Cal safety/kick returner Ashtyn Davis makes Hornung Award watchlist

Karen Chow/Senior Staff

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When David faced Goliath, he didn’t know what the outcome would be. When Cal defensive back/kick returner Ashtyn Davis sent email after email hoping for a tryout with the football program, he didn’t know what his fate would be either.

Score one for the little guys. Davis, now the starting free safety and one of two primary kick returners, was named to the 2019 Hornung Award watchlist on Thursday, honoring college football’s most versatile student-athlete.

Named after former Notre Dame and four-time Super Bowl champion Paul Hornung, the 2019 edition of the award features 44 candidates, including nine from the Pac-12 conference. The winner will be announced on March 4, 2020 in a ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky.

Davis, a former track star who walked onto the football team in 2015, registered single-season career-highs in several categories last season, including 56 tackles and four interceptions. He is currently Cal’s active leader in interception return yards, kick return yards and all-purpose yards.

Davis is also a 2019 second-team All-conference selection, as revealed Wednesday at Pac-12 Media Day.

Not bad for a guy with zero stars to his name coming out of high school.

Josh Yuen covers football. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @joshcal2020.