Velus Jones Jr. Named to Paul Hornung Award Watch List

Vols WR/RS Velus Jones Jr / Credit: UT Athletics

LOUISVILLE – Tennessee wide receiver and return specialist Velus Jones Jr. was named to the 2020 Paul Hornung Award Watch List, the Louisville Sports Commission announced Thursday.

The Paul Hornung Award presented is given annually by the LSC to the most versatile player in major college football. The award was created by the LSC in January 2010 with the support of Paul Hornung, a native and lifelong resident of Louisville and member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

The 2020 watch list was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2019 statistics, career performance, SID recommendations and expectations heading into the 2020 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.

Jones is among the 50 players in the nation selected on the preseason list and one of eight players from the SEC. The league’s eight watch list members leads all conferences.

A graduate transfer from Southern Cal, Jones was an explosive return specialist for the Trojans and earned second-team All-Pac 12 honors. As a redshirt junior, Jones returned 29 kickoffs for 704 yards and one score in 2019. His yardage ranked 14th in the nation.

In his three playing seasons at USC, the Saraland, Alabama, native logged 36 receptions for 347 yards to go along with 1,947 kickoff return yards on a school-record 81 attempts. Heading into 2020, Jones averages 24.0 yards per kickoff return. He finished his USC career second all-time in school history in kickoff return yards, while his 1,947 kickoff returns entering this season make him second among active FBS players and first in the Power 5.

Jones was also named to the 2020 Athlon Preseason All-SEC Third Team.

The winner of the award and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2021.

See the full list of members of the Paul Hornung Award Watch List HERE.

2020 Tennessee Football Preseason Honors

Brent Cimaglia, Sr., PK
Lou Groza Award Watch List
All-SEC First Team (Athlon, College Football News, Phil Steele)

Eric Gray, So., RB
Doak Walker Award Watch List
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Velus Jones Jr., Sr., WR/RS
Paul Hornung Award Watch List
All-SEC Third Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Brandon Kennedy, Sr., OL
All-SEC Third Team (Phil Steele)

Cade Mays, Jr., OL
Outland Trophy Watchlist
Second-Team All-American (Sporting News)
All-SEC Second Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Wanya Morris, So., OL
All-SEC First Team (College Football News)
All-SEC Fourth Team (Phil Steele)

Josh Palmer, Sr., WR
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Trey Smith, Sr., OL
Wuerffel Trophy Watch List
Outland Trophy Watch List
First-Team All-American (Athlon, Phil Steele, Sporting News)
Second-Team All-American (Walter Camp)
All-SEC First Team (Athlon, College Football News, Phil Steele)

Bryce Thompson, Jr., DB
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Henry To’o To’o, So., LB
Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
Butkus Award Watch List
Bednarik Award Watch List
All-SEC First Team (Phil Steele)
All-SEC Second Team (Athlon)

-UT Athletics



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