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Covington natives compete for award
Akeem Hunt has been selected to the Paul Hornung Award preseason watch list. Hunt is a senior running back at Purdue. He played football at Newton High School.

This Fall, two Covington natives will be indirectly competing against each other for the Paul Hornung Award as Devon Edwards and Akeem Hunt have both been named to the preseason watch list.

The Hornung award is an honor presented annually to the most versatile player in the nation by The Louisville Sports Commission. The award, now in its fifth year and given to college football’s most versatile player, is named after Louisville legend and former Green Bay Packers’ NFL Hall-of-Famer Paul Hornung. The 2014 watch list was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2013 statistics, career performances and expectations heading into the 2014 season.

Current Duke standout, Edwards is a redshirt sophomore defensive back splitting time at safety and cornerback, as well as an Alcovy alumnus.

At safety, Edwards totaled 64 tackles, three interceptions and six pass breakups. Edwards was also named to the Sporting News Preseason All-America third team as a returner.

Edwards earned All-America honors last season as a return specialist after finishing third in the nation in kicking return average with 30.21 yards per return. Edwards finished just short of first place in the balloting for ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

A four-year letterman at Alcovy under coach Kirk Hoffman, as a senior Edwards recorded 49 tackles, nine pass breakups and one interception while gaining 1,978 all-purpose yards with 20 total touchdowns en route to earning Region 3-AAAA Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Proving his worth as a returner, Edwards was selected second team all-state by the Georgia Sportswriters Association as a return specialist after averaging 41 yards per kick-off return and returning four kick-offs for touchdowns in 2011.

Edwards set Alcovy single-season records for all-purpose yards, total touchdowns and kick-off returns for touchdowns while becoming just the third player in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single campaign (1,009).

At running back entering his senior season, Hunt is coming off a great offensive season in which he averaged 119.2 yards per game and ranked seventh in the Big Ten Conference in all-purpose yards.

This is Hunt’s second consecutive season on the watch list. It’s safe to say, last year Hunt was an all-around, all-purpose back. He totaled 464 rushing yards, 340 receiving yards and 626 kick return yards. Hunt currently ranks second on Purdue’s all-time kickoff return yards list.

As a junior, Hunt appeared in 12 games making nine starts after appearing as a reserve only in his first two seasons at Purdue. In Hunt’s first two seasons he never exceeded 45 carries, but he was able to average at least eight yards per carry in each season.

Hunt has accounted for 3,300 all-purpose yards in his career, including 1,086 yards rushing. As a junior, he had 867 kickoff return yards, which was good for second all-time in a season at Purdue.

Hunt is a Newton High School alumnus, where he was named team offensive MVP as a senior. In his senior season he ran for 654 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. He totaled 1,611 all-purpose yards during his tenure at Newton.

The Watch List is comprised of 22 seniors, 12 juniors and 13 sophomores, representing 43 universities and 10 conferences that are part of the FBS. The ACC and Big Ten are tied as the leading conferences with 10 players followed by the Pac-12 with seven players. There are five players from the Big 12 and four from the SEC on the watch list.