Paul Hornung Wins Heisman Trophy
The blond, 220-pound Golden Boy, despite a mediocre Notre Dame team, carried the ball 94 times his senior year for 420 yards for an average of 4.5 yards per try.
He completed 59 of 111 passes for gave him a total offensive figure of 1,337 yards. The jack-of-all- trades could run, pass, and block and tackle. He was probably the greatest all-around player in Notre Dame's history and is the only Heisman winner to have played on a losing team as the Irish were 2-8 in '56. As almost every football fan knows, Hornung went to the Green Bay Packers, led the NFL in scoring for three straight years and was voted MVP in 1960 and 1961. He accomplished his records despite injuries and military obligations, and it is no wonder that his coach Vince Lombardi called him "the most versatile man who ever played the game." He is a member of the National High School, the College Football and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is President of Paul Hornung Sports Showcase and Paul Hornung Enterprises, Inc., and is Vice-President of Real Estate and Investment Co.
Paul was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1985.
Paul Hornung, Notre Dame's "Golden Boy", is the only Heisman winner from a losing team. The Fighting Irish finished 2-8 in 1956. He also was the first Heisman winner who did not lead in first place votes. Tom McDonald of Oklahoma had the most first place votes with 205 to Hornung's 197. Johnny Major of Tennessee, who went on to become one of the great college coaches, was second in the voting with 172 first place votes. Hornung won only in the Midwest, as Jim Brown of Syracuse won in the East, Majors led the South, McDonald led the Southwest and Brodie was first in the West, the first instance of five different leaders in the five sections.
Paul Vernon Hornung (born December 23, 1935 in Louisville, Kentucky) is a former professional football player, playing for the Green Bay Packers from 1957- 66. Hornung, one of the most versatile players ever to play the game, was halfback, quarterback, and placekicker. Hornung is one of the greatest all-purpose backs to ever play the game. Not only could Hornung run, he was an excellent passer, receiver, and blocker. Hornung was an excellent all-around athlete who played college basketball, but is best known for his prowess as a football player.
Hornung was an outstanding athlete at Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget High School in Louisville (now closed), having lettered four years each in football, basketball, and baseball. He was recruited by Bear Bryant at Kentucky, but chose to attend Notre Dame instead.
After spending his sophomore season of 1954 as a backup fullback, Hornung blossomed as a halfback and safety during his junior year in 1955. He finished fourth in the nation in total offense with 1,215 yards and six touchdowns. His two touchdowns on offense and two interceptions on defense spurred a victory over No.4 Navy, and his touchdown pass and field goal beat Iowa. In a loss to USC, Hornung ran and threw for 354 yards, the best in the nation in 1955. Hornung, nicknamed the "Golden Boy," won the Heisman Trophy in 1956 as the year’s outstanding College football player in the United States and is the only player from a losing team (his University of Notre Dame team finished 2-8 that year) ever to win the trophy. Highly versatile, he was a quarterback who could run, pass, block, and tackle. Many consider Hornung as the greatest all-around football player in Notre Dame history. In the 1956 season, he led his team offensively in passing, rushing, scoring, kickoff and punt returns, and punting. He also played defense and led his team in passes broken up and was a second in interceptions and tackles made. He jokes about the fact that he was among the nation's leaders in kickoff returns by saying, "We gave up so many points that our opponents were always kicking off to us."
Hornung also played basketball during his sophomore year at Notre Dame.
In the 1957 College All Star game, Hornung had a famous match race with Abe Woodson. This was one of the greatest college all star teams ever assembled, Woodson: "We had Jim Brown, Jim Parker, John Brodie, Jon Arnett, Len Dawson, Paul Hornung and Tommy McDonald, with Curly Lambeau and Otto Graham as our coaches, and we still lost 22-7 to the New York Giants. Oh, well." Just for fun, Woodson, who was one of the fastest players to ever put on pads, and Hornung agreed to a 100 yard match race which Hornung won by five yards. It is not known that anyone ever caught him from behind.