Kentucky Football WR Barion Brown Named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List

In a development that underlines his growing stature as a versatile performer, the Louisville Sports Commission announced on Thursday that Barion Brown, the sophomore wide receiver and return specialist from the University of Kentucky, has been selected for the Paul Hornung Award Watch List.

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Brown made significant contributions to the Wildcats during the last season. As a wide receiver, he recorded a team-high of 50 catches for an impressive 628 yards, averaging 12.6 yards per catch with four scores. He made history, becoming the freshman record holder for most receiving yards in a season (628) and most pass receptions in a season (50).

On the return front, Brown’s performances were equally noteworthy. He ranked fourth nationally and second in the SEC in kickoff return average (27.5) and 24th nationally and third in the SEC combined kick return yardage (440). He was fourth in the SEC in kickoff returns (16).

Earlier this year, his prowess as a kick returner was recognized by Athlon Sports when they named him a preseason fourth-team All-American. He also received accolades as an All-SEC second-team specialist and a third-team offense as a wide receiver.

Finalists for the Paul Hornung Award will be announced on November 15, with the winner determined on December 6. The award dinner will be held in Louisville, Kentucky in March of 2024.

The award, presented by Texas Roadhouse, is named in honor of Paul Hornung, nicknamed The Golden Boy. Hornung was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Notre Dame in 1956 and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player with the Green Bay Packers. His versatility led to his enshrinement in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Brown is following the footsteps of Lynn Bowden, a former Kentucky player who won the Paul Hornung Award in the 2019 season. Bowden began that season as a wide receiver before moving to quarterback due to early-season injuries. He is believed to be the only player in college history to lead his team in rushing yardage, passing yardage, and receiving yardage in the same season.

The Kentucky Wildcats’ 2023 season will begin on September 2 against Ball State in Kroger Field. The first three games of the season will be at home, including matches against EKU on September 9 and Akron on September 16. UK’s SEC home opener will be on September 30 against Florida.

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