Vols' Velus Jones, Jr. Named To Paul Hornung Award Watch List
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Tennessee wide receiver Velus Jones, Jr. has been named to the 2021 Paul Hornung Award watch list. This award is for the most versatile player in major college football.
- photo by Tennessee Athletic Communications
The Louisville Sports Commission announced Thursday morning that Tennessee redshirt senior wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. is one of 57 college football players selected to the watch list for the 2021 Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse.
The Paul Hornung Award is given annually by the Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) to the most versatile player in major college football.
The honor is named for former Notre Dame quarterback Paul Hornung, winner of the 1956 Heisman Trophy and No. 1 pick in the 1957 NFL Draft.
A versatile receiver and dynamic return specialist, Jones enters his second season on Rocky Top and sixth at the collegiate level this fall. The 6-0, 200-pound wideout is UT's leading returner from the 2020 campaign in receptions (22), receiving yards (280) and receiving touchdowns (3). The Saraland, Alabama, native notably ranks first among active Division I FBS career leaders with 2,345 kickoff return yards.
Jones made an immediate impact for the Vols last season, playing in all 10 games and starting the final six games of the year. His top performance came against Vanderbilt with a career-best seven catches, 125 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. In addition to his production at receiver, Jones led the SEC in kickoff return yards (398) and was second in the league in kickoff return average (22.11).
Prior to Tennessee, Jones spent four seasons at Southern California where he earned All-Pac-12 honors as a return specialist each year from 2017-19. He finished his USC career second in school history in kickoff return yards (1,947) and owns a share of the program record for longest kickoff return with a 100-yard house call against Fresno State on Aug. 31, 2019.
After the completion of week 12 in the regular season, LSC staff will provide a list of candidates to the Paul Hornung Award Selection Committee that will be narrowed down to three finalists on Nov. 17. The winner will be formally announced Dec. 8, with the award officially presented at a banquet in March 2022.
For more information on the Paul Hornung Award, visit louisvillesports.org.