LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr. on Hornung watch list

LSU junior receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is one of 44 players on the 2013 Paul Hornung Award watch list, announced Friday.

The award, entering its fourth season, honors the most versatile player in major college football. Last year’s winner was West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin.

In 2012, Beckham led LSU with 713 receiving yards and was second with 43 receptions. He also returned 35 punts for 320 yards and two touchdowns. The Newman High product has 84 receptions for 1,188 yards and four scores through his first two seasons.

Eight other Southeastern Conference players are on the watch list: Florida running back Trey Burton and defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy, South Carolina receiver Bruce Ellington, Alabama receiver Christion Jones, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell, Missouri running back Marcus Murphy and Mississippi State running back LaDarius Perkins.

Louisiana Tech receiver D.J. Banks also made the list. He set a school record with 1,044 kick return yards last season.