USC’s A.J. Turner Named to Paul Hornung Watch List

USC’s A.J. Turner Named to Paul Hornung Watch List
South Carolina's A.J. Turner runs for some of his team-high 81 yards during first-quarter action in Gainesville, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- University of South Carolina senior A.J. Turner has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2019 Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, it was announced today.

Turner, a 5-10, 190-pounder from Clifton, Va., is a versatile performer whose primary position is running back, where he is listed with the first-team entering the fall, but also listed as a second-team cornerback and the top kickoff returner. He has spent the bulk of his career on offense, ranking 30th in school history with 1,322 rushing yards over 37 games, but played in the secondary in the 2018 Belk Bowl and worked at cornerback in the spring. He is also considered one of the Gamecocks' top special teams performers.

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 number one 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, Hornung 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 LSC oversees and administers all aspects of the Award including budget, selection process, marketing and PR, banquet, trophy, sponsorships, and hospitality. An Advisory Committee comprised of the LSC President and CEO, Board leadership, and local business leaders provides guidance to insure the integrity of the Award.

After Week 11 of the regular season, a panel of college football experts creates a candidate list of approximately 10-15 players based on performance during the season. The Paul Hornung Award Selection Committee chooses the finalists and ultimately the winner from the candidate list. For the actual selection, a 17-member Selection Committee votes for finalists in early November. The Selection Committee chooses the winner in early December from among the finalists after they compete in bowl games.