Brett Pyne | Posted: 5 Aug 2021 | Updated: 11 Aug 2021

Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award names Baylor Romney, Keanu Hill to 2021 watch list

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BYU's Baylor Romney named to Earl Campbell watch list
BYU's Keanu Hill named to Earl Campbell watch list


TYLER, Texas — The ninth annual 2021 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List, which included BYU's Baylor Romney and Keanu Hill, was announced Thursday at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and SPORTyler 15th Annual East Texas Kick-off Luncheon.

The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award recognizes the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity; specifically, tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals. In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year college. 

Romney, a 6-foot-2 sophomore quarterback who prepped at Franklin High School in El Paso, Texas, has completed 65 percent of his passes (78 of 120) for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games played for BYU in 2019 and 2020. He has added 80 yards rushing and is 2-0 as a starter, including a 28-25 win over No. 14 Boise State in 2019. Before BYU, Romney helped Franklin High School to 2014 district championship as an all-city selection who passed for nearly 3,000 yards, and threw for 29 touchdowns with only three interceptions while completing over 70 percent of his passes as a senior. He also rushed for 884 yards and 10 scores on the ground in 2014. 

From Bedford, Texas, and Trinity High School, Keanu Hill is a 6-foot-4 wide receiver who has played in 11 games for BYU, including eight outings during BYU’s 11-1 season in 2020. The has made seven receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown, with a long reception of 33 yards for BYU to average 15.7 yards per catch entering 2021 as a Covid-year/redshirt freshman in eligibility. Before BYU, Hill was an All-District player at Trinity High School in 2017. 

The 2021 watch list will be narrowed to up to 16 semifinalists in November and then up to five finalists in December. They will be selected by broadcasters, commentators, journalists, fans, and previous winners. The finalists will be brought to Tyler for The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Banquet scheduled for Jan. 12, 2022.

This year's watch list includes:

  • 53 players from 9 conferences and 5 independents (American, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, Mountain West, Pac-12, SEC, and Sun Belt)
  • Players representing universities from 24 different states and 44 schools
  • Wide receivers lead the nominations with 20, followed by running backs (15), quarterbacks (10), offensive linemen (5), and tight ends (3).

A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be eligible to win the award. 


The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award was announced in 2012 by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and SPORTyler. 

“We are fortunate to have a celebrity who exhibits the impeccable virtues that define this award,” Cindy Smoak, Executive Director SPORTyler said. "In addition to being a well-known sports figure, Earl also earned a college degree, married his high school sweetheart, raised two successful sons and still supports the community where he grew up.” 

Earl Campbell graduated from John Tyler High School in Tyler before joining the Texas Longhorns under legendary Coach Darrell K. Royal. In his senior year, he led the nation with 1,744 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns, going on to win the Longhorns’ first Heisman Trophy. 

He was subsequently drafted by the Houston Oilers where he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1978 and went on to lead the NFL in rushing 3 times. Campbell earned NFL MVP in 1979 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991. He now resides in Austin.

“All my life, all I wanted to do was be an athlete,” Campbell said. “I kept God in my life and surrounded myself with good people. I am humbled by this award named in my honor.” 

For more information about The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award go to