AUGUSTA, GA — Arkansas senior Sam Irwin-Hill was named to the Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch List Wednesday by the Augusta Sports Council. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate punter.
In early November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the ten semi-finalists, who will be announced on Nov.14. 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 Nov. 24. 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, Dec.11, 2014
In 2013, Irwin-Hill averaged 44.3 yards per punt (third in the SEC), punting 46 times for 2,038 yards. He led the SEC with 20 punts inside the 20-yard line and he was named a 2013 Ray Guy Award Candidate for his performance. Against No. 14 South Carolina, he kicked a career-long 79 yard punt that was the longest in the SEC and tied for the second-longest in the NCAA for 2013. At Rutgers, he completed a 24-yard pass for a first down and against No. 1 Alabama he rushed for 12 yards to convert a fake into a first down.
The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Ga. 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.
The Augusta Sports Council 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.
The Ray Guy Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence.
2014 Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch List
– Zach Paul (Jr.), Akron
– Sam Irwin-Hill (Sr.), Arkansas
– Spencer Roth (Sr.), Baylor
– Cole Leininger (Jr.), California
– Will Monday (Jr.), Duke
– Sean Kelley (Jr.), Florida Atlantic
– Garrett Swanson (Jr.), Fresno State
– Austin Rehkow (So.), Idaho
– Trevor Pardula (Sr.), Kansas
– Anthony Melchiori (Jr.), Kent State
– Justin Manton (Sr.), LA.-Monroe
– Tyler Williams (Jr.), Marshall
– Mike Sadler (Sr.), Michigan State
– Peter Mortell (Jr.), Minnesota
– Thomas Hibbard (Sr.), North Carolina
– Wil Baumann (Sr.), North Carolina State
– Cameron Johnston (So.), Ohio State
– James Farrimond (Jr.), Rice
– Riley Dixon (Jr.), Syracuse
– Drew Kaser (Jr.), Texas A&M
– Hunter Mullins (Sr.), UAB
– Tom Hackett (Jr.), Utah
– Taylor Hudson (Sr.), Vanderbilt
– A.J. Hughes (Jr.), Virginia Tech
– Nick O’Toole (Jr.), West Virginia