LSU wide receiver and return man extraordinnaire Odell Beckham, Jr is the 2013 winner of the Paul Hornung Award given annually since 2010 to the most versatile player in college football.
— Paul Hornung Award (@hornungaward) December 13, 2013
Versatility is the name of Beckham’s game as he broke the LSU single-season record for all-purpose yards and is within striking distance (175 yards) of the all-time SEC mark held by former Kentucky Wildcats star Randall Cobb.
Beckham enters the Tiger’s game vs. the Iowa Hawkeyes with 57 receptions for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns, returned 30 kicks for 806 yards, had 14 punt returns for 141 yards and if that wasn’t good enough added five carries for 58 yards.
“It’s just an honor and a blessing to even be mentioned with the other guys who were up for the Hornung Award,” Beckham said. “I am proud to accept the award and thank the committee for recognizing me. It means a lot to me personally because I have worked extremely hard, long before this season started. I had great teammates help me along the way, especially on kickoff and punt returns. None of the opportunities to display my versatility would have been possible if it weren’t for my teammates and coaches who put me in a position to succeed.” [Paul Hornung Award]
The praise poured in for the junior receiver and all-purpose threat who could declare for the draft and work himself into the first round consideration with great performances at the NFL Combine and LSU’s pro day.
“I love the way Odell Beckham plays the game,” Hornung said. “He can run, catch, block and return kicks and plays with great determination. And he has my admiration for lining up on the scout team during the season to help his defense get better. That’s how I played the game – doing anything I could to help my team win.”
Hornung did it all during his career with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish including playing offense, defense and special teams and capped his career in South Bend with a Heisman trophy.
While the praise from the award’s namesake is awfully humbling for Beckham the comments from LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron may be the most telling.
“I am excited for Odell to win this outstanding award,” said Cameron. “He’s a tremendous representative of LSU and our football program, and we are thrilled to have him as a big part of our offense and returns teams. I have never been around a more versatile player, so this award is very fitting.”
LSU fans will get at least one more chance to watch Beckham on New Year’s Day in the Outback Bowl vs. Iowa as Beckham looks to break the SEC all-purpose mark and help LSU to a bowl win in what could be his last game in an LSU uniform.