July 9, 2014
Augusta, Ga. - Vanderbilt punter Taylor Hudson has been named among 25 punters nationwide as a preseason candidate for the prestigious Ray Guy Award.
The Augusta Sports Council named Hudson, a product of Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio, to the Ray Guy Award watch list. The Guy Award, named in honor of the former Southern Miss and Oakland Raider great, is given annually to the nation's top punter.
Hudson becomes the second Commodore named to preseason watch lists for key position awards. Earlier this week, senior center Joe Townsend was listed among 66 players nationwide to the Rimington Trophy watchlist.
Hudson, who came to Vanderbilt as a walk-on prospect in 2011, averaged 42.9 yards in 2013. His average ranked 7th in the SEC and 32nd in the NCAA. It ranks as the 10th highest single-season punting average in team history.
Hudson's net punt average of 38.2 yards also ranked among the NCAA's Top 25 punters. He also posted 13 punts of at least 50 yards, including a career-long effort of 75 yards at South Carolina.
Hudson also is a stellar student-athlete, earning CoSIDA District IV Academic All-America honors last year. He is working toward a degree in neuroscience and hopes to enter medical school.
Hudson is joined by two other Southeastern Conference punters on the Ray Guy Award watch list: Sam Irwin-Hill of Arkansas and Drew Kaser of Texas A&M.
Townsend, from Hendersonville (Tenn.) High School, was named as a fall candidate for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation's top center. He was also named as a Rimington prospect last spring.
Townsend has 22 career starts for the Commodores, the most of any active player. He has also started in his last 22 consecutive appearances on the offensive line.
In 2013, Townsend was credited with 32 knockdown blocks and 21 blocks that led directly to Commodore touchdowns or first downs. The Commodores are also 16-4 in Townsend's last 20 starts.