Liberty’s Demario Douglas named to Paul Hornung Award watch list
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its 12th season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission in the memory of the late football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung.
The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2022.
This is the second national award for Douglas. Last year, Douglas was named to the 2020 Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-America Team.
Douglas was named to the FWAA Freshman All-America team as a punt returner. The redshirt freshman finished 2020 ranked No. 9 in the country in punt return average (11.1 yards per return).
The native of Jacksonville, Fla., finished the year with 15 punt returns for 166 yards, including a 73-yard return for a touchdown against ULM on Oct. 10. Additionally, he ranked second on Liberty’s roster with 32 receptions for 363 yards and three touchdowns.
Douglas helped Liberty to a season of “firsts” in 2020, including the team’s first-ever national ranking, first win over an ACC opponent, the best start in school history (8-0 to start 2020), first-ever win over a top-25 FBS program and back-to-back bowl game wins.
Liberty defeated a pair of ACC foes in Syracuse and in-state opponent Virginia Tech. The two wins made Liberty the first non-Power 5 team to post a pair of wins over ACC schools in the same season since Houston in 2015.
The Flames finished the season with a 10-1 mark, tying the program’s record for wins in a season (Liberty finished the 2008 season with a 10-2 record).
Liberty finished the campaign ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 18 in the Amway Coaches Poll, the highest year-ending FBS rankings in school history.
Liberty capped off the 2020 season with a thrilling 37-34 overtime win over No. 9/11 Coastal Carolina in the Cure Bowl on Dec. 26 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. The win marked Liberty’s first-ever victory over a FBS top-25 ranked program.
With the Cure Bowl win over its former Big South rival, Liberty became the second transitioning team in NCAA history to win consecutive bowl games during its first two full seasons at the FBS level.