ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The preseason honors keep coming for junior wide receiver/kick returner Carlos Wiggins as he was named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List. He is one of 47 players in the nation to be placed on the Watch List by the Louisville Sports Commission.
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its fifth season and presented by Texas Roadhouse, 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 Golden Boy.
Wiggins has already been named a preseason Second Team All-America selection as a kick returner by Athlon Sports, and he has been named a First Team All-Mountain West preseason pick by Athlon, Lindy’s and Phil Steele. Wiggins picked up plenty of postseason honors last season, including the College Football Performance Awards Kickoff Returner of the Year award.
Just a rising junior, Wiggins last year was named the Mountain West’s Special Teams Player of the Year after leading the nation with 1,303 kickoff return yards and three touchdowns. He made several All-American teams last year including SB Nation (second team), College Sports Madness (third team), Phil Steele (fourth team) and Sports Illustrated (honorable mention). He was one of two players nationally last year to have at least two touchdowns rushing, receiving and on kickoff returns.
Two other Mountain West student-athletes are on the Watch List; Scott Harding of Hawai’i (WR/PR/P) and Shane Williams-Rhodes of Boise State (WR/PR/KR).
The 2014 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2013 statistics, career performance and expectations heading into the 2014 season. Profiles of each player and information about the Award can be found at www.paulhornungaward.com.
The Paul Hornung Award Watch List includes one finalist from last season, Myles Jack from UCLA. Also, the Watch List contains 22 of the top 100 all-purpose players from 2013 according to yards per game average from ncaa.com, including the top two – Ty Montgomery from Stanford and Jamarcus Nelson from UAB.
The Watch List is comprised of 22 seniors, 12 juniors and 13 sophomores, representing 43 universities and 10 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The ACC and Big Ten are tied as the leading conferences with 10 players followed by the Pac-12 with seven players. There are five players from the Big 12 and four from the SEC on the Watch List.
Players on this year’s Paul Hornung Award Watch List accounted for 9,799 rushing yards, 21,281 receiving yards, 18,353 kickoff return yards, 4,104 punt return yards and 346 total tackles in 2013. Reminiscent of Hornung during his playing days, members of the Watch List demonstrated a knack for scoring last season, accounting for 300 total touchdowns in seven different ways – passing, rushing, receiving, punt return, kickoff return, interception and fumble recovery/fumble return.
Hornung is impressed with the skills and attitude of the players on the Watch List. “It’s great that we are able to acknowledge outstanding players who contribute any way possible to help their team win,” Hornung said. “Doing what it takes to win was a trait that I learned early in my athletic career and carried with me to Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers. I look forward to following the players on our Watch List during the upcoming season. And I enjoy watching many of our winners and finalists from the first four years as they make their marks in the NFL.”