2012 major awards watch lists

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Augusta Sports Council announced the preseason watch list for the 2012 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate punter.

The 25 candidates on the list reach across a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams. The 2011 Ray Guy Award winner, Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech leads a strong field in 2012. Returning Ray Guy Award semifinalists from last season include Ian Campbell (UTEP), Steven Clark (Auburn), Bobby Cowan (Idaho), Richie Leone (Houston), Pat O’Donnell (Cincinnati), Jackson Rice (Oregon), Brian Schmiedebusch (Bowling Green) and Brad Wing (LSU).

The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Ga., native and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Ray Guy. The Ray Guy Award winner is determined by a national voting body of sports writers, college coaches, sports information directors, and past Ray Guy Award winners.

Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardage punted, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline and have a positive impact on the team’s success.

The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens for nominations in September. The complete list of candidates will be released on Oct. 26.

A national body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, coaches, media representatives and previous Ray Guy Award winners will vote for the top three finalists to be announced on Nov. 19. After the finalists are named, the voting body will cast ballots again to select the nation’s top punter. The winner will be announced live during ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 6.

Dylan Breeding Arkansas Junior
Steven Clark Auburn Junior
Brian Schmiedebusch Bowling Green Junior
Riley Stephenson BYU Senior
Pat O’Donnell Cincinnati Junior
Darragh O’Neill Colorado Sophomore
Pete Kontodiakos Colorado State Senior
Richie Leone Houston Junior
Bobby Cowan Idaho Senior
Kirby Van Der Kamp Iowa State Sophomore
Ron Doherty Kansas Junior
Ryan Allen Louisiana Tech Senior
Brad Wing LSU Sophomore
Dalton Botts Miami (Fla.) Sophomore
Brett Maher Nebraska Senior
Will Atterberry North Texas Senior
Quinn Sharp Oklahoma State Senior
Tyler Campbell Mississippi Junior
Jackson Rice Oregon Senior
Harrison Waid San Jose State Sophomore
Jeff Locke UCLA Senior
Sean Sellwood Utah Senior
Tyler Bennett  Utah State Senior
Ian Campbell UTEP Senior
Richard Kent Vanderbilt Senior