University of Maryland wide receiver and returner D.J.
Redshirt sophomore Derwin James was named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list Monday morning, while linebackers Jacob Pugh and Matthew Thomas earned Butkus Award watch list honors as the nation’s top linebackers.
Named after Louisville native Hornung, the award has been given annually to the most versatile player in college football since 2010. Forty-six student-athletes made the cut for this year’s watch list. Last season, he started 11 times and appeared in all 13 games. He averaged 15.3 yards per play, the most among all Big Ten players. His 61-yard touchdown catch vs. Vanderbilt from Tyler Ferguson was the longest of his career, and he added more fireworks in the return game.
Alabama’s Reuben Foster – a first-round selection of the San Francisco 49ers – won the award past year.
Aside from his productive on-the-field performance, Johnson is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and was first team CoSIDA Academic All-District. He is one of 46 FBS players to make the preseason list. LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr. won the award in 2013 after finishing the season ranked second in the nation and first in the Southeastern Conference with 2,222 all-purpose yards.
The victor and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award Banquet presented by KentuckyOne Health, to be held at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville on March 8, 2018.