Myles Jack is not the most versatile player in college football. At least, not according the Paul Hornung Award selection committee.
LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. took the honor Friday morning, his 2,222 all-purpose yards pushing him past the UCLA linebacker/running back. He was the only semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s best receiver, who also ranked top-15 nationally in kick returns (26.87 per, for a total of 806). The junior also played the role of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel leading up to the Tigers’ 34-10 win over the Aggies.
Jack was the the first player to ever win both Pac-12 Freshman Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year. He scored seven rushing touchdowns, all in the last four games — a limited stretch may have hurt him in Paul Hornung voting. He was also a defensive stalwart all year, notching 70 tackles — five for loss — an interception and two fumble recoveries. His 10 pass breakups are tied for first among the nation’s linebackers, and tied for second at all positions in the Pac-12.
He was the most notable two-way player since Stanford’s Owen Marecic, the inaugural Paul Hornung winner, manned both linebacker and fullback in 2010.
As impressive as Beckham’s numbers are, he has more recent company. He was one of three receivers who topped 2,000 all-purpose yards this season, behind Georgia State’s Albert Wilson (2,283) and Stanford’s Ty Montgomery (2,093). Beckham also didn’t score on any returns; Montgomery found the end zone twice, making him one of just five players in the country to return multiple kickoffs for touchdowns.