MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University football junior punter Nick O’Toole was named today to the watch list for the 2014 Ray Guy Award, the Augusta Sports Council announced.
The Ray Guy Award is presented annually to the top punter in college football. The winner is selected by a national voting body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) coaches, sports information directors, national media and former Ray Guy Award winners. Punters are evaluated on their overall statistics and contribution to the team. Particular emphasis is place on the following statistics: net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20-yard line and percentage of punts not returned.
“Nick transferred in last year, made the adjustment and had an all-conference season for us,” says associate head coach and special teams’ coordinator Joe DeForest. “He’s shown that he has a strong leg, the ability to switch field position and place the ball in advantageous spots. We are counting on him having another big year for the special teams’ unit.”
O’Toole is one of 25 candidates named to the watch list, joining Spencer Roth of Baylor and Trevor Pardula of Kansas as the three representatives from the Big 12 Conference.
Last season, O’Toole ranked No. 15 nationally in punting and No. 2 in the Big 12 with an average of 44.1 yards per punt. His 26 punts of 50 yards or more were the most by a Mountaineer since Todd Sauerbrun had 33 in 1994. His 22 punts inside the 20 were the most since Greg Pugnetti had 24 in 2010 and Pat McAfee had 25 in 2008.
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. 31. In early November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the 10 semi-finalists, who will be announced on Nov. 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 on Nov. 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 on ESPN on Dec. 11.