the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ray Guy Award 2011 Watch List

The Augusta Sports Council announced the preseason watch list for the 2011 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate punter.
The preseason list recognizes the five returning Ray Guy Award semi-finalists from 2010. The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens for nominations in mid-August. The complete list of candidates will be released on October 28. In early November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the ten semi-finalists, who will be announced on November 11. A national body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, coaches, media representatives, and previous Ray Guy Award winners will then vote for the top three finalists, to be announced on November 21. After the finalists are named, the voting body will cast ballots again to select the nation’s top punter. The winner will be announced live during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show airing on ESPN on Thursday, December 8.
Bryan Anger, California
A two-time semifinalist for the honor previously, Anger ranks second in school history with a 43.3 yards-per-punt average over his career. Anger enters his senior campaign having recorded 54 punts of at least 50 yards. He has pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line on 71 occasions and forced opponents into fair catches 62 times. Overall, Anger has posted four of the 12 longest punts in school history, including a career-long 76-yarder vs. Stanford in 2008 that ranks fourth. He was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award in both 2008 and 2010 and has been voted the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week three times.
Drew Butler, Georgia
A native of Duluth, Butler became only the seventh Bulldog in school history to be named an All-American both athletically and academically after being named a 2010 ESPN Academic All-American. He is on pace to become the career leader at UGA for punting average with a 46.1 mark through three seasons. In 2010, Butler averaged 44.5 yards on 50 punts, 15 that went for 50-plus. The son of former NFL standout and Bulldog All-American Kevin Butler, he helped put the Bulldogs at second in the SEC and fourth in the nation in net punting with an average of 40.6 last year.
Kyle Martens, Rice
Martens enters his senior season with a 42.7 yards per punt career average. Last year the Spearfish, S.D., native led Conference USA and ranked third in the national with a school-record 45.98 yard punting average. He placed 42 percent of his punts in 2010 inside opponents' 20 yard line during the year (22-of-52). Martens earned All-America and All-Conference USA honors following a spectacular junior season. He was a second-team Walter Camp All-America pick who was also received All-America recognition from the American Football Coaches Association.
Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
One week after the sophomore punter set a new school record by averaging 60.4 yards on five punts against Nebraska (including a career-best 78-yarder), he was OSU’s nominee for Big 12 special teams player of the week for his efforts at Kansas State. Against the Wildcats, Sharp averaged “only” 41.3 yards on his efforts. But he was a huge factor in the game as he had four punts downed inside the K-State 10-yard line (4, 8, 7, 1). Against Baylor, his lone punt went for 59 yards.
Dawson Zimmerman, Clemson
Zimmerman averaged 42.7 yards per punt last year, including a 40.6 net average. His net figure was fourth best in Clemson history and best by any Clemson punter since 1984 (Dale Hatcher). Hatcher had 19 punts inside the 20 and just seven touchbacks. For his career he has 15 punts of 50 yards or more, including two punts of at least 76 yards. His 79 yard punt against North Texas last year was the second longest in school history. An English Major who made the President's List (4.0) last semester, Zimmerman was named to the Academic All-ACC team last year.

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