Brandon Boykin claims Hornung Award

Georgia Bulldogs cornerback Brandon Boykin was recognized Monday as the nation's most versatile player, winning the 2011 Paul Hornung Award from the Louisville Sports Commission.

Boykin beat out Arkansas' Joe Adams, Oregon's LaMichael James and Toledo's Eric Page for the award, now in its second season. The Georgia senior will be honored Feb. 2 at a banquet in Louisville, Ky.

"It's rare for a modern-day college football player to perform at a high level in all three phases of the game, especially in an elite conference," said football legend Paul Hornung, for whom the award is named. "From what I've seen of Brandon Boykin, he is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win games. That's how I played the game. Brandon Boykin is a deserving winner of the Paul Hornung Award."

Boykin was a second-team All-SEC honoree at cornerback, totaling 55 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and three interceptions. He also returned kicks -- totaling 850 kickoff return yards and 180 punt return yards -- and chipped in on offense. He rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 71 yards and two scores -- including the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl loss to Michigan State.

"There are not many players who have the skill sets Brandon possesses and he's certainly the model of what the Hornung Award represents," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I wish I had three of him. He could start on offense, defense and special teams. He's an outstanding person as well, a great leader and a great Georgia man. We have been blessed to have him as a Georgia Bulldog."

Boykin will next represent Georgia in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 28 as he prepares for the NFL draft. He considered entering the draft after his junior season but decided last January to return for a final season.

"My experience at Georgia has changed my life in so many positive ways and allowed me to be considered for such a prestigious honor," Boykin said. "Being a Georgia Bulldog has helped groom me into the individual I am on and off the field. Winning the Paul Hornung Award is an amazing accomplishment and one that I will forever cherish as one of my greatest accomplishments.

"I am humbled by the fact that I was selected as the winner by Mr. Hornung and everyone else involved with the selection process. I would like to thank my teammates, coaches, fans and the entire Georgia program for helping me to achieve this incredible achievement."

David Ching covers University of Georgia athletics for DawgNation.