LARAMIE -- The preseason accolades are rolling in for Titus Swen.

Wyoming's junior running back Thursday was one of 52 players around the country named to the Paul Hornung Award Preseason Watch List by the Louisville Sports Commission. Versatility earns you this honor, and Swen has provided plenty of that for the Cowboys since arriving on campus back in 2019.

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Swen was also named to the Doak Walker Preseason Watch List last week. That award goes to the top tailback in the nation.

The Fort Worth, Texas product rushed for 785 yards last season on just 132 attempts. That's an average of nearly six yards per carry, which was good enough for second in the conference and No. 26 in the FBS. The 5-foot-11, 206-pound bruiser also found the end zone seven times in a limited role.

Swen caught just five passes for 24 yards in 2021, but averaged more than 15 yards per catch during his true freshman campaign. The former three-star recruit also led Wyoming last fall with 12 kickoff returns for 231 total yards.

Swen breakout performance came in a late November upset of eventual Mountain West champion, Utah State. That night in Logan, Swen gashed the Aggies to the tune of 169 yards. Ninety-eight of those came on one carry, tying a school record. He also added 166 yards in a 31-17 victory over Border War rival, Colorado State.

The Hornung Award was established 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 2023.

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The Paul Hornung Award has created an impressive legacy in 12 years including seven winners who were first round NFL draft picks – Tavon Austin, Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., Christian McCaffrey, Jabrill Peppers, DeVonta Smith and Shaq Thompson.  Houston speedster Marcus Jones won the Award in 2021 as a defensive back who returned kickoffs and punts and saw spot duty on offense.  Jones was drafted by the New England Patriots.

In 2021, the 52 players on this season’s Watch List accounted for more than 25,000 total yards in total offense and 215 touchdowns rushing, receiving and 16 returning kickoffs and five punts.

On defense, the player combined for 325 tackles, six interceptions and one safety.

“Paul Hornung’s approach to playing football at Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers was to take on any assignment in order to help his team win games,” said Karl Schmitt Jr., president & CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission, owners and operators of the Award. “We created this award as a way to reward college players who selflessly take on the burden of playing multiple positions and exceling at a high level. In addition, we are pleased to introduce new generations of players to the legacy of Hornung, recognized as one of the most versatile players in the history of college and pro football.”

Hornung, who passed away in his hometown at age 84 on Nov. 13, 2020, played every position in the offensive backfield during his career with the Irish in the 1950s and also played defensive safety, punted, placekicked and returned kickoffs. He was named All-America at quarterback as a senior and won the Heisman Trophy in 1956, then was the first player selected in the NFL draft, going to Green Bay.

He earned NFL MVP honors for the Packers in 1961 as a triple-threat halfback and placekicker by setting a single-season NFL scoring record that stood for 46 years. He is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and Vince Lombardi once called him, “The most versatile man ever to play the game.”

The 2022 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of statistics, career performance, SID recommendations and expectations heading into the 2022 season. In addition to the Watch List, the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll will recognize players whose performances during the regular season meet the Award’s criteria.

Players from both the Watch List and the Honor Roll are eligible to win the Award.

* A University of Wyoming press release contributed to this article

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