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Versatile players Jack, Cooper, Jackson, Fournette top Hornung watch list

The Paul Hornung Award, which goes to the nation's most versatile player, released a 44-player watch list Monday.

The Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation's most versatile player hasn't been around that long, but its list of winners is impressive.

On Monday, the Louisville Sports Commission released its watch list of 44 players and like those previous winners, it's a good-looking list.

MORE: SN Top 50 players for 2015 | SN All-Americans

Last year, Washington linebacker/running back Shaq Thompson won it. Previously, LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., West Virginia wide receiver/kick returner Tavon Austin, Georgia defensive back/kick returner Brandon Boykin and Stanford linebacker/fullback Owen Marecic, received the award.

Here's a look at five players on the list who have to be considered strong preseason candidates, and the rest of the list of 44:


  • Why he's here: Two seasons ago as a freshman, Jack became a household name when he slid over to the offensive side and had big success in spurts at running back for Jim Mora's team. Last season, he was second on the Bruins with 88 tackles, including 8.0 tackles for loss. He also ran for 113 yards and three TDs on 28 carries — slightly down from the 267 yards and seven scores he had in 2013.

    Of note: Jack isn't the only Bruin on the list. He's joined by Ishmael Adams, a junior DB who doubles as a dynamic kick returner. On defense he returned two interceptions for TDs last season and also had a 100-yard kickoff return for a score.

    MORE: SN Top 25 front seven defensive players

  • Why he's here: As a freshman last season, Jackson stepped in at cornerback, recorded 49 tackles and was second on the team with 10 pass breakups. He also made an impact on special teams (29.7 average on kickoff returns with two TDs) and offense where he played a little receiver (10 receptions, 138 yards, three TDs). Expect Steve Sarkisian to find more ways to get the ball in his hands in 2015.

    Of note: Jackson is one of 11 sophomores on the watch list and one of eight Pac-12 players.

    MORE: SN's Top 25 defensive backs for 2015

  • Why he's here: Because Steve Spurrier has him doing everything on offense. Cooper's position is receiver, where he caught 69 passes for 1,136 yards and nine scores last season. But he also ran the ball (27-200-2), threw it (5 for 8, 78 yards, 2 TDs) and averaged 5.0 yards returning punts.

    Of note: In a loss to Tennessee last season, Cooper had 233 yards receiving with two TDs, ran for a score and passed for another.

    MORE: SN's Top 25 receivers for 2015

  • Why he's here: A season after rushing for 1,038 yards and 14 TDs, Marshall took on a different role in 2014 for the Ducks. He still ran the ball (52 times for 392 yards), but stepped out of the backfield most the time as a receiver. He caught 74 passes (he had 14 total catches his first two seasons) for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns in proving to be a big-time weapon for Heisman-winner Marcus Mariota.

    Of note: Teammate Charles Nelson also is on the list. The sophomore added a huge spark last season as a special teams sensation. He piled up 17 tackles on special teams, but also returned two punts for touchdowns, reeled in 23 passes for 327 yards and five TDs and added 101 rushing yards.

    MORE: SN Preseason Top 25

  • Why he's here: Fournette arrived in Baton Rouge last season as the nation's No. 1 recruit. While it took him some time to get rolling, when he did it was obvious what he could do with the ball. He ran for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns and averaged 26.0 yards returning kickoffs with a touchdown.

    Of note: If Fournette wins, LSU would be the first school with two Hornung winners. WR Odell Beckham Jr. won it in 2013 after catching 52 passes for 1,152 yards and eight TDs and averaging 26.4 yards on 32 kickoff returns.

    MORE: 12 teams with toughest Septembers

  • Ishmael Adams, UCLA

    Budda Baker, Washington

    V’Angelo Bentley, Illinois

    Rashon Ceaser, Louisiana Monroe

    Trevor Davis, California

    MORE: Virginia owns ACC's toughest non-con schedule

    Matt Dayes, N.C. State

    Cameron Echols-Luper, TCU

    DeVon Edwards, Duke

    Tyler Ervin, San Jose State

    Autrey Golden, UTEP

    Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech

    Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech

    Janarion Grant, Rutgers

    Carlos Harris, North Texas

    Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech

    MORE: Top 25 conference matchups for 2015

    Corey Jones, Toledo

    Isaiah Jones, East Carolina

    William Likely, Maryland

    T.J. Logan, North Carolina

    Jalin Marshall, Ohio State

    Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

    Elijah McGuire, Louisiana Lafayette

    Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia

    Ronnie Moore, Bowling Green

    Teldrick Morgan, New Mexico State

    Charles Nelson, Oregon

    Speedy Noil, Texas A&M

    Daz’Mond Patterson, Ohio

    De’Mornay Pierson-El, Nebraska

    James Quick, Louisville

    Alex Ross, Oklahoma

    R.J. Shelton, Michigan State

    Ryan Switzer, North Carolina

    Jahad Thomas, Temple

    Jaylen Walton, Ole Miss

    Shane Williams- Rhodes, Boise State

    Stanley Williams, Kentucky

    Myles Willis, Boston College

    Dontre Wilson, Ohio State

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