Paul Hornung Award Watch List Includes 5 Carolinians


The Paul Hornung Award Watch List was out early this week, and there were several local players on it. The Hornung Award is handed out to the most versatile player in college football in the spirit of Paul Hornung. If the football gods had their way it would be given to a quarterback who returns kicks and performs kicks himself. We don’t see those guys. The Hornung Award Watch List is dotted with players who start on offense or defense AND have major roles in special teams. To get on this list you need to excel at both.

Here are the North Carolina candidates on the list:

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Matt Dayes – RB – NC State – Junior

Dayes was one of several NC State backs that saw action last year. He ran for 573 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. He also became a receiving threat, with more than three hundred receiving yards and five touchdowns. He also saw service on the kick return squad.

DeVon Edwards – CB – Duke – Junior

The designation of cornerback is misleading, since Duke runs a 4-2-5. Edwards is really more of a safety, one of three safeties that Duke deploys in its defense. Edwards is on this list for his performance as a kick returner. How many teams risk their starting safety for such duty? Duke must feel that Edwards is that good with two touchdowns back in 2013.

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Isaiah Jones – WR – East Carolina – Junior

Jones has to be the number one returning weapon in the receiving corps with the departure of Justin Hardy and Cam Worthy. Even with those two, Jones managed to field 830 receiving yards and five touchdowns through the air last year. Yet Jones would not be here without a second element. That second element would be kickoff returns, which Jones saw twenty-five of in the last year.

TJ Logan – RB – North Carolina – Junior

For Logan it is all about being healthy. The running back has missed parts of his first two seasons due to injury, but his potential finds him on this list. In two seasons, Logan has seen about a hundred carries each year and ran for around five hundred yards each time. This is a result of him splitting time with other backs and injury. Logan also remains on the kick return unit. Like Edwards he ran back two kicks for scores two years ago.

Ryan Switzer – WR – North Carolina – Junior

Switzer first got on the Hornung Watch List last year because of his returning exploits as a freshman. He had five touchdowns on punt returns. A weaker defense and directional punting hurt his production last year as a returner, but he became a front line receiver for the team as well. Switzer had 757 yards receiving with four touchdowns.

Next: Bednarik Award Watch List