The Ray Guy Award is presented annually to college football’s most outstanding punter as adjudged by the Augusta Sports Council. The award is named after punter Ray Guy, an All-American for Southern Mississippi and an All-Pro in the National Football League for the Oakland Raiders.
Punters are evaluated on their overall statistics and contribution to the team. Particular emphasis is placed on the following statistics; net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20-yard line, percentage of punts not returned, number of punts and gross average.
The Ray Guy Award winner is selected by a voting body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, national media and former Ray Guy Award winners.
THIS YEARS WINNER…
BRADEN MANN, P, TEXAS A&M AGGIES
It’s been a record-breaking season for Texas A&M’s punter Braden Mann.
Mann led the country with a 51.1 yard punting average, breaking former-LSU punter Chad Kessler’s FBS record of 50.28 ypp.
He set the record this year for the most 60-yard punts in a single season that was last reached in 2005 when Wake Forest’s Ryan Plackemeier had 13 punts of that distance. Against UAB, Mann booted his 14th 60-yard punt of the season, setting the new record.
Mann also broke the record for high gross punt average (60.4) in a single game by averaging 60.8 yards per punt against Alabama on Sept. 1.
His average is also the highest in school history surpassing Drew Kaser’s mark of 47.5 yards per punt during the 2015 season.
Season highlights include an 82-yard punt against #13 Kentucky; and punts of 69 and 73 yards against #2 Clemson.
By season’s end, Mann was voted an A.P. first-team All-American; and first-team All-SEC from both the A.P. and the SEC coaches.
Quarterback — Tua Tagovailoa, sophomore, Alabama Running backs — Travis Etienne, sophomore, Clemson; Trayveon Williams, junior, Texas A&M Tackles — Dalton Risner, senior, Kansas State; Andrew Thomas, sophomore, Georgia Guards — Dru Samia, senior, Oklahoma; Michael Dieter, senior, Wisconsin Center — Ross Piersbacher, senior, Alabama Tight end — T.J, Hockenson, sophomore, Iowa Wide receivers — Tylan Wallace, sophomore, Oklahoma State; Andy Isabella, senior, Massachusetts All-purpose player — Greg Dortch, sophomore, Wake Forest Kicker — Cole Tracy, senior, LSU
Ends — Montez Sweat, senior, Mississippi State; Jachai Polite, junior, Florida Tackles — Jerry Tillery, senior, Notre Dame; Gerald Willis III, senior, Miami Linebackers — Devin Bush, junior, Michigan; David Long Jr., junior, West Virginia; Joe Dineen, senior, Kansas Cornerbacks — Greedy Williams, sophomore, LSU; Byron Murphy, sophomore, Washington Safeties — Taylor Rapp, junior, Washington; Amani Hooker, junior, Iowa Punter — Mitch Wishnowsky, senior, Utah
Quarterbacks — Dwayne Haskins, sophomore, Ohio State Running backs — Benny Snell, junior, Kentucky; Eno Benjamin, sophomore, Arizona State Tackles — Andre Dillard, senior, Washington State; Cody Ford, junior, Oklahoma Guards — Terronne Prescod, senior, North Carolina State; Chris Lindstrom, senior, Boston College Center — Michael Jordan, junior, Ohio State Tight end — Noah Fant, junior, Iowa Wide Receivers — A.J. Brown, junior, Mississippi; David Sills V, senior, West Virginia All-purpose player — J.J. Taylor, sophomore, Arizona Kicker — Matt Gay, senior, Utah
Ends — Chase Winovich, senior, Michigan; Jaylon Ferguson, senior, Louisiana Tech Tackles — Jeffery Simmons, junior, Mississippi State; Ed Oliver, junior, Houston Linebackers — Paddy Fisher, sophomore, Northwestern; David Woodward, sophomore, Utah State; Te’Von Coney, senior, Notre Dame Cornerbacks — Hamp Cheevers, junior, Boston College; Lavert Hill, junior, Michigan Safeties — Andre Cisco, freshman, Syracuse; Johnathan Abram, senior, Mississippi State Punter — Jason Smith, sophomore, Cincinnati
Bradbury started 13 games at left guard in 2016 and then moved to center in 2017. He has started every game at center the past two seasons and helped the Wolfpack win nine games in each of the past two seasons.
Senior OT Tyler Jones (6-3/300)
The Pack’s O-Line, the Band of Brothers, has a pair of first-team ACC selections in Bradbury and Jones. NC State leads the ACC giving up only nine sacks in 2018. The Wolfpack offensive line has paved the way for three straight 1,000-yard rushers, only the second time in school history (1976-78).
Senior OG Terronne Prescod (6-5/334)
There might not have been a more consistent offensive lineman in the FBS than NC State’s mammoth 6-foot-5, 334-pound Prescod. His overall grade of 85.7 is best among all FBS offensive linemen, according to PFF. He gave up only six quarterback hurries in 342 pass-blocking plays. His 86.2 run-blocking grade is 4.1 points higher than any other player.
Meyers, a converted quarterback, has turned into one of the team’s top receivers. He surpassed Torry Holt’s single-season NC State receptions record with his 89th reception in the Wolf Pack’s final regular season game against ECU. A possession receiver, he has 1,028 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Coach: Jimbo Fisher
Texas A&M Players to watch:
*Junior P Braden Mann (5-11/190)
Mann currently leads the FBS with a 51.15 punting average and is nearly a yard ahead of LSU’s Chad Kessler’s NCAA and SEC record mark of 50.28 set in 1997. The Ray Guy Award winner has already set two NCAA records as he broke the single-game gross punt average mark at 60.8 on five boots at No. 1 Alabama and has unleashed 14 60-yard punts, shattering Wake Forest’s Ryan Plackemeier’s record set in 2005.
*Junior TE Jace Sternberger (6-4/250)
Sternberger leads the country in receiving yards (804) and touchdowns (10) by a tight end, and is the Aggies’ leading receiver. The Kingfisher, Okla., native set the Texas A&M school record for most touchdowns by a tight end in a single season and currently ranks tied for sixth all-time on the Aggies’ single-season list.
*Junior RB Trayveon Williams (5-9/200)
Williams leads the elite conference in rushing (1,524), all-purpose yards (1,802) and touchdowns (16). The junior has posted eight games with 100-or-more yards including two games with at least 200 yards. Williams became the fifth Aggie to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark twice in his career and his 1,524 rushing yards ranks third all-time in Texas A&M school history. He ended the regular season on a tear averaging 175.0 yards per game with 7 touchdowns in the final four games.
***Freshman DL Bobby Brown (6-4/282)
Brown terrorized offensive lines in his first season in Aggieland, registering 14 tackles, a tackle for loss and one quarterback hurry. Brown recorded multi-tackle games on five occasions including games at South Carolina and Auburn.