ESPNKY

Fant lands on Paul Hornung watch list

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A multi-faceted piece of the WKU Football cog during his career,
senior wide receiver/punt returner Nacarius Fant was named to the Paul Hornung Award
Watch List, the Louisville Sports Commission announced Monday morning.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers wide receiver Nacarius Fant (1) sores on a long TD run during the second half of his team’s Oct. 1, 2016 game against the Houston Baptist Huskies at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green, Ky. (Photo by Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics)

Named after Louisville native Hornung, the award has been given annually to the most
versatile player in college football since 2010. All four of the 2016 finalists were
selected in the 2017 NFL Draft (including winner Jabrill Peppers of Michigan), while
the five most recent winners were all taken in the first round in their respective
years.

Fant was the Hilltoppers’ third-leading receiver in 2016 with 29 catches for 407
yards and two scores, making for an average of 14 yards per grab. His 61-yard
touchdown catch vs. Vanderbilt from Tyler Ferguson was the longest of his career,
and he added more fireworks in the return game. Fielding punts, Fant had 11 returns
for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns (at Miami (Ohio) and vs. Houston Baptist),
and earned All-Conference USA First Team honors despite playing only nine games.
Also subbing in on kickoffs, Fant had five returns for 106 yards, including a long
of 59.

He was only one of four players in FBS with two touchdowns receiving and on punt
returns in 2016, while adding six rush attempts for 26 yards. As a sophomore, Fant
was 2-for-3 on pass attempts for 76 yards, with both completions going for
touchdowns. He is one of 46 FBS players to make the preseason list.

The watch list was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a
combination of 2016 statistics, career performance, SID recommendations and
expectations heading into the 2017 season. A panel of college football experts
selects players for the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll based on performance each week
during the season. A national selection committee composed of 16 sports journalists
and former NFL stars votes for the finalists and the winner, with fan voting powered
by Texas Roadhouse comprising the 17th vote.

How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Football,
follow the program via social media @WKUFootball on Twitter and Facebook.

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