Since 2000, the Augusta Sports Council has given out the Ray Guy Award to the punter that they think is the best in the nation. Kevin Stemke from Wisconsin was the first winner, and Mitch Wishnowsky from the Utah Utes is the most recent. That’s bad news for the MAC’s chances, since Wishnowsky returns this year.
Two players have made the list from the MAC. Joseph Davidson, the 6’7 from Findley is the Bowling Green Falcons punter, and a fantastic one. The senior averaged 45.8 yards per punt last season, with a career long of 82. Equally remarkable is his ability to put the ball down inside the twenty yard line. 21 of his punts landed inside the twenty, while only 3 resulted in a touchback. His one passing attempt that was picked off wont be a factor. What should be a factor is the 3.94 GPA he carried, that earned him a first-team Academic All-American Award. Davidson was first team All-MAC, and named a 4th team All American by Phil Steele.
Also on the watch list is Derek Adams, the Kent State Golden Flashes punter. He had quite the workout last season, punting the ball 76 times, for an average of 40.3. The sophomore downed 29 punts inside the 20, while only having one touchback.
Their main competition, Wishnowsky, averaged 47.7 yards per punt. Being in the altitude of Salt Lake City is certainly a factor, but I am not sure if it’s one that the committee considers. An even bigger obstacle for the two punters in the MAC is that Utah is now a power 5 school, and he will get considerably more coverage in the national media. And by more, I mean he might actually get some. It is a punting award we are talking about.