The Louisville Sports Commission announced this morning Penn State star running back Saquon Barkley is the recipient of this year’s Paul Hornung Award. The award is given each year to “versatile, high-level performers in major college football.”
We can’t think of a more versatile or high-level performer than Saquon Barkley. He beat out a list of finalists including NC State’s Nyheim Hines, Iowa State’s Joel Lanning, and Washington’s Dante Pettis to become the first Nittany Lion to ever win the award.
— Paul Hornung Award (@hornungaward) December 6, 2017
The award is named after famed Notre Dame quarterback and Louisville, Kentucky native Paul Hornung, who won the Heisman in 1956 and was the No. 1 pick in the 1957 NFL Draft. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
“It is an honor to win an award like the Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile player in college football,” Saquon Barkley said in a release. “I am so appreciative of Mr. Hornung and the Louisville Sports Commission for selecting me for this very special honor. I have to give a lot of the credit to my teammates and coaches, they are the reason that I am in position to win this award and I could not have done it without them. I also want to thank our amazing fans at Penn State. We Are!”
Hornung and the commission created the award in 2010. Since then, they have given the award to players like Brandon Boykin, Tavon Austin, Odell Beckham, Jr., and Jabrill Peppers. Each year, a panel of college football gurus create a watch list comprising of about 50 players, which is narrowed down after Week 12 based on their performances in the regular season. This year’s final selection committee consists of 17 former NFL stars and sports journalists. Fans cast the eighteenth vote.
Barkley and his family will be honored March 7, 2018, at the annual Paul Hornung Award Banquet in downtown Louisville.