LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sophomore running back/returner Khalfani Muhammad was named Monday to the watch list for the 2014 Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse. The 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.
Muhammad is a national honors candidate after a strong true freshman season in 2013 when he led Cal with 445 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns, 6.0 yards per rush (best among regulars) and 1,638 all-purpose yards, as well as school records of 46 kick returns and 1,006 kick return yards. Muhammad earned 2013 third-team Freshman All-American honors by Athlon and was a third-team All-Pac-12 pick of College Sports Madness as a kick returner for his efforts. He proved he is a home run threat with both Cal’s longest run (73 yards for a touchdown at Washington) and kick return (52 yards vs. Oregon State) of the season, as well as a 62-yard reception against Portland State and a 55-yard TD run at Colorado.
The watch list for the 2014 Paul Hornung Award 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 paulhornungaward.com.
The Louisville Sports Commission successfully launched the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 to honor its namesake and native son and to promote outstanding performances by versatile college football players that often go unnoticed.
Texas Roadhouse signed on as presenting sponsor of the Paul Hornung Award in 2011 and will team with the Louisville Sports Commission to power fan voting again this season. 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 factor into the selection of the finalists and winner, who will be honored at the official Paul Hornung Award Banquet sponsored by KentuckyOne Health, held at the Galt House Hotel and Suites in downtown Louisville in late-January 2015.
Players from all FBS teams are eligible and appearing on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List is not a prerequisite for winning the award. The selection committee is comprised of 16 national sports journalists and former college and NFL players.
“It’s great that we are able to acknowledge outstanding players who contribute any way possible to help their team win,” Hornung said of the 47 players on the watch list. “Doing what it takes to win was a trait that I learned early in my athletic career and carried with me to Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers. I look forward to following the players on our watch list during the upcoming season. And I enjoy watching many of our winners and finalists from the first four years as they make their marks in the NFL.”
Cal opens the 2014 season at Northwestern on Aug. 30 before hosting the first of six home games at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium against Sacramento State on Sept. 6. Kickoff is at Noon PT on the Pac-12 Networks.
The Golden Bears will also play Pac-12 opponents Colorado (Sept. 27), Washington (Oct. 11), UCLA (Oct. 18) and Stanford (Nov. 22) in Berkeley before concluding the 2014 regular season by hosting a non-conference game against BYU on Nov. 29.
In addition, Cal will play a home contest against Oregon in the first-ever collegiate football game at Levi’s® Stadium on Friday, Oct. 24. The game will be televised by FOX Sports 1 with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. PT.
Cal has road Pac-12 contests at Arizona (Sept. 20), Washington State (Oct. 4), Oregon State (Nov. 1) and USC (Nov. 13) with the final road game of the regular season against the Trojans a Thursday night ESPN game at the Los Angeles Coliseum with kickoff at 6 p.m. PT.Cal football tickets are available at CalBears.com or by calling (800) GO BEARS (462-3277).