Dec. 10, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky-- Stanford's Owen Marecic, who coach Jim Harbaugh called the “perfect football player” and who Paul Hornung calls “tough, fearless, relentless”, is now one of three finalists for the inaugural Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation's most versatile football player.
Marecic, a senior biology major who is already an AFCA All-American and CoSIDA Academic All-American, joins TCU's Jeremy Kerley and Kentucky's Randall Cobb on the final list. The winner will be announced in early January following the final bowl game among the three on January 8.
"Owen Marecic plays football the way we did years ago - tough, fearless, relentless,” said the 1956 Heisman winner himself, Hornung.
Marecic, who averages 110 plays per game as both the team's starting linebacker and fullback, has rushed for four touchdowns this season, carrying the ball 20 times for 42 yards. He has also caught nine passes for 75 yards. On defense, he ranks sixth on the team in tackles (45), has 4.5 tackles for a loss, a sack, two interceptions, five pass deflections, a forced fumble and fumble recovery and seven passes defended.
The three finalists were chosen from a group of 16 sports journalists and former NFL stars, with Marecic, Kerley and Cobb accounting for 72 percent of the overall points among the 15 players receiving votes.
"Each finalist demonstrated his desire to do whatever his coaches asked to help win football games," said Hornung, a member of the football hall of fames as well as a four-time NFL champion with the Green Bay Packers in the early 1960s. "These guys can run, catch, pass, block, play defense or anchor special teams, and they do it in the big games against the best teams. I am a big fan of all three."
The Louisville Sports Commission created the Paul Hornung Award in January 2010 in an effort to recognize the distinctive talents of college football's most versatile student-athlete and to preserve the legacy of Hornung, a native and lifelong resident of Louisville who is enshrined in both the College Football and National Football League Halls of Fame.
Stanford is 11-1 on the season and headed to the Discover Orange Bowl to take on Virginia Tech on January 3. For tickets call 1-800-STANFORD.
Sports Illustarted Feature on Marecic:
Quick Marecic Piece
Marecic's two interceptions at Notre Dame
Marecic's Helmet Goes Flying in 2009