The Paul Hornung Award, now in its third season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend Paul Hornung. West Virginia's Tavon Austin is one of 49 players, and one of six from the Big 12, on the initial roster.
Austin earned his spot with a stellar 2011 season that included 101 receptions for 1186 yards and eight scores, 16 rushes for 182 yards and a touchdown, 19 punt returns for 268 yards and 36 kickoff returns for 938 yards and two scores.
The 2012 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2011 statistics, career performance and expectations heading into the 2012 season.
The Watch List is comprised of 25 seniors, 16 juniors and eight sophomores, representing 44 universities and 10 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
"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."
College football fans nationwide will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite player during the regular season and again during the bowl season. Fan voting will open in late September and will factor into the selection of the finalists and winner.
Players from all FBS teams are eligible; appearing on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List is not a prerequisite for winning the Award. The Selection Committee, comprised of 16 national sports journalists and former college and NFL players, will narrow the field to a small group of finalists in early December. The winner will be selected in early January from among the finalists following the bowl season.