Three From Mountain West Named To Hornung Award Watch List
Rashaad Penny, Cedrick Wilson and Andrew Celis could make a serious run at the Paul Hornung Award.
Where many prestigious awards seem out of reach, the Mountain West could make a serious run for the Hornung Award.
Three athletes from the Mountain West were named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list this morning, given annually to the nation’s most versatile player.
The list is headlined by San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny, who backed up the nation’s leading rusher, Donnel Pumphrey, in 2016 and may have outperformed him, anyway. He ran for just 1,018 yards, but Penny averaged 7.49 yards per carry and doubled as the conference’s most dangerous kick returner, averaging 31.2 yards per return. Penny also pitched in with 15 catches and a 79% catch rate, scoring 16 total touchdowns as a junior.
Boise State’s Cedrick Wilson proved to be a big play weapon for the Broncos in 2016, as well, finishing fourth in the conference by averaging 20.2 yards per catch. Notably, however, Wilson had more catches (56) and touchdowns (11) than the three receivers ahead of him, and he also managed the highest yards per punt return of anyone with at least ten attempts.
Nevada receiver Andrew Celis flew under the radar as the Wolf Pack struggled last fall, but he could be a do-it-all weapon in the new Air Raid offense being installed. As a sophomore, Celis had 23 catches for 318 yards and averaged 11.2 yards per punt return, but his production should rise dramatically with a more prominent role.
The award was won last year by Michigan’s Jabril Peppers.