West Virginia's Tavon Austin was named winner of the 2012 Paul Hornung Award Thursday as the most versatile player in major college football.
The award was announced by the Louisville Sports Commission and Paul Hornung, a retired NFL Hall of Famer.
Austin was primarily a receiver this season before he began lining up in the backfield in an effort by the coaching staff to get the ball in the hands of the team's most talented layer.
Austin amassed 1,289 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, 643 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and 978 yards on punt and kick returns with two touchdowns.
His greatest single performance came Nov. 17 when he registered 572 all-purpose yards against Oklahoma in a 50-49 loss.
He is projected to be a late first-round pick by most draft experts.
The collateral damage of the Philadelphia Eagles bending Brian Kelly's ear might have cost the Notre Dame coach one of his prized recruits for 2013. Linebacker Alex Anzalone was expected to enroll early for classes at Notre Dame this week, but instead informed the program he had changed his mind and would enroll at Florida instead, according to a report on Irish Illustrated. Blue & Gold Illustrated confirmed the Anzalone news and reported the unexpected flip was "due to the recent news on Brian Kelly and his interview with the Eagles."
Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel said he's learning every day about life as a celebrity. The first freshman to win college football's top award said he was trying to avoid making "the same mistakes again" after a picture of him holding cash at a casino was posted to his Twitter account Saturday, a day after the Aggies beat Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. Manziel was on a conference call to accept the Manning Award given to a top quarterback after the bowl season.
Bill Young stepped down after four seasons as defensive coordinator, meaning the Cowboys will have two new coordinators next season. Coach Mike Gundy said Young will be replaced by linebackers coach Glenn Spencer. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken left to become the head coach at Southern Mississippi and he has not yet been replaced. Also, All-Big 12 running back Joseph Randle plans to skip his senior season at and enter the NFL draft. Randle led all Big 12 rushers last season with 1,417 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. He ran for 1,216 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2011, when Oklahoma State won the Big 12 Conference championship and the Fiesta Bowl.
Record-setting receiver DeAndre Hopkins is heading to the NFL and skipping his final season of college. Hopkins said on Twitter that while he enjoyed his time with the Tigers, he is ready for the next level. Hopkins broke out in a big way this past fall with a school-record 1,405 yards receiving on 82 catches. His 18 touchdowns were an Atlantic Coast Conference record.
Running back Jordan Hall has been granted a medical redshirt after missing most of the 2012 season due to foot and knee injuries. Hall carried the ball in just three games this past season as a senior, totaling 40 attempts for 218 yards and a touchdown. He missed the start of the season after cutting his foot in the summer and the end after partially tearing a knee ligament.
Mirko Jurkovic, a former Notre Dame standout who was part of the 1988 national championship team and later a consensus All-American offensive guard, died of cancer Wednesday night in Indiana, according to the university's athletic department. He was 42.
First Published January 11, 2013 5:00 AM