LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky football junior wide receiver/quarterback/punt returner/kickoff returner/holder Randall Cobb and senior tailback/kickoff returner Derrick Locke have been named to the inaugural Paul Hornung Award Watch List given to college football’s most versatile player.
Created by the Louisville Sports Commission, the Paul Hornung Award is designed to recognize versatile, high-level performers in major college football and help preserve the legacy of one of Kentucky’s best known athletes.
Cobb and Locke, along with 46 other players, make up the list. The list was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on 2009 statistics and expectations heading into the 2010 season. The awards list features 25 seniors, 18 juniors and five sophomores, representing all 11 conferences that make up the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.
The watch list will be updated during the course of the season based on players’ performances before the selection committee narrows the list to 10-15 players in December. The inaugural award winner will be selected in early January.
Both Cobb and Locke have received numerous awards at different positions. Cobb has brought in several 2010 preseason awards, including four as an all-purpose player, four as a punt returner and one as a running back. Recently, Cobb was named first-team All-SEC by the coaches and the media as an all-purpose player. Locke also has received preseason honors, bringing in five first-team selections. Locke, like Cobb, also was named first-team All-SEC by the coaches and media, but was selected as a first- team running back by the coaches and first-team return specialist by the media.
Cobb is coming off a successful sophomore season as a quarterback, wide receiver and special teams player, finishing second in the SEC in touchdowns with 15. The all-purpose player led the team last season in receiving with 39 catches for 447 yards and four touchdowns, on top of averaging 26.5 yards on kickoff returns and 12.8 yards on punt returns, including a 73-yard touchdown return. The native of Alcoa, Tenn., has gained 889 yards rushing, 644 yards receiving and 24 touchdowns in 23 career games as a Wildcat. Cobb also has been the holder for field goals and extra points the past two seasons for UK’s all-time leading scorer, Lones Seiber.
Locke also has been impressive on the field for Kentucky, leading UK in rushing last season with 907 yards and six touchdowns. In his career at Kentucky, Locke has gained 1,731 rushing yards, good for 10th on Kentucky’s all-time rushing list. The native of Hugo, Okla., is in the Kentucky history books as the only player in school history to have two 100-yard kickoff returns in a career. He enters the season holding the UK career record for kickoff returns with a 27.4-yard average. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound tailback is also dangerous in the passing game, catching 31 passes for 284 yards last season, including two catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns in UK’s road win against Georgia.
Kentucky is one of only three schools to post two players on the listing, joining Ohio State (DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor) and Stanford (Owen Marecic, Chris Owusu). A total of seven Southeastern Conference teams were represented on the list, including Auburn (Demon Washington), Florida (Chris Rainey), Georgia (Brandon Boykin), Mississippi State (Leon Berry), South Carolina (Stephon Gilmore) and Vanderbilt (Warren Norman).