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Christian McCaffrey leads deep field for 2016 Hornung Award

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Christian McCaffrey has a chance to be the first repeat winner of the Paul Hornung Award, but with three finalists from last year's honor returning for 2016, it won't be easy.

First Look:
NFL Media analyst and former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah takes a "first look" at college football's top players for 2016.

The Stanford running back and two-way stars Jabrill Peppers of Michigan and Adoree' Jackson lead a list of 43 players on the 2016 Hornung Award watch list, released Friday. McCaffrey broke the NCAA record for single-season all-purpose yards last year with 3,864, breaking a record former Detroit Lions star Barry Sanders had held since 1988. Peppers and Jackson primarily played in the secondary for the Wolverines and Trojans, respectively, but also contributed on offense and special teams. Peppers is expected to move to a linebacker position this fall.

Peppers and Jackson joined McCaffrey as finalists for the award last year, along with Arizona Cardinals first-round draft pick Robert Nkemdiche. Other top contenders for the 2016 Hornung Award include Iowa's Desmond King, Texas A&M's Christian Kirk, Oregon's Charles Nelson and Maryland's William Likely.

The Hornung Award is only in its seventh year. Past winners include McCaffrey, Shaq Thompson, Odell Beckham Jr., Tavon Austin, Brandon Boykin and Owen Marecic.

Watch lists for other 2016 awards:

July 5: Bednarik Award / Maxwell Award
July 6: Mackey Award / Rimington Trophy
July 7: Lou Groza Award / Ray Guy Award
July 8: Bronko Nagurski Trophy / Outland Trophy
July 11: Jim Thorpe Award
July 12: Butkus Award
July 13: Biletnikoff Award / Wuerffel Trophy
July 14: Davey O'Brien Award / Doak Walker Award
July 15: Walter Camp Award / Paul Hornung Award

2016 Paul Hornung Award watch list


16 for '16:
CFB 24/7 counts down the best of what college football has to offer in varying categories for 2016.

Ishmael Adams, UCLA
Victor Bolden Jr., Oregon State
Antonio Callaway, Florida
Seth Collins, Oregon State
Jared Cornelius, Arkansas
Tim Crawley, San Jose State
DeVon Edwards, Duke
Brisly Estime, Syracuse
Johnathan Ford, Auburn
Janarion Grant, Rutgers
Nyheim Hines, NC State
Brandon Holloway, Mississippi State
Adoree' Jackson, USC
D'Ernest Johnson, South Florida
Quay Johnson, East Carolina
Xavier Johnson, South Alabama
Corey Jones, Toledo
Desmond King, Iowa
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
Donovan Lee, Colorado
William Likely, Maryland
Jalen McCleskey, Oklahoma State
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Elijah McGuire, Louisiana Lafayette
Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia
Charles Nelson, Oregon
Zach Pascal, Old Dominion
Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
Darius Phillips, Western Michigan
Trevor Ryen, Iowa State
Artavis Scott, Clemson
R.J. Shelton, Michigan State
Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
Ryan Switzer, North Carolina
Jahad Thomas, Temple
Aregeros Turner, Northern Illinois
KaVontae Turpin, TCU
Tim White, Arizona State
Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh
Brandon Wilson, Houston
Dontre Wilson, Ohio State
Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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