Maryland wideout Stefon Diggs has been named to a 44-player watch list for the 2013 season's Paul Hornung Award, given to major college football's most versatile player. For Diggs, it's one of the first salvos in what may turn into a lengthy period of hype as he enters his sophomore season. Diggs should be a strong bet to be included on the Biletnikoff Award watch list, too, for the trophy given to the nation's best receiver at the end of the year. That list was released in mid-July last year, so we'll probably see it soon. Some of our own even think he's going to generate legitimate Heisman buzz on top of that.
The Hornung award isn't just about receiving, though. It's about filling multiple roles -- and Diggs was extraordinarily versatile as a freshman. Just look at the numbers, via ESPN. He averaged nearly 16 yards per catch, scored 8 receiving touchdowns and was a terror to opposing secondaries, yes, but there was plenty more. He rushed for 6 yards per carry and generated nearly 1000 yards and two scores returning punts and kicks. He even threw for a touchdown.
Tavon Austin, the former West Virginia receiver and a Maryland native who's been compared to Diggs plenty before, won the award last year. Six other ACC players are on the list, as are five from the Big Ten.