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August 18, 2010

Johnson on Hornung Award Watch List

Tulsa football player Damaris Johnson is on the initial Watch List for the inaugural Paul Hornung Award that will be given annually to the most versatile player in major college football. It's too bad this award wasn't around the past two years, as Johnson would have had a good shot at taking it home the last two seasons.

The exciting playmaker racked up almost 2,700 all-purpose yards for the Golden Hurricane as a sophomore in 2009, which led the nation. He had 1,131 yards receiving, 175 yards rushing, 1,131 yards in kickoff returns and 256 yards in punt returns. That sure sounds like the most versatile player in major college football.

The year before, as a freshman, Johnson finished second nationally with 2,475 all-purpose yards, including 327 rushing yards, 743 receiving yards, 23 yards on punt returns and 1,382 yards on kick returns.

"Paul Hornung was a playmaker and the spirit of the Paul Hornung Award is to recognize versatile, high-level performers who make an impact on the game," said Karl Schmitt, executive director of the Louisville Sports Commission. "The Watch List is a work in progress, and we are particularly pleased from the outset to draw attention to almost two dozen individuals that have not received recognition with other awards."

Johnson was among three Conference USA players named to the Watch List. The other two C-USA nominees include East Carolina senior WR/KR Dwayne Harris and Houston junior WR/KR Tyron Carrier.

The Watch List, comprised of 48 players, was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on 2009 statistics and expectations heading into the 2010 season. The list will be updated during the course of the season based on players' performances.

Twenty-three of the 48 players listed do not appear on any major college football award watch list published to date. Most candidates had a minimum of three different "touches" in 2009 - catching, running, passing, returning kicks, returning punts, holding for placements, tackling, deflecting / intercepting a pass or recovering a fumble.

There are 25 seniors, 18 juniors and five sophomores on the list, representing all 11 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

Players from all FBS teams are eligible. Appearing on the Watch List is not a prerequisite for winning the Award. The Selection Committee will narrow the field to approximately 10-15 Finalists at the end of the regular season in early December then will select the winner at or near the end of the bowl season in early January.

2010 Hornung Award Watch List

Douglas Beaumont, Louisville
Leon Berry, Mississippi State
Brandon Boykin, Georgia
LaVon Brazill, Ohio
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Tyron Carrier, Houston
Randall Cobb, Kentucky
Graig Cooper, Miami (Fla.)
Dwight Dasher, Middle Tennessee
Ricky Dobbs, Navy
Tandon Doss, Indiana
Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
David Gilreath, Wisconsin
Dwayne Harris, East Carolina
T.Y. Hilton, Florida International
Jerrel Jernigan, Troy
Damaris Johnson, Tulsa
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Iowa
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
Jeremy Kerley, TCU
Derrick Locke, Kentucky
Owen Marecic, Stanford
Doug Martin, Boise State
Keshawn Martin, Michigan State
Josh Nesbitt, Georgia Tech
James Nixon, Temple
Warren Norman, Vanderbilt
Chris Owusu, Stanford
Eric Page, Toledo
Niles Paul, Nebraska
DeVier Posey, Ohio State
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky
Chris Rainey, Florida
Greg Reid, Florida State
Reggie Rembert, Air Force
Dyrell Roberts, Virginia Tech
James Rodgers, Oregon State
Jock Sanders, West Virginia
Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers
Da'Norris Searcy, North Carolina
Torrey Smith, Maryland
Shaky Smithson, Utah
Jerrard Tarrant, Georgia Tech
Daniel Thomas, Kansas State
Shane Vereen, California
Demond Washington, Auburn
Devon Wylie, Fresno State





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