The Paul Hornung Award, now in its fifth 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, the Golden Boy.
Christion Jones, a 5-11, 187-pound upcoming senior and three-year letterman at Alabama, has made his mark as a pass receiver, but has been a particularly potent weapon on punt and kickoff returns.
Jones, who played at Minor High in Adamsville on the outskirts of Birmingham, has been a starting wide receiver the past two years. He has played in 39 games with 66 receptions for 766 yards and six touchdowns. Last year he had 36 catches for 349 yards and two TDs.
As a punt return man he has 47 career runbacks for 567 yards (12.1 yards per return) and two touchdowns. Last season he ran back 23 punts for 321 yards (14.0 per return) with a long return of 75 yards for one of his two TDs.
On kickoff returns, he has 31 runbacks for 876 yards (28.3 yards per return) and two touchdowns. As a junior he had 22 returns for 631 yards (28.7 per return) and a 94-yard TD return.
He was selected SEC Special Teams Player of the Year by the league coaches.
Jones was named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week following Bama’s season-opening win over Virginia Tech as he had touchdowns on a punt return, kickoff return, and pass reception.
The 2014 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2013 statistics, career performance and expectations heading into the 2014 season. Profiles of each player and information about the Award can be found at www.paulhornungaward.com.
The Paul Hornung Award Watch List includes one finalist from last season, Myles Jack from UCLA. Also, the Watch List contains 22 of the top 100 all-purpose players from 2013 according to yards per game average from ncaa.com, including the top two – Ty Montgomery from Stanford and JaMarcus Nelson from UAB.
The Watch List is comprised of 22 seniors, 12 juniors and 13 sophomores, representing 43 universities and 10 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The ACC and Big Ten are tied as the leading conferences with 10 players followed by the Pac-12 with seven players. There are five players from the Big 12 and four from the SEC on the Watch List.
Other SEC players are Jameon Lewis of Mississippi State, Pharoh Cooper of South Carolina, and Marcus Murphy of Missouri.
Players on this year’s Paul Hornung Award Watch List accounted for 9,799 rushing yards, 21,281 receiving yards, 18,353 kickoff return yards, 4,104 punt return yards and 346 total tackles in 2013. Reminiscent of Hornung during his playing days, members of the Watch List demonstrated a knack for scoring last season, accounting for 300 total touchdowns in seven different ways – passing, rushing, receiving, punt return, kickoff return, interception and fumble recovery/fumble return.
Alabama wide receiver and kick return specialist Christion Jones is one of 47 multi-talented athletes on the Watch List for the 2014 Paul Hornung Award as announced by the Louisville (Ky.) Sports Commission.