AUGUSTA, Ga.ˇ?Arizona freshman punter Keenyn Crier was named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2007 Ray Guy Award as the nationˇ?s top punter today.
The Greater Augusta Sports Council announced the final group of candidates for the award, after beginning the year with nominations for 56 different punters. Each was evaluated on overall statistics and contributions to the team.
Particular emphasis was placed on the following categories: net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20-yard line, average return yardage, and percentage not returned.
Crier, who redshirted behind current Dallas Cowboy placekicker Nick Folk during his true freshman season in 2006, is the current Pac-10 leader with a 44.7 punt average including one of Arizonaˇ?s longest ever, an 83-yard kick against USC. He has pinned opponents inside their own 20 yard-line 14 times on 38 overall punts, has only five touchbacks and has held the opposition to 12 returns all season.
UA has a net punting average of 38.9, a figure that includes the return yardage by opponents. Thatˇ?s second in the league and eighth nationally. Crier rates No. 9 in the Football Bowl Subdivision with his individual average of 44.7.
The award is named for Thomson, Ga., resident Ray Guy, a 2004 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and perennial candidate for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Guy, who played with the Oakland Raiders from 1973 to 1986, is, perhaps, the first punter who could change the make-up of a game with his kicking style.?
It is said ˇ?hang-timeˇ± was added to football vernacular because of Ray Guy, who was known for his soaring kicks and deadly precision. This namesake award, created by the Greater Augusta Sports Council, was begun in 2000.
Guy said about this yearˇ?s candidates, ˇ?It is obvious this outstanding group of punters has focused on team success instead of individual accomplishments. Everyone on our top-ten list have performed unselfishly, qualifying each to be worthy of being named the nationˇ?s top punter.ˇ±
A national voting body of Division 1-A coaches, sports information directors, national media, and former punters will decide the three award finalists, and ultimately the winner of this yearˇ?s award. The winner will be announced live on ESPN during the Home Depot College Football Awards show, Thursday, December 6, 2007. The winner will again be honored at the Greater Augusta Sports Award Gala in early 2008.
2007 Ray Guy Award Semi-Finalists
Durant Brooks, Georgia Tech senior
Keenyn Crier, Arizona freshman
Kevin Huber, Cincinnati junior
Brett Kern, Toledo senior
Andrew Larson, California senior
Chris Miller, Ball State junior
Tim Reyer, Kansas State senior
Louie Sakoda, Utah junior
A.J. Trapasso, Ohio State junior
Ben Woods, Buffalo senior