Louisville football: Hassan Hall gets preseason award watch list recognition

Louisville football’s all-purpose back is in store for another big season.

There may not be a more dynamic “backup” running back across all of college football with more talent and production than Louisville football‘s Hassan Hall.

“Backup” is a loose term in this scenario, as Hall could literally start on just about any other program in the ACC at running back but technically does fall behind Javian Hawkins on the depth chart.

Regardless, Hall proved just how dangerous he could be in Scott Satterfield’s new-look offense as a sophomore also showing major potential as a returner on special teams.

Now, Hall is being recognized nationally for his versatility as he was named one of 50 players on the preseason watch-list for the 2020 Paul Hornung Award.

“The Paul Hornung Award, now in its 11th season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung,” The University of Louisville said in a statement. “The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2021.”

According to the Louisville Sports Commission, who chooses the recipient each year, this is what their selection process involves:

“To be eligible, during the selection process a candidate must be in good standing and eligible on his team, eligible with the NCAA and play significant time during most or all of the season. Decisions regarding student-athlete status for the Award will be made by the LSC staff and Advisory Committee. In addition to starting or playing significant downs on offense or defense, candidates will be measured by performance from among the following criteria:

  • Playing multiple positions on offense and/or multiple positions on defense
  • Playing a significant role on special teams
  • Performing as a two-way player who starts either on offense or defense and is used on the other side of the ball in some capacity
  • Making a significant impact during big games and elevating the team’s performance through leadership displayed by excelling in multiple roles”

The Hornung Award is still young but has had some special names like Odell Beckham Jr., Christian McCaffrey, and Saquon Barkley receive it since it’s inception.

There will be stiff competition for the award in 2020 with names making the list like Jaylen Waddle of Alabama, Derek Stingley Jr. of LSU, and Clemson’s Amari Rodgers. Additionally, Louisville Trinity product and 2018 winner, Purdue’s Rondale Moore made the cut alongside Kentucky native and Nebraska star Wandale Robinson.

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Hall was second on his team last year with 501 yards and five touchdowns and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Additionally, he ranked fourth in the nation in kickoff return yardage at 30.5 yards and brought a kickoff back for a touchdown for the second straight season. He returned 26 kicks for 791 yards in 2019 and already ranks sixth all-time in Louisville football history with 1,611 yards.

Hall became the fourth offensive player this season to be honored on at least one preseason awards watch list joining Javian Hawkins, Tutu Atwell, and Micale Cunningham.

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