Aug. 8, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football player Kerwynn Williams has been named to the 2011 Paul Hornung Award Watch List. The award, presented by Texas Roadhouse, is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) to the most versatile player in major college football.
Last season as a sophomore, Williams, a native of Las Vegas, Nev. (Valley HS), set four new NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) records, including single-season kickoff yards (1,444), most yards returned per game in a season (120.3 ypg) and career (112.0), along with most returns per game for career (4.26). Williams also led the Western Athletic Conference and ranked sixth in FBS in all-purpose yards per game (170.2 ypg) and also led the conference and ranked 21st in the country in kickoff return average (27.3).
"It is a tremendous honor to be named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List and be considered as one of the most versatile players in the country," Williams said. "I'm going to take this honor to heart and it is more motivation to work hard this season to try and be a finalist for the award."
Williams is one of three players from the WAC on the Watch List, joined by Rishard Matthews from Nevada and Justin Veltung from Idaho. In addition to being the only player from a Utah school, Williams is also one of 20 juniors on the 50-player list that includes 20 seniors and 10 sophomores. A total of 46 universities and all 11conferences that are part of the NCAA FBS are represented.
"Kerwynn is very deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud of him for this recognition. Any award is a tribute to Kerwynn and our program. It is a small, but well-deserved reward for all of the hard work and dedication that he has put in to make himself a better player and his teammates better, each and every day," said USU head coach Gary Andersen. "We are excited for Kerwynn and his teammates to open fall camp with the same kind of hard work they put in during their summer workouts."
Williams is one of Utah State's 46 returning letterwinners (29 offense, 16 defense, one special teams), including 17 starters (10 offense, six defense, one special teams), from last season's 4-8 overall mark, and 2-6 in WAC play, in Andersen's second season at the helm of the Aggie program.
USU's preseason opens with its first practice on Monday, Aug. 8 at 3:30 p.m. and concludes with a scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Noon as part of Utah State Aggie Football Family Fun Day, sponsored by Macey's Foods. The event provides fans a chance to meet USU football players and coaches, participate in games and activities as well as purchase and pick-up season tickets. Activities sponsored by Macey's Foods will begin on the South Concourse of Romney Stadium.
Season tickets as well as two-game packages will be also available for purchase at the USU Football Family Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Romney Stadium Box Office, which is located on the South end of Romney Stadium.
After its season-opener at Auburn on Saturday, Sept. 3, Utah State's home opener is on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. (MT), taking on in-state foe Weber State, marking the first time that USU and WSU have squared off since 2001, and Utah State leads the all-time series, 11-1. The Aggie-Wildcat match-up will have special meaning for Andersen, who will be facing his mentor, Weber State head coach Ron McBride. Andersen played for McBride at Utah in 1985-86.
For USU football ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Players from all FBS teams are eligible and appearing on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List is not a prerequisite for winning the Award. The Selection Committee, comprised of 16 national sports journalists and former college and NFL players, will narrow the field to approximately three-five Finalists in early December then will select the winner from among the Finalists following the bowl season in early January. Finalists will be announced on www.paulhornungaward.com and at the Louisville Sports Commission Breakfast on December 9.
The Paul Hornung Award Overview
The Paul Hornung Award is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) to the most versatile player in major college football. The Award was created by the LSC in January 2010 with the support of the Golden Boy himself, Paul Hornung, a native and lifelong resident of Louisville and member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
Hornung is considered by many the most versatile player in the history of college and pro football. He won the 1956 Heisman Trophy at quarterback for Notre Dame and was the No. 1 pick in the 1957 NFL draft. He played every position in the backfield during his career with the Irish, where he also punted, kicked, returned kicks and played defensive back. While in the NFL he was a multi-threat offensive back and prolific kicker. He was a member of four NFL championship teams as an all-pro halfback for the Green Bay Packers and led the NFL in scoring 1959-60-61, set the single season scoring record in 1960 with 176 points and was named League MVP following the 1961 season.
In the spirit of partnership with Paul Hornung, the Louisville Sports Commission oversees and administers all aspects of the Award including budget, selection process, marketing and PR, banquet, trophy, sponsorships and hospitality. An Advisory Committee co-chaired by LSC Chairman Steve Higdon and Executive Director Karl Schmitt and comprised of LSC Board leadership and local business leaders provides guidance to insure integrity of the Award.
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