A multi-faceted piece of the WKU Football cog during his career, senior wide receiver/punt returner Nacarius Fant was named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List, the Louisville Sports Commission announced Monday morning.
Named after Louisville native Hornung, the award has been given annually to the most versatile player in college football since 2010. All four of the 2016 finalists were selected in the 2017 NFL Draft (including winner Jabrill Peppers of Michigan), while the five most recent winners were all taken in the first round in their respective years.
Fant was the Hilltoppers’ third-leading receiver in 2016 with 29 catches for 407 yards and two scores, making for an average of 14 yards per grab. His 61-yard touchdown catch vs. Vanderbilt from Tyler Ferguson was the longest of his career, and he added more fireworks in the return game. Fielding punts, Fant had 11 returns for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns (at Miami (Ohio) and vs. Houston Baptist), and earned All-Conference USA First Team honors despite playing only nine games. Also subbing in on kickoffs, Fant had five returns for 106 yards, including a long of 59.
He was only one of four players in FBS with two touchdowns receiving and on punt returns in 2016, while adding six rush attempts for 26 yards. As a sophomore, Fant was 2-for-3 on pass attempts for 76 yards, with both completions going for touchdowns. He is one of 46 FBS players to make the preseason list.
The watch list was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2016 statistics, career performance, SID recommendations and expectations heading into the 2017 season. A panel of college football experts selects players for the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll based on performance each week during the season. A national selection committee composed of 16 sports journalists and former NFL stars votes for the finalists and the winner, with fan voting powered by Texas Roadhouse comprising the 17th vote.
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Assistant Director of Media Relations