Iowa’s Ihmir Smith-Marsette named to Hornung Award Watch List

The award goes to the most versatile player in college football.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa wideout Ihmir Smith-Marsette celebrates a kick-return touchdown during the 2019 SDCCU Holiday Bowl between Iowa and USC in San Diego on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. Smith-Marsette scored rushing, receiving, and return touchdowns in the game.

Robert Read, Sports Editor

Iowa senior wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2020 Paul Hornung Award, the Louisville Sports Commission announced Thursday. The award honors the most versatile player in college football.

The watch list is comprised of 50 players. It is the second straight year Smith-Marsette has been named to the Hornung Watch List and his second watch list nomination (Biletnikoff Award) of the summer.

The Newark, New Jersey, native was named a preseason first-team All-America selection and first-team All-Big Ten selection as a return specialist by Phil Steele and Athlon SportsAthlon Sports also named Smith-Marsette a preseason fourth-team All-Big Ten wide receiver.

Smith-Marsette (6-foot-1, 186-pounds) led Iowa in receiving yards and touchdown receptions in 2019, while ranking second on the team in receptions (44-722-5). He led the Big Ten and ranked fourth in the nation with a 29.6 yard kickoff return average on 17 returns last season. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

In Iowa’s 2019 Holiday Bowl win over USC, Smith-Marsette became only the second player in school history to score a receiving, rushing, and kickoff return touchdown in the same game, earning the Holiday Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player award.

Smith-Marsette was honorable mention All-Big Ten by league coaches and media in 2019.

The award is named after Paul Hornung, whose versatility earned him enshrinement in the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

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