Tech's Jamal Golden On Paul Hornung Award Watch List
Defensive back, kick returner, punt returner among the nation's most versatile players
July 5, 2013
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech junior Jamal Golden, the only player in college football to rank in the top 10 nationally in both kickoff and punt return average last season, was named to the preseason watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse.
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its fourth season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung.
Golden, one of six Atlantic Coast Conference players represented on the watch list, ranked sixth in punt returns (14.59) and 10th in kickoff return average (28.35) in 2012. The Yellow Jacket junior defensive back ran his way into the Tech record books when he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns - one against BYU and one at North Carolina. Prior to Golden's 100-yard return against BYU, Tech had gone 15 seasons without returning a kickoff for a touchdown.
Golden has been a versatile athlete since playing high school sports in Wetumpka, Ala., where he was a talented dual-threat quarterback. Since arriving at Georgia Tech, Golden has shown the ability to play safety, cornerback and nickel. For a short time he also played on the Yellow Jacket baseball team.
Golden's two kick returns for touchdowns last season tied a Georgia Tech record for season and career kick returns for TDs. His average of 28.3 yards per kick return rank third in Yellow Jacket single-season history.
"The Paul Hornung Award Watch List for the upcoming season is an impressive group of players who excel at multiple positions to help their teams win, which is how I played the game," Hornung said. "It will be interesting to see which players excel during the season and emerge as the top choices of our selection committee."
2013 Watch List Selections
The Louisville Sports Commission successfully launched the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 to honor its namesake and native son and to promote outstanding performances by versatile college football players that often go unnoticed. Owen Marecic of Stanford, a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker, won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award; Brandon Boykin of Georgia won the award in 2011 after excelling on defense, offense and special teams; Tavon Austin of West Virginia won the award in 2012 being one of two players in the nation with more than 500 yards in three different categories (rushing, receiving and kick returns).
The winner will be honored at the official Paul Hornung Award Banquet sponsored by KentuckyOne Health, held at the Galt House in downtown Louisville in late January 2014.