Punter had 41.2-yard net average as a junior, best by VU player since 1996
July 11, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Vanderbilt senior punter Richard Kent was named today to the preseason watchlist for the prestigious 2012 Ray Guy Award.
Kent, a former walk-on who ranked among the NCAA's most efficient punters in 2011, is the first Vanderbilt punter ever recognized by the Augusta Sports Council, sponsors of the Ray Guy Award. The Georgia non-profit organization started presenting the award to the nation's top collegiate punter in 2000.
Kent is one of five Southeastern Conference punters named as a preseason candidate for the 2012 Guy Award. The watchlist is topped by Louisiana Tech senior Ryan Allen, recipient of the 2011 Guy Award.
Kent's 41.2-yard net punting average was one of the nation's best in 2011, and marked the most impressive net punting average by a Commodore since Bill Marinangel's All-America campaign in 1996.
As a junior, Kent averaged 42.5 yards per punt. Opponents accumulated just 87 total return yards on Kent punts. He also produced 16 punts of 50 yards or longer, 23 landing inside the opponent 20-yard line, and just four resulting in touchbacks.
Kent enters his final season with a 42.1-yard career punting average, good for fourth on the Vanderbilt all-time career list.
A complete list of Guy Award candidates will be released on Oct. 26. Ten semifinalists will be announced in early November, with the Augusta Sports Council releasing its top three finalists on Nov. 19. The winner will be announced live during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing on ESPN on Dec. 6.
The Augusta Sports Council created the award in 2000 to honor Guy, a native of Thomson, Ga., who became an eventual College Football Hall of Fame inductee following a remarkable career as a collegiate punter at Southern Mississippi and professional with the Oakland Raiders.