2019 Preseason Award Projections: Ray Guy Award

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2019 college football season, WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises, and the next fall’s stars could be the headline players next April for the 2020 NFL Draft. We also will project the winners of the postseason awards that are given out to the best of college football.

The Ray Guy Award is given to the best punter in college football. Last year’s winner was Texas A&M punter Braden Mann.

Ray Guy Award Winner:

Blake Gillikin, Penn State

In 2018, Gillikin averaged 44 yards per punt with a long of 74. Gillikin was a nice weapon for Penn State’s special teams in 2017. He averaged 43.2 yards per punt with a long of 57 yards. Gillikin had a long of 69 yards and averaged 42.8 yards per punt for 2016. With less talent on the Penn State offense this year, Gillikin could produce a larger average as a senior, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he wins the Ray Guy Award.

Ray Guy Award Runner-Up:

Drue Chrisman, Ohio State

Urban Meyer has placed a huge emphasis on special teams throughout his coaching career, so it never is surprising when a school he recently coached at has talented specialists at punter or kicker. Chrisman averaged 43.2 yards per punt in 2018 with a long of 65 yards. In 2017, he averaged 44.2 yards per punt with a long of 62 yards. Chrisman has a strong leg and was a nice special teams weapon for Ohio State. With the Buckeyes’ offense losing a ton of talent to the NFL, his average could increase in 2019 and make him a top candidate for the Ray Guy Award.

Ray Guy Award Dark Horse:

Adam Nunez, TCU

In 2018, Nunez averaged 39.5 yards per punt with a long of 56. In 2017, Nunez averaged 39.3 yards per punt with a long of 61 yards. As a freshman in 2016, he averaged 39.6 yards per punt with a long of 56. Nunez punts in a friendly environment and punters with good weather have done well in winning the Ray Guy Award in recent years. Hence, Nunez could be a dark horse.

Honorable Mentions: Wisconsin’s Anthony Lotti, Kent State’s Derek Adams and Old Dominion’s Bailey Cate.

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