LOUISVILLE, Ky. – East Carolina senior inside wide receiver and kick returner Dwayne Harris has been named to the watch list for the inaugural Paul Hornung Award, an honor that will be given annually to the most versatile player in major college football.
The Hornung Watch List, comprised of 48 players, was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on 2009 statistics and expectations heading into the 2010 season.
Last week, Harris was one of 50 players named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List for the nation’s top wide receiver. Harris was the 2009 Conference USA Special Teams Player-of-the-Year and a first-team selection at wide receiver in addition to garnering second-team honors as a kick returner.
His 2010 preseason awards include First Team All-Conference USA wide receiver as selected by league coaches, First Team All C-USA wide receiver by Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, second-team all-league as a wide receiver and kick return specialist by Phil Steele Magazine, 2010 Consensus Draft Services Preseason FBS Honorable Mention All-America Team member as a kick returner and the College Football Performance Awards’ preseason favorite to capture the 2010 Kickoff Returner Trophy.
A year ago, Harris helped the Pirates to their second-straight Conference USA Championship and AutoZone Liberty Bowl berth with his Most Valuable Player performance in the league title game against Houston. He tallied nine catches for 123 yards and a touchdown while adding a 69-yard kickoff return versus the Cougars.
Harris hauled in 83 passes during the season, tying him with Aundrae Allison for ECU’s second-most receptions in a year. Harris’ 978 receiving yards were also good for second on the school’s all-time single-season list. The Stone Mountain, Ga., native, is the program’s all-time leader in receptions with 167 while standing second in receiving yards with 1,878, just 104 behind Troy Smith (1995-98).
In Conference USA history, Harris opens the year ranked 16th in all-purpose yards (4,092) and second in kickoff returns for a touchdown with three. Additionally, he is 22 receptions shy of entering the league’s top-15 list and 46 yards short of the career return yards top-15 ledger.
Joining Harris on the watch list from C-USA are juniors Tyron Carrier of Houston and Damaris Johnson of Tulsa. Appearing on the watch list is not a prerequisite for winning the award, however. The selection committee will narrow the field to approximately 10-15 finalists at the end of the regular season in early December and then select the winner at or near the end of the bowl season in early January.
The Paul Hornung Award Banquet will be held in late January at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville.