Butler Named to 2002 Ray Guy Award Watch List
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas senior punter Richie Butler is one of 34 collegiate players and one of six Southeastern Conference athletes on the preseason watch list for the 2002 Ray Guy Award, it was announced by the Greater Augusta Sports Council on Tuesday.
“I’m real excited for Richie (Butler), because he has worked so hard during the summer,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt. “It’s great to have six guys on different watch lists. Now all they need to do is follow through with the rest of the season.”
Butler averaged 42.5 yards on 67 punts and ranked fifth in the SEC and 30th in the nation last season. His total of 67 punts was the fourth-most by a Razorback in a single-season while his yardage total of 2,848 ranked third on the single season list. Forty of Butler’s 67 punts went for 40 yards or more, while 15 traveled more than 50 yards and 17 punts were downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. He earned preseason second-team All-SEC and Honorable Mention All-SEC honors for the Hogs during the 2001 campaign.
Butler is the sixth Razorback to be selected to a watch list for a national award this preseason. Outside linebacker Tony Bua was named to the Butkus Award watch list. Tailback Fred Talley, offensive tackle Shawn Andrews, free safety Ken Hamlin and cornerback\kick returner Lawrence Richardson were named to the Football Writers Association of America preseason All-America watch list. Andrews is on the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists, Talley is on the Doak Walker Award watch list and Hamlin is on the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Year award watch list.
The Ray Guy Award watch list will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists in late October by the national committee. That list will be cut down to three finalists, who will be announced in late November. On Saturday, Dec. 12, 2002, the three finalists will travel to Orlando, Fla., for the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, with the winner being announced and presented with the award live on ESPN.
The Ray Guy Award will be presented to the winner by the award’s namesake, Ray Guy. During his All-American collegiate football tenure at Southern Mississippi and his legendary career as a Pro Bowl punter for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, Guy, a native of Thomson, Georgia was unsurpassed in his ability to impact the outcome of games with incredible hang time and ball control.
Since his retirement, Guy has sought to bring heightened awareness and recognition to the punter position at all levels, and to spotlight the contributions and talents that these young athletes bring to the playing field.
This year’s watch list includes 34 noteworthy candidates who represent schools and conferences from across the nation. The independent selection committee for the 2002 Ray Guy Award, comprised of sports writers, college football coaches, sports information directors, former punters and members designated by the Greater Augusta Sports Council are solely responsible for all voting in the selection process. Punters are eligible to join the watch list at any time prior to the announcement of the ten semi-finalists.
2002 Ray Guy Award Watch List
Joey Biasatti Texas Christian University
Robert Billings Middle Tennessee State University
Brian Brandt Central Michigan University
Richie Butler University of Arkansas
Freddie Capshaw University of Miami
Adam Coles University of Connecticut
Dustin Colquitt University of Tennessee
Luke Donovan University of Wyoming
Damon Duval Auburn University
Dan Dyke Georgia Tech
Jimmy Erwin Northern Illinois University
Nate Fikse University of California – Los Angeles
Pat Fleming Bowling Green State University
Jared Fritz Kent State University
James Gaither University of Memphis
Clinton Greathouse Texas Tech
Andy Groom Ohio State University
Mark Haulman University of Southern Mississippi
Curtis Head Marshall University
Joey Hildbold University of Notre Dame
Joey Huber Colorado State University
Donnie Jones Louisiana State University
Jonathan Kilgo University of Georgia
Kyle Larson University of Nebraska
Mark Mariscal University of Colorado
Glenn Pakulak University of Kentucky
Jarad Preston East Carolina University
Cody Scates Texas A&M University
Mike Shafer Syracuse University
Brian Simnjanovski San Diego State University
John Skaggs U.S. Naval Academy
Ross Stewart University of Alabama – Birmingham
Dustin Upton Louisiana Tech University
Mike Wafzig Miami (Ohio) University
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