AUGUSTA, Ga. – Junior punter Cole Leininger was named Wednesday by the Augusta Sports Council to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Ray Guy Award that honors the nation’s top punter. Leininger is one of the award’s 25 preseason candidates for the first time and is a member of the award’s watch list for the second consecutive year.
Leininger is entering his third campaign as Cal’s starting punter in 2014 and coming off a 2013 sophomore campaign in which he made a tremendous improvement from his rookie season. Leininger increased his punting average by 3.0 yards per punt to a 42.9 mark as a sophomore for the eighth-best avearge in school history to earn second-team All-Pac-12 honors from College Sports Madness. His 41.5 yards per punt career average ranks No. 10 on Cal’s all-time list.
The number of eligible candidates for this season’s Ray Guy Award will grow when the award opens for nominations in September with a complete list of candidates released October 31. In early November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the 10 semi-finalists, who will be announced November 14. A national body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, coaches, media representatives, and previous Ray Guy Award winners will then vote for the top three finalists to be announced November 24. 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 The Home Depot College Football Awards airing December 11 on ESPN.
Cal opens the 2014 season at Northwestern on Aug. 30 before hosting the first of six home games at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium against Sacramento State on Sept. 6. Kickoff is at Noon PT on the Pac-12 Networks.
The Golden Bears will also play Pac-12 opponents Colorado (Sept. 27), Washington (Oct. 11), UCLA (Oct. 18) and Stanford (Nov. 22) in Berkeley before concluding the 2014 regular season by hosting a non-conference game against BYU on Nov. 29.
In addition, Cal will play a home contest against Oregon in the first-ever collegiate football game at Levi’s® Stadium on Friday, Oct. 24. The game will be televised by FOX Sports 1 with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. PT.
Cal has road Pac-12 contests at Arizona (Sept. 20), Washington State (Oct. 4), Oregon State (Nov. 1) and USC (Nov. 13) with the final road game of the regular season against the Trojans a Thursday night ESPN game at the Los Angeles Coliseum with kickoff at 6 p.m. PT.Cal football tickets are available at CalBears.com or by calling (800) GO BEARS (462-3277).