Sept. 21, 2007
BERKELEY - University of California senior punter Andrew Larson has been named to the Watch List for the 2007 Ray Guy Award, which identifies the nation's top collegiate punter. The award is presented by the Greater Augusta Sports Council.
Larson, who joined the Golden Bears last season as a transfer from Saddleback Community College, was a second team All-Pac-10 selection in his debut season. His average of 42.6 yards per punt is the sixth-best single-season average in Cal history and ranked third in the conference. Cal's net punting average of 38.3 yards per punt led the Pac-10 and ranked eighth in the nation. He had just four touchbacks in his 49 punts while 18 were downed inside the 20 and only 19 were returned.
This season, Larson has continued to excel, averaging 41.3 yards on 15 punts.
The Ray Guy Award is determined by a national selection committee made up of sports writers, college football coaches, sports information directors, past Ray Guy Award winners, and members designated by the Greater Augusta Sports Council. Among the statistics used to identify the Ray Guy Award winner are total yardage punted, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, net average, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned. It is also of importance for the award winner to display team leadership, self-discipline, and to have a positive impact on the team's success.
Larson is the eighth Golden Bear to be selected to a Watch List this year. Junior center Alex Mack is on three Watch Lists including the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman), the Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman) and the Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center). Junior linebacker Zack Follett has landed spots on the Bednarik Trophy list (nation's top defensive player), the Butkus Award list (nation's top linebacker) and the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. Junior receiver/returner DeSean Jackson has secured spots on the Maxwell and Walter Camp Trophy lists -- both of which honor the nation's best player, as well as the Biletnikoff Award List for the nation's top receiver. Junior Nate Longshore is also on three Watch Lists -- the Manning and Davey O'Brien Awards, which are given to the nation's top quarterback, and the Walter Camp Award Watch List, which honors the nation's best player. Senior Craig Stevens landed a spot on the John Mackey Award Watch List -- given annually to the nation's top tight end, senior tailback Justin Forsett secured a spot on the Doak Walker Award Watch List which is presented to the nation's top RB, and senior Tom Schneider is on the Watch List for the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top placekicker.
The Ray Guy Award watch-list will be narrowed to ten semi-finalists, to be announced in early-November. The national voting body will then vote for the top three finalists who will be announced at the end of November. The award will be presented live on ESPN December 6, 2007 during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.