AUGUSTA, Ga. --- The Augusta Sports Council has announced the preseason watch list for the 2013 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation's top collegiate punter, and North Carolina's Tommy Hibbard is among those honored.
Hibbard was a second-team All-ACC selection last year after averaging 43.0 yards per punt on 50 kicks, an average that ranked second in the ACC and No. 25 in the country. The Charlotte, N.C., junior had a long of 60 yards in 2012, booted 14 punts of 50 yards or more, had 19 downed inside the 20 and had 10 that were fair caught. Only three of his 50 punts went for touchbacks, and opponents averaged just 4.9 yards per return with a long of just 18 yards. In addition to his work as Carolina's punter, Hibbard served as the holder on extra points and field goals. He helped UNC go a perfect 56 for 56 on PATs and tossed for a two-point conversion on four occasions.
The 25 candidates on the list incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) punters. Returning Ray Guy Award semifinalists from 2012 include Kyle Christy (Florida), Steven Clark (Auburn) Tyler Williams (Marshall) and Kirby Van Der Kamp (Iowa State).
The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens for nominations in September. The complete list of candidates will be released on October 25. In early November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the ten semi-finalists, who will be announced on November 8. 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 25. 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 College Football Awards airing on ESPN on Thursday, December 12, 2013.
2013 Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch List
• Steven Clark (Sr.), Auburn
• Pat O'Donnell (Gr.), Miami (Fl.)
• Darragh O'Neill (Jr.), Colorado
• Will Monday (So.), Duke
• Trent Tignor (Sr.), East Carolina
• Kyle Christy (Jr.), Florida
• Richie Leone (Sr.), Houston
• Justin Duvernois (Jr.), Illionois
• Kirby Van Der Kamp (Jr.), Iowa State
• Anthony Melchiori (So.), Kent State
• Landon Foster (So.), Kentucky
• Tyler Williams (So.), Marshall
• Colter Johnson (Sr.), Massachusetts
• Tom Hornsey (Sr.), Memphis
• Mike Sadler (Jr.), Michigan State
• Ben Skaer (Sr.), New Mexico
• Cayle Chapman-Brown (Sr.), New Mexico State
• Tommy Hibbard (Jr.), North Carolina
• Keith Kostol (Jr.), Oregon State
• Cody Webster (Sr.), Purdue
• Harrison Waid (Sr.), San Jose State
• Mike Loftus (Jr.), SMU
• Ethan Perry (So.), TCU
• Hunter Mullins (Jr.), UAB
• Michael Bowlin (Sr.), Washington State
Ray Guy Award
The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Georgia native and College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ray Guy. The Ray Guy Award winner is determined by a national voting body of sports writers, college coaches, sports information directors, and past Ray Guy Award winners. Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardage punted, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline, and have a positive impact on the team's success.
Augusta Sports Council
The Augusta Sports Council (ASC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to marketing the Augusta area as a destination for amateur sporting events. The ASC attracts, creates and supports dozens of sporting events and activities each year, generating a positive economic impact and enhancing the quality of life for residents of the greater Augusta community. To learn more, visit www.AugustaSportsCouncil.org.