an impressive legacy. Saquon Barkley, the 2017 Paul Hornung Award winner, was the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft; the three 2017 finalists also are currently on NFL rosters. The six most-recent winners, including Barkley, were NFL first-round draft picks in their respective years.
“Due to the leadership and hard work of the Louisville Sports Commission, the award created in my name has come a long way in a short time,” said Paul Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner who played every position in the offensive backfield during his Notre Dame career and was a triple threat halfback and placekicker for the title town Green Bay Packers of the early 1960s. “We’ve selected outstanding college players, many who have gone on to do extremely well in the NFL. I’m pleased that we are able to acknowledge outstanding players who contribute any way possible to help their teams win, the same way I did.”
Hornung, who maintains an office in downtown Louisville, earned NFL MVP honors for the Packers in 1961 by setting a single-season NFL scoring record that stood 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 2018 Watch List is comprised of 14 seniors, 19 juniors and 10 sophomores who play a total of 10 different positions. They represent 43 universities in 27 states coast-to-coast across the 10 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), as well as three independent schools. The ACC leads the conferences with six players, followed by the Big Ten and the SEC with five players each.
The 2018 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2017 statistics, career performance, SID recommendations, and expectations heading into the 2018 season. Information about the Award can be found at www.paulhornungaward.com.Players will be added to the Watch List during the 2018 regular season based on performance.
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. Each week during the season, a panel of college football experts selects players for the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll based on performance. A national selection committee comprised of 17 sports journalists and former NFL stars votes for the Hornung Award finalists and the winner, with fan voting powered by Texas Roadhouse comprising the 18th vote. Regional accounting firm Dean Dorton independently tabulates all votes.
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 the selection of the finalists and winner.
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