2014 Hornung Award Watch List: Pitt's Tyler Boyd and James Conner recognized

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, I mentioned that Pitt sophomores Tyler Boyd and James Conner were both named to the preseason Maxwell Award watch list. The duo was also given more consideration for another award on Monday - the Paul Hornung Award, given to the most versatile player.

Both players making this list makes some sense. Boyd is a wide receiver, but also can line up in the backfield and get some carries (last year, he had 11 rushes for 108 yards and a touchdown). In addition, Boyd also has value in the return game with the ability to return kickoffs and punts. Realistically, how much he does that in 2014 is anybody's guess since the team really can't afford to lose him with an injury on special teams. But the ability is there and, overall, he can contribute in a variety of ways. Seeing Boyd even attempt some passes on trick plays probably isn't too far out of the realm of possibility, either.

Conner may get even more notoriety than Boyd when it comes to his versatility as he's expected to play on both offense and defense. He has established goals of double-digit sacks and touchdowns in addition to 1,300 rushing yards. Those are lofty goals, but the fact that he's throwing them out there makes it seem like he'll be playing quite a bit on both sides of the ball.

Here's the full list of players on the watch list from CBS Sports.

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

Nelson Agholor, Southern California

Kenny Bell, Nebraska

V'Angelo Bentley, Illinois

Victor Bolden, Oregon State

Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh

Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

B.J. Catalon, TCU

Rashon Ceaser, Louisiana Monroe

Stacy Coley, Miami (FL)

James Conner, Pittsburgh

Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina

Jamison Crowder, Duke

Stefon Diggs, Maryland

Chris Dunkley, South Florida

DeVon Edwards, Duke

D.J. Foster, Arizona State

Charles Gaines, Louisville

Rannell Hall, Central Florida

Scott Harding, Hawaii

Justin Hardy, East Carolina

Akeem Hunt, Purdue

Myles Jack, UCLA

Christion Jones, Alabama

Jameon Lewis, Mississippi State

Tommylee Lewis, Northern Illinois

Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

T.J. Logan, North Carolina

Venric Mark, Northwestern

Kevonte Martin-Manley, Iowa

J.D. McKissic, Arkansas State

Ty Montgomery, Stanford

Khalfani Muhammad, California

Marcus Murphy, Missouri

Jamarcus Nelson, UAB

Levi Norwood, Baylor

Ryan Switzer, North Carolina

Shaq Thompson, Washington

Antonio Vaughan, Old Dominion

Levonte "Kermit" Whitfield, Florida State

Carlos Wiggins, New Mexico

Kenny Williams, Texas Tech

Shane Williams-Rhodes, Boise St.

Myles Willis, Boston College

Dontre Wilson, Ohio State

Aaron Wimberly, Iowa St.

Shane Wynn, Indiana

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

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