Nov. 23, 2004
The Greater Augusta Sports Council announced today the three finalists for the fifth annual Ray Guy Award recognizing the nation's top collegiate punter. They are UCLA's Chris Kluwe, Michigan State's Brandon Fields and Baylor's Daniel Sepulveda.
Each of the ten semi-finalists was evaluated on his overall statistics and contribution to his team with emphasis placed on the following categories: net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20, average return yardage and percentage of punts not returned. A national selection committee of college coaches, sports information directors and sports writers decided the three finalists.
Kluwe, a senior from Seal Beach, CA is averaging 43.25 yards, and has had just 33 percent of his punts returned for a total 141 yards (8.8 yard average return). Fields, a sophomore from Toledo, OH, leads the NCAA in punting with a 48.3-yard gross average, and 22 of 46 punts of 50-plus yards. Sepulveda, a sophomore from Dallas has landed 42 percent of his punts inside the 20-yard line, allowing just 37 percent to be returned.
"These three finalists represent the best of the best in college punting," said Ray Guy, the award's namesake. "Their statistics speak for themselves, and I am certain there is a deserving Ray Guy Award winner among them."
Guy, a native of the Augusta, GA area currently residing in Thomson, GA is considered the foremost authority on punting. A 2004 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee (Southern Mississippi), Guy was the first pure punter ever drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft when he was selected by the Oakland Raiders in 1973. During his NFL career (1973-86) Guy punted in seven Pro Bowls (six consecutively) and three Super Bowl wins.
Previous Ray Guy Award winners are Kevin Stemke, University of Wisconsin (2000), Travis Dorsch, Purdue University (2001), Mark Mariscal, University of Colorado (2002) and B.J. Sander, Ohio State University (2003).
The 2004 Ray Guy Award winner will be announced on ESPN's The Home Depot College Football Awards, airing live on ESPN on Thursday, December 9, at 7 p.m. EST. The Sports Council will also honor the winner, alongside the local recipients of the 2004 Greater Augusta Medals for Excellence in Sports (G.A.M.E.S.) Awards, at the Greater Augusta Sports Awards Gala in early 2005.