3 D-I players from Michigan crack the Paul Hornung Award watch list

Ho-hum, another preseason award watch list for Michigan’s do-everything junior Jabrill Peppers. In his first two seasons in Ann Arbor, Peppers has seen the bulk of his playing time in the secondary, recording 53 tackles and breaking up ten passes in 15 games played. He’s also logged over 400 yards returning kicks and punts as well as rushing for 72 yards and receiving 79 yards.

It was also revealed that Peppers will be seeing more playing time at the linebacker position this upcoming season. His versatility all over the field and ability to produce at every position he’s put in has added him to yet another watch list for a postseason award. This time, it is the Paul Hornung Award.

Peppers is already on a list for the Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy, Walter Camp Award and the top 100 players by SI. The Paul Hornung Award is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission to the most versatile player in college football. It is the second straight season that Peppers is on the watch list for the Hornung Award.

Peppers is not the only player from the state of Michigan to crack the list of 43 players for the Hornung Award. Michigan State senior R.J. Shelton is also being recognized.


Shelton will be a crucial part of the Spartans upcoming season and the veteran of the bunch. In his first three seasons at MSU, he has rushed for 428 yards on 66 carries, hauled in 63 passes for 682 yards and logged over 1,400 yards returning kickoffs.

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Peppers and Shelton are one of six players from the Big Ten named to the watch list. Also making the cut is Western Michigan junior Darius Phillips.

Phillips as a freshman played primarily on special teams, returning 30 kickoffs for 792 yards and taking one to the house. Offensively, he logged 516 yards receiving and rushing with a pair of scores, with 479 of those yards coming as a WR. As a sophomore, Phillips continued to return kickoffs, 37 times for 885 yards.

However, the Broncos transitioned him to the cornerback position where he excelled pretty good. His 48 tackles (5.0 for loss) were 6th-most on the team. His five interceptions were by and far the most on the team, returning for a total of 50 yards and one went for a pick six. Phillips also deflected 16 passes and forced two fumbles at his new position in 2015.

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