Saturday, November 06, 2004
AUGUSTA, Ga. - The Greater Augusta Sports Council announced today the top ten semi-finalists for the fifth annual Ray Guy Award recognizing the nation's top collegiate punter.
University of Alabama senior Bo Freelend is one of the 10 semifinalists for the 2004 award.
The other semifinalists are Dustin Colquitt (Sr., Tennessee), Gary Cook (Sr., UNLV), Brandon Fields (So., Michigan State), Chris Kluwe (Sr., UCLA), Tom Malone (Jr., Southern California), Matt Payne (Sr., Brigham Young), Adam Podlesh (So., Maryland), Daniel Sepulveda (So., Baylor) and Steve Weatherford (Jr., Illinois).
In eight games this season, the Eutaw native has punted 41 times (1,720) for a 42 yard average. Freelend has pinned 10 of his punts inside the 20-yard line. UA opponents have only 13 punt returns (8.2 avg) this season, with 13 fair catches.
In his last three games, Freelend has punted 14 times for a 43.7 yard average and has four punts of more than 50 yards against Kentucky, Southern Miss and Tennessee. He has also dropped five punts inside the 20 in those three games and opponents have three fair catches.
During his UA career, Freelend has punted 114 times (4,696 yards) for a 41.2 yard average with the Tide.
Each of the 41 punters on the watch list 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 not returned.
These various components are what made Ray Guy, the awards namesake, a most exceptional punter and these characteristics are indicative of the nation's top collegiate punter.
Ray Guy, a former NFL punter (Oakland Raiders,1973-1986) and 2004 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, is a native of Augusta and currently resides in Thomson, Ga.
A national voting body of Division I-A coaches and sports information directors, media, and former punters will decide the three award finalists and the winner.
The 2004 Ray Guy Award recipient will be announced on Thursday, December 9, 2004 on the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, televised live on ESPN.
The winner will again be honored at the Greater Augusta Sports Awards Gala in Augusta, Georgia in early 2005. Also honored at the Gala will be the annual G.A.M.E.S. (Greater Augusta Medals for Excellence in Sports) Award winners.