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UGA’s Mitchell, Tech's Golden named to Hornung watch list

Georgia receiver and Valdosta native Malcolm Mitchell and Georgia Tech defensive back Jamal Golden are among 44 players who have been named to the 2013 Paul Hornung Award watch list.

Georgia receiver and Valdosta native Malcolm Mitchell and Georgia Tech defensive back Jamal Golden are among 44 players who have been named to the 2013 Paul Hornung Award watch list.

ATHENS — University of Georgia junior flanker and Valdosta native Malcolm Mitchell is one of 44 players who have been named to the 2013 Paul Hornung Award watch list.

The Paul Hornung Award, now in its fourth season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend Paul Hornung.

Mitchell joins eight other players from the Southeastern Conference on the list. He was second on the team in 2012 with 572 receiving yards on 40 catches.

He also led Georgia with 16 kick returns for 360 yards (22.5 average) and saw action on defense in several games for the Bulldogs.

Mitchell was named the recipient of the Charley Trippi Most Versatile Player Award at the conclusion of the season.

Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite player during the regular season and again during the bowl season.

Fan voting will open in late September and factor into selection of the finalists and winner.

The award’s selection committee, comprised of 16 national sports journalists and former college and NFL players, will narrow the field to a small group of finalists and select a winner.

Former Bulldog Brandon Boykin, who played cornerback, kickoff/punt returner and various roles on offense for Georgia, won the Paul Hornung Award in 2011.

The Bulldogs start the season with a road matchup against Clemson on Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.

TECH’S GOLDEN MAKES LIST, TOO: Georgia Tech junior Jamal Golden, the only player in college football to rank in the top 10 nationally in both kickoff and punt return average last season, was also named to the preseason watch list for the Paul Hornung Award

Golden, one of six Atlantic Coast Conference players represented on the watch list, ranked sixth in punt returns (14.59) and 10th in kickoff return average (28.35) in 2012. The Yellow Jacket junior defensive back ran his way into the Tech record books when he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns — one against BYU and one at North Carolina.

Prior to Golden’s 100-yard return against BYU, Tech had gone 15 seasons without returning a kickoff for a touchdown.

Golden has been a versatile athlete since playing high school sports in Wetumpka, Ala., where he was a talented dual-threat quarterback.

Since arriving at Georgia Tech, Golden has shown the ability to play safety, cornerback and nickel.

For a short time he also played on the Yellow Jacket baseball team.

Golden’s two kick returns for touchdowns last season tied a Georgia Tech record for season and career kick returns for TDs. His average of 28.3 yards per kick return rank third in Yellow Jacket single-season history.