AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta Sports Council has named BYU senior punter Jonny Linehan to the pre-season watch list for the 2016 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate punter.
Linehan, from New Zealand, booted 62 punts for 2,649 yards, an average of 42.7 yards per punt in his college football debut in 2015 after winning three national championships in rugby at BYU. In his first collegiate game, he had five punts against Nebraska for 255 yards, including a 77-yarder. He had 20 of his punts land inside the 20-yardline last season and had 10 of 50 yards or more.
The 28 candidates on the list incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) punters. Finalists, Michael Carrizosa (San Jose State) and Hayden Hunt (Colorado State) have returned to the list. Returning semi-finalists include Cameron Johnston (Ohio State), Johnny Townsend (Florida), Austin Seibert (Oklahoma) and Nick Porebski (Oregon State).
The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens for nominations in September. The complete list of candidates will be released on October 28. In early November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the ten semi-finalists, who will be announced on November 11. 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 November 22. 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, December 8, 2016.
The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Georgia native and College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ray Guy. 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 (ASC) enriches the quality of life and economic well-being for the Augusta metropolitan area by supporting and attracting sporting activities. To learn more, visit AugustaSportsCouncil.org.
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 22 awards boast over 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more.