WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) – The Louisville Sports Commission has announced that Purdue senior running back Akeem Hunt has been named to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse. This is the second consecutive year that Hunt has been named to the watch list. He was one of 47 named.
The award, now in its fifth year and given to college football’s most versatile player, is named after Louisville legend and former Green Bay Packers’ NFL Hall-of-Famer Paul Hornung. The 2014 watch list was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2013 statistics, career performances and expectations heading into the 2014 season. Player profiles and information on the Award can be found at paulhornungaward.com.
In 2013, Hunt ranked seventh in the Big Ten Conference in all-purpose yards, averaging 119.2 yards per game. He gained 464 rushing yards, 340 receiving yards and 626 yards on kickoff returns. His 1,666 return yards on kickoffs rank only behind Dorien Bryant on Purdue’s all-time kickoff return yards list. He returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against Indiana State in 2013 and had a 100-yard return for a score at Ohio State in 2012.
A native of Covington, Ga., Hunt has accounted for 3,300 all-purpose yards in his career, including 1,086 yards on the ground. As a junior, he had 867 kickoff return yards, which was good for second all-time in a season at Purdue.
Dri Archer, a 2012 Hornung Award finalist and a third-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2014 NFL Draft, was coached by head coach Darrell Hazell and running backs coach Jafar Williams at Kent State.
The 2014 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.
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Purdue will play against seven players on the 2014 list: Ameer Abdulah and Kenny Bell of Nebraska, V’Angelo Bentely of Illinois, Shilique Calhoun of Michigan State, Venric Mark of Northwestern, Kevonte Martin-Manley of Iowa and Shane Wynn of Indiana.
In 2013, players on this year’s 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.
Reminiscent of Hornung during his playing days, members of the watch list demonstrated a knack for scoring a year ago, accounting for 300 total touchdowns in seven different ways – passing, rushing, receiving, punt return, kickoff return, interception and fumble recovery.