(HUNTINGTON, WV) Marshall sophomore punter Tyler Williams was named to the Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch List, the Augusta Sports Council announced Wednesday morning.
Williams, who was Conference USA’s only semifinalist for the Guy Award last season, averaged 45.19 yards per punt in 2012, which was the ninth-best nationally and No. 2 in C-USA. He was selected as a first-team Freshman All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com following the season.
Williams’ average was a Marshall single-season record, topping the 45.08 by Travis Colquitt in 1994. Williams, a Fort Wayne, Ind., resident, also was the top freshman punter in FBS in 2012. Thirteen of his 43 punts went 50 or more yards (long of 66) and he placed 16 inside the 20-yard line.
It is his second preseason watch list honor. Williams was named to the College Football Performance Awards list in June. He was also named a preseason all-league pick by Phil Steele’s Preview, Athlon Sports, Lindy’s Sports, CollegeSportsMadness.com, BleacherReport.com and CollegeFootballUniverse.com.
Williams was one of 25 student-athletes named to Wednesday’s list.
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 announced Oct. 25. In early November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select 10 semifinalists, who will be announced on Nov. 8. 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 three finalists, to be announced on Nov. 25. After the finalists are named, the voting body will cast ballots again to select the nation’s top punter. The winner will be announced during the Home Depot College Football Awards airing on ESPN on Dec. 12.
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, who played collegiately at Southern Mississippi before going on to become a six-time All-Pro punter with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.
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.