Native Australian repeats on list; one of six SBC punters on list

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns punter Rhys Byrns was one of 48 punters nationwide named to the 2022 Ray Guy Award Pre-Season Watch List, the Augusta Sports Council announced on Wednesday.

Byrns, who was named to the 2021 Ray Guy Pre-Season Watch List, was one of six Sun Belt Conference punters named to the 48-member list.

As a junior, the Rye, Australia native ranked first in the Sun Belt and 11th in the nation with 46.3 yards average with 19 attempts of over 50 yards. He placed 22 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line during the season and posted a season-long of 70 yards in a win at Troy.

Burns averaged 47.3 yards on kick attempts in last year’s SBC Championship Game against App State, including a 55-yard boot. He matched a career high with seven punts for 289 yards, placing five boots inside the 20-yard line against Georgia Southern.

The 48 candidates on the list incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) punters. The 2022 watch list was compiled based on the 2021 Ray Guy Award Semifinalist List, the top ten NCAA Punters from 2021, the 2021 All-Conference teams, the 2021 All-American Teams, the 2022 pre-season All-Conference Teams and eligible punters on the 2021 watchlist.

The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens nominations on July 28. The complete list of candidates will be released on November 2nd. In mid-November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the ten semifinalists, who will be announced on November 8th.

A national body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, media representatives and previous Ray Guy Award winners will then vote for the top three finalists to be announced on November 18th. 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 on ESPN in December 2022.

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2022 Ray Guy Preseason Watchlist

Adam Korsak                           Rutgers

Alex Mastromanno                 Florida State

Andrew Osteen                       University of Central Florida

Andy Vujnovich                       Wisconsin

Anthony Beck II                       Georgia Southern

Austin McNamara                   Texas Tech

Ben Kiernan                            University of North Carolina

Bernardo Rodriguez                University of North Texas

Brad Robbins                          Michigan

Brendan Hall                           SMU

Brian Buschini                         Nebraska

Bryce Baringer                        Michigan State

Colin Goodfellow                    Kentucky

Dom Dzioban                          Miami (OH)

Ethan Duane                           Old Dominion

Issac Power                             Baylor

Ivan Mora                               Wake Forest

Jack Brooks                             University of South Alabama

Jacob Barnes                           Louisiana Tech

Jamieson Sheahan                  Cal

Jay Bramblett                          LSU

Joe Doyle                                Memphis

Jordy Sandy                             TCU

Kai Kroeger                             South Carolina

Kyle Greenwell                        UAB

Kyle Ostendorp                       Arizona

Kyle Ulbrich                             Middle Tennessee

Lachlan Wilson                        Tulsa

Laine Wilkins                           Houston

Lou Hedley                              Miami

Lucas Dean                              UTSA

Luke Elzinga                            Central Michigan

Mason Hunt                            Southern Miss

Matthew Hayball                    Vanderbilt

Michael Turk                           Oklahoma

Nick Mihalic                            Western Michigan

Nik Constantinou                    Texas A&M

Paxton Brooks                         University of Tennessee

Porter Wilson                          Duke

Reid Bauer                              Arkansas

Rhys Byrns                              Louisiana

Ryan Hanson                           Arkansas State

Ryan Rehkow                          BYU

Ryan Sanborn                          Stanford

Stephen Kotsanlee                  Utah State

Tom Hutton                            Oklahoma State

Tory Taylor                              Iowa

Ty Zentner                               Kansas State

About the Ray Guy Award

The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Georgia native and College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ray Guy. Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times 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 with particular emphasis placed on net punting average. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline and have a positive impact on the team’s success.