BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU junior running back Antonio Andrews has been named one of four national finalists for the 2012 Paul Hornung Award, announced on Friday by Paul Hornung and the Louisville Sports Commission. Andrews joins Kent State running back Dri Archer, West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin and Southern California receiver Marqise Lee as the four finalists for the award, which is given annually to the nation's most versatile player.
Andrews has without a doubt shown his versatility in 2012, doing it all in his first season as WKU's starting running back. Andrews piled up 2,977 all-purpose yards during the regular season, leading the nation in that category. The total currently has him ranked third all-time in FBS history in all-purpose yards in a single season, and with 274 yards in WKU's bowl game on December 26, Andrews would break Barry Sanders' (Oklahoma State, 1988) record for all-purpose yards in a season. Sanders set the record during his Heisman Trophy-winning season.
Andrews has done the majority of his damage on the ground, racking up 1,609 yards rushing during the regular season, averaging over 134 yards per game, which ranks sixth nationally. Andrews has also accounted for 411 yards receiving, making him the only running back in the nation to account for over 1,500 yards rushing and over 400 yards receiving in 2012.
The former Mr. Football award-winner in the state of Kentucky ended the season on a tear, averaging over 349 all-purpose yards per game, becoming the only player in the nation to put together four games of 300 all-purpose yards or more during the regular season. Andrews boosted his average up to 248.1 all-purpose yards per game, which ranks third all-time for a single-season, trailing only Sanders and Ryan Benjamin (Pacific, 1991).
Andrews caught the eye of the Paul Hornung Award throughout the year, becoming the only candidate to be named to the award's weekly honor roll four different times in 2012. Among the 2012 finalists, Andrews leads the group in all-purpose yards and rushing yards.
The group of 2012 finalists has accounted for over 10,700 all-purpose yards this season, while also accounting for nine of the top-15 single-game performances in that category this season. The winner of the 2012 Paul Hornung Award will be just the third winner in the award's history, as Stanford's Owen Marecic received the award in 2010 and Georgia's Brandon Boykin took home the honors in 2011.
Despite only being in existence for three years, the Paul Hornung Award has still put together past finalists that have gone on to careers in the NFL, including Boykin, Kentucky's Randall Cobb, Arkansas' Joe Adams and Oregon's LaMichael James.
The winner of the 2012 Paul Hornung Award will be announced on Tuesday, January 8, 2013. Fans can vote for the winner at www.votepaulhornungaward.com.
In the meantime, WKU's Andrews will look to make history on December 26, as he will go for the single-season all-purpose yards record in Detroit, Mich., in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Central Michigan.