All-purpose junior stud De’Anthony Thomas has earned the honor of being named to the 2013 Paul Hornung Award watch list. The Louisville Sports Commission made the announcement on Friday.
The Hornung award is presented by Texas Roadhouse annually to the nation’s most versatile player in college football. The award is named after Louisville native and former Green Bay Packers’ NFL Hall-of-Fame running back Paul Hornung. Hornung attended Notre Dame before being drafted number one overall in 1957 by the Packers. Thomas and Ducks’ fans alike can only hope the Oregon standout will have a similar fate. No rush though, De’Anthony, we want you around for another two seasons.This marks the second straight year the Los Angeles native has been nominated for the award. Thomas is one of four players from the Pac-12 and one of 44 nationally to make the award’s initial watch list. Arizona State running back DJ Foster, USC wide receiver Marqise Lee, and UCLA running back Damien Thigpen round out the Pac-12 nominees.
DAT was only one of two players in the country last year to run for over 700 yards, gain more than 400 yards receiving, and accumulate over 600 yards in punt and kickoff returns. Thomas, then a sophomore, led Oregon in receptions (45 for 445 yards), punt returns (222 yards), and kick off returns (389) in 2012. The all-purpose back also finished 29th in the nation and fifth in the Pac-12 with a 135.2 average in all-purpose yards per game.