The Paul Hornung Award, which is given annually to the nation’s most versatile football player, released its annual watch list today and two members of the Mountain West found their way onto it.
San Diego State running back/kick returner Rashaad Penny proved a huge difference maker at time last year, running away with the MWC’s special teams player of the year honors. He returned 24 kicks for 804 yards, a staggering 33.5-yard average, and three scores, the latter of which put him in exclusive company: Just ten players returned multiple kicks for touchdowns last year.
Penny also ran for 368 yards and four touchdowns behind the Aztecs’ offensive line, and could be in for a larger role following Chase Price’s departure.
San Jose State receiver Tim Crawley caught 39 passes for 424 yards and five touchdowns in 2015, and while he saw limited action on special teams a year ago — one punt return and one kick return — this would seem to signal, at a minimum, that the Spartans expect him to be a similar kind of playmaker with the ball in his hands.
Elite versatility is a hard thing to come by in the FBS, which is why it’ll be tough to match last year’s returning winner, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.