Wan’Dale Robinson named to Paul Hornung Award watch list
Junior all-purpose player was a finalist for the award in 2019 which is given annually to the most versatile player
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior all-purpose player Wan’Dale Robinson has been named to the watch list for the 2021 Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, it was announced today by the Louisville Sports Commission. It marks the third straight season Robinson has been on the Watch List. He was a finalist for the award in 2019.
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its 12th season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission in the memory of the late football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2021.
Robinson, a 5-foot-10, 183-pound native of Frankfort, Kentucky, transferred back to his home-state school in 2021 after playing two seasons at Nebraska. He is eligible to play immediately after the new NCAA transfer legislation passed which allows athletes in all sports to transfer one time without having to sit out.
At Nebraska last season, Robinson led the Huskers with 51 catches and 461 receiving yards despite playing only eight games and splitting duties at running back. He was fourth on the team with 240 rushing yards and led Nebraska with 696 all-purpose yards. He was on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List and he earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from the conference coaches. Robinson ranked fourth in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally with 6.4 receptions per game, the fourth-highest average in the country for an underclassman.
Robinson made a name for himself nationally as a freshman in 2019, catching 40 passes for 443 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 340 yards and three scores. The 40 catches and 443 receiving yards were the most by any true freshman in Nebraska history. He also totaled 1,029 all-purpose yards as a true freshman, which ranked second on the team and was the third-highest total ever by a Husker true freshman.Because of his versatility and play-making ability, he was named a second-team freshman All-American, an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection, and was a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week. He was also one of four national finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player.
Hornung, who passed away in his hometown at age 84 on Nov. 13, 2020, played every position in the offensive backfield during his career with the Irish in the 1950s and also played defensive safety, punted, placekicked and returned kickoffs. He was named All-America at quarterback as a senior and won the Heisman Trophy in 1956, then was the first player selected in the NFL draft, going to Green Bay. He earned NFL MVP honors for the Packers in 1961 as a triple-threat halfback and placekicker by setting a single-season NFL scoring record that stood for 46 years. He is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and Vince Lombardi once called him, “The most versatile man ever to play the game.”
The 2021 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2020 statistics, career performance, SID recommendations and expectations heading into the 2021 season. In addition to the Watch List, the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll will recognize players whose performances during the regular season meet the Award’s criteria. Players from both the Watch List and the Honor Roll will be eligible to win the Award.