There are plenty of good punters in college football, but the best of the best heading into the 2014 college season are on the preseason watch list for the 2014 Ray Guy Award. The list has only 25 names on it, and three of those preseason candidates are from the Big 12.
Trevor Pardula of Kansas, Spencer Roth of Baylor and Nick O’Toole of West Virginia are in early considerations for the Ray Guy Award, the highest individual honor that can be bestowed on a college punter.
Although having the best net punting average is an important criterion for the award, it is not the only deciding factor. The award also takes into consideration the number of punts placed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line as well as the number of punts that are not returned.
Pardula was an All-Big 12 honorable mention selection as a punter in the 2013 season. He averaged 43.7 yards per punt last season and booted 24 punts of more than 50 yards and placed 25 inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
Roth was the Big 12’s leading punter last season, averaging 45.1 yards. The senior had six punts that were over 50 yards and four of 60-yards plus. Seventeen of his punts were placed inside the 20. His career average of 43.8 yards ranks second all-time at Baylor.
West Virginia’s O’Toole, a junior, ranked 15th national and was No, 2 in the Big 12 with an average of 44,1 yards per punt last season. He also placed 22 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Texas A&M punter is the lone finalist from last year’s competition that is on the preseason 2014 watch list.
Next up in the preseason 2014 watch list announcements is the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for the best defensive lineman and the Outland Trophy, which recognizes college football’s best interior lineman.