Jamill Smith, a senior member of the Ball State football team, has been named to the 2013 Paul Hornung Award Preseason Watch List.
The Hornung Award is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission to the most versatile player in major college football. The award, sponsored by Texas Roadhouse, was created in 2010. Hornung is considered one of the most versatile players in the history of college and pro football. He won the 1956 Heisman Trophy at quarterback for Notre Dame and was the No. 1 pick in the 1957 National Football League Draft. Hornung played every position in the backfield during his career with the Irish, where he also punted, kicked, returned kicks and played defensive back.
Smith, one of 44 players in the country named to the Hornung Preseason Watch List, was named to the 2012 All-Mid-American Conference First Team as a wide receiver plus was named to the third team as a punt return and kick return specialist. He played in 12 games with 11 starts last fall for the Cardinals. Smith managed 69 catches for 706 yards with six touchdowns last season. He tallied a season best 240 all-purpose yards vs. Eastern Michigan (119 receiving, 100 kickoff returns, 21 punt returns) and 221 all-purpose yards at Indiana (63 receiving, 49 rushing, 109 return). In addition, Smith completed 2-of-2 passes, including a 12-yard touchdown play to quarterback Keith Wenning. Smith tied for 29th in the nation last season with 135.15 all-purpose yards per contest and was 26th in the nation in kickoff returns with a 25.58 average.
A panel of college football experts created the Watch List and will select and recognize outstanding performers each week during the course of the season. A 16-member selection committee will vote for finalists in early December and the winner of the Hornung Award will be announced following the bowl games.
Ball State, under the direction of third-year head coach Pete Lembo, opens the 2013 season with a Thurs., Aug. 29, home game vs. Illinois State at Scheumann Stadium.