A candidate for the Ray Guy Award
A candidate for the Ray Guy Award
2009 (SENIOR): P.J. Fitzgerald has started all nine games this season and all 49 of his Alabama career while turning in his best season yet ... strong candidate for the Ray Guy Award, which goes to the nation's best punter ... averaging 42.0 yards per kick to rank fourth in the SEC and 40th nationally ... has punted 37 times for 1,553 yards with a long of 53 yards ... placed 12 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line with seven fair catches ... has four punts of 50-yards or more ... converted two fake punts into first downs this season with a 17-yard run at Kentucky and a seven-yard pass at Mississippi. Virginia Tech: Punted five times for an average of 44.8 yards ... had a longest punt of 53 yards ... three punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. FIU: Averaged 43 yards on three punts with on fair catch. North Texas: Punted only once in a 53-7 rout of UNT ... his lone punt was 49 yards under heavy pressure and carried through the back of the end zone for a touchback. Arkansas: Averaged 41.1 yards on seven punts against the Hogs ... booted a long of 51 yards and placed two punts inside the Razorbacks' 20-yard line. Kentucky: Punted five times for a 39.8 yard average ... had two punts of 52 yards, but his average fell because of two punts to try and pin the Cats deep in their own territory ... had one punt downed inside the 10-yard line ... converted a fake punt for a first down on a 17-yard run. Mississippi: Punted six times for a 40.8-yard average with one punt inside the Rebels' 20-yard line ... converted a fake punt for the second straight week with a seven-yard pass to Mark Barron. South Carolina: Was outstanding against the Gamecocks and earned special teams player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff ... averaged 45.3 yards on three punts ... pinned USC inside its 20-yard line twice ... hit a long of 49 yards. Tennessee: Averaged 44 yards on three punts with a long of 49 yards. LSU: Had one of his lowest averages of the season at 37.8 yards, but his direction and distance control was maybe his best of the year ... placed three of his four punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line, giving the Tigers a long field.
2008 (JUNIOR): Fitzgerald tuned in his best season as the Crimson Tide's starting punter with a career-best 41.14 yards per punt ... ranked seventh in the Southeastern Conference and 41st nationally ... had four 50-plus yard punts and 15 inside the 20-yard line ... averaged 41.6 yards per punt during SEC play with 12 kicks inside the opponents' 20-yard line, including 10 in the final four SEC games ... earned the team's Special Teams Player of the Year Award ... earned Academic All-SEC honors during the fall of 2008. Clemson: Fitzgerald averaged 36.5 yards on two punts with a long of 40 as the Tide was not even forced to punt until the third quarter. Tulane: He turned in his best game of the season to date with a 40.0 yard average on seven punts ... had a long of 46 yards and placed one punt inside the 20-yard line. Western Kentucky: Fitzgerald did not have to punt as the offense was in complete control all night ... it marked the first time since Sept. 14, 2002, vs. North Texas that the Tide did not have to punt in a game ... Fitzgerald did see playing time as Alabama's holder on extra points and field goals. Arkansas: He produced a career day against the Hogs with a 45.2 yard per punt average ... placed two punts inside the 20-yard line ... booted a season-long 56-yarder ... named one of the special teams players of the week for his performance. Georgia: Fitzgerald averaged 44.5 yards on two punts against the No. 3 Bulldogs ... had his first blocked punt of year by the Bulldogs ... hit punts of 47 and 42 yards. Kentucky: He produced his third straight outstanding effort averaging 43.2 yards on six punts with a long of 48 and one touchback. Mississippi: Fitzgerald averaged 39.7 yards on seven punts with a long of 49 yards ... placed a season-high three punts inside the Rebels' 20-yard line. Tennessee: He punted three times with one blocked ... officially had two punts for an average of 47.0 yards per kick ... had punts of 46 and 48 yards. Arkansas State: Fitzgerald punted three times against the Red Wolves, averaging 40.3 yards per kick ... booted a long of 45 yards and pinned one kick inside the 20-yard line. LSU: His punting was key in the field position battle in Alabama's 27-21 overtime win at LSU ... averaged 42.1 yards per kick and placed a season-high three kicks inside the Tigers' 20-yard line ... had a long of 53 yards and two 50-plus-yard kicks. Mississippi State: Fitzgerald averaged 43 yards on five kicks against the Bulldogs with a long of 46 ... placed three kicks inside the MSU 20-yard line ... twice pinned the Bulldogs inside their own 2-yard line. Auburn: He averaged a season-low 33.4 yards on five punts ... had a long of 41 yards and placed one kick inside the 20-yard line. Florida: Fitzgerald kicked four times against the Gators for a 41.0-yards per kick average ... booted a long of 47 yards and netted 35 yards per kick. Sugar Bowl vs. Utah: He punted four times for a 41.5 yard average ... booted a long of 51 yards, his fourth 50-plus yard punt of the season ... dropped one kick inside the 20-yard line, pinning the Utes on their own 1-yard line.
2007 (SOPHOMORE): The starting punter in all 13 games ... had 64 punts on the season, averaging 38.7 yards per kick ... 20 punts downed inside to opponents' 20-yard line ... also had eight touchbacks to his credit ... had his best game of the year at Mississippi State ... had four punts for 179 yards against the Bulldogs, including a 56-yarder ... downed two punts inside the 20 against MSU and recorded a career-high 44.8 yard average in the game to earn Special Teams Player of the Game honors by the UA coaching staff ... kicked four times for 180 yards, including one inside the 20 and two touchbacks in the PetroSun Independence Bowl win over Colorado ... had one punt for 40 yards against Western Carolina ... averaged 41.6 yards on five punts, including one inside the 20 and a career-long 58-yard effort at Vanderbilt ... placed four of his five punts inside the 20 against Arkansas ... had two inside the 20 against Georgia ... hit a 56-yarder against Florida State and downed four inside the 20 against the Seminoles ... punted six times with an average of 36.3 per kick and a long of 48 yards at Auburn ... averaged 40.0 yards on seven punts against Houston ... punted twice for a 43.0 average and placed one inside the 20 at Ole Miss ... averaged 43.5 yards on two punts, including a long of 51 yards, against Tennessee ... had two punts inside the 20 against LSU ... kicked three times for 110 yards, with one inside the 20 and one touchback against Louisiana Monroe ... earned coaches Special Teams Co-Player of the Week honors against MSU.
2006 (FRESHMAN): The starting punter in all 13 games ... kicked 57 times for 2,176 yards, good for an average of 38.2 yards per punt ... had 19 punts downed inside the 20-yard line ... season-long came in the opener against Hawai'i, a 55-yard effort ... five of six punts against Florida International were downed inside the 20 ... also placed three inside the 20 against Mississippi State ... averaged 43.5 yards per kick against Louisiana Monroe, including one inside the 20 ... averaged 43 yards on four punts against Auburn with a long of 53 yards and one inside the 20 ... had a season-high nine punts for 371 yards and a 41.2 yard average at Tennessee ... also had two tackles against the Vols ... kicked five punts against Duke for an average of 40.2 yards, a long of 51, with one downed inside the 20 ... also served as the holder on extra points and field goals.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Graduated from Douglas High School ... Third-Team All-State punter as a senior ... averaged 40.0 yards per punt while also playing quarterback ... earned honorable mention All-County honors as a sophomore and junior while playing for coach Elliot Bonner ... coached by Don Shows ... full name is Paul Justin Fitzgerald ... born May 27, 1987.