FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -
University of Arkansas senior running back/kick returner Dennis Johnson has
been named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List, it was announced Thursday.
Johnson, who was named first-team preseason All-SEC all-purpose player by the conference's media and coaches, enters the 2012 season as the SEC's active career leader in all-purpose yards with 4,104, kickoff return yards with 2,475 and total return yards with 2,475 and is tied for fourth on the SEC's all-time career list with three kick return touchdowns. The Texarkana, Ark., native was named second-team All-SEC all-purpose player by the Associated Press in 2011 after he ranked in the top 10 in the conference in all-purpose yards per game, kickoff return average and rushing yards per game. His average of 126.0 all-purpose yards per game ranked second in the SEC, while his average of 25.61 yards per kickoff return, the third-highest single-season average in Arkansas history, was third in the conference and 29th in the country and his 60.1 rushing yards per game were seventh in the SEC. His average of 6.32 yards per carry was the highest in the SEC among runners with at least 100 carries and fourth overall in the conference. He was the first Razorback to be named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week three times in a career, and his five career SEC Player of the Week selections, including one Freshman of the Week and one Offensive Player of the Week, are tied with Darren McFadden for the most in school history.
Johnson was named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll last season when he piled up a season-high 252 all-purpose yards in the Razorbacks' 44-28 defeat of 10th-ranked South Carolina. He returned two kickoffs for 130 yards, including a 98-yard touchdown, rushed 15 times for a game-high 86 yards and tied for the game high with four receptions for 36 yards. The score was the longest of his career and tied for the 10th-longest kickoff return touchdown in school history.
The Paul Hornung Award is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend Paul Hornung. Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite player during the season and again during the bowl season. Fan voting will open in late September and factor into the selection of the finalists and winner. The winner of the 2012 Paul Hornung Award will be selected in early January following the bowl season.