FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas senior Jacob Skinner has been named to the watch list for the 2006 Ray Guy Award, which annually identifies the top Division I-A collegiate punter in the nation.
The Ray Guy award is presented to the nation’s best collegiate punter as determined by a national selection committee made up of sports writers, college football coaches, sports information directors, former punters and members designated by the Greater Augusta Sports Council. The winner will be announced during ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Award Show in December. Skinner is one of 31 candidates listed on the watch list released on Tuesday.
“Jacob is a very valuable member of this team,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “He is very consistent and has done an excellent job in helping us with field position. Last year we ranked among the nation’s best in net punting and that is a credit to Jacob and our coverage team. He is off to another great start in his senior season.”
Skinner has punted 11 times for 440 yards (40.0 yard average) this season. He is tied for the Southeastern Conference lead with four punts landed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. He has also forced three fair catches. Only one of his 11 punts has been returned and that went for a loss of one yard. Last season, Skinner averaged 41.8 yards per punt (50 for 2,091 yards) and led Arkansas to the seventh-best net punting average (38.8) in the nation. He dropped 15 punts inside the 20 and forced 21 fair catches in 2005.
Among the statistics used to identify the Ray Guy Award winner are total yardage punted, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, net average, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned. It is also of importance for the award winner to display team leadership, self-discipline, and to have a positive impact on the team’s success.
The Ray Guy Award watch list will be narrowed to ten semi-finalists in early-November. The national voting body will then vote for the top three finalists who will be announced at the end of November. The winner will be announced live on ESPN during the Home Depot College Football Awards show, which will take place in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 7, 2006. Wake Forest’s Ryan Plackemeier won the Ray Guy Award in 2005.
2006 Ray Guy Award Watch List
Player, Class, School
Jared Armstrong, Junior, Purdue
Tyson Beattie, Senior, Indiana
Chris Beckman, Senior, Tulane
Kody Bliss, Senior, Auburn
Justin Brantly, Sophomore, Texas A&M
Brendan Carney, Senior, Syracuse
Ken DeBauche, Junior, Wisconsin
John Deraney, Senior, NC State
Ryan Dougherty, Senior, East Carolina
Gordon Ely-Kelso, Senior, Georgia
Andy Fenstermaker, Senior, Iowa
Brandon Fields, Senior, Michigan State
Nick Folk, Senior, Arizona
Michael Gibson, Senior, Memphis
Adam Graessle, Senior, Pittsburgh
Michael Hughes, Junior, San Diego State
Chris Jackson, Senior, LSU
Jimmie Kaylor, Junior, Colorado State
Jim Laney, Junior, Western Michigan
Chris Miller, Ball State
Brian Monroe, Senior, Miami (Florida)
Thomas Morstead, Sophomore, SMU
Adam Podlesh, Senior, Maryland
Tim Reyer, Junior, Kansas State
Alex Reyes, Senior, Texas Tech
Daniel Sepulveda, Senior, Baylor
Nic Schmitt, Senior, Virginia Tech
Jacob Skinner, Senior, Arkansas
Kyle Stringer, Senior, Boise State
Kyle Tucker, Junior, Kansas
Eric Wilbur, Senior, Florida