RUSTON -- Unsurprisingly, Louisiana Tech's Ryan Allen was named to the 2012 Ray Guy Watch List Wednesday by the Augusta Sports Council. For Allen, this is the start of a hopeful repeat bid.
As a redshirt junior last season, Allen led the nation with 39 punts inside the 20 with only five touchbacks while averaging 46.1 yards per punt, another school record. Allen pegged 29 punts over 50 yards and sent an amazing 22 punts inside the 20 on the season.
After being named All-America by multiple publications, Allen was awarded the Ray Guy Award and named first team All-WAC and All-Louisiana. Allen became the first punter from a non-BCS school to win the Ray Guy Award and the only non-BCS player to win a national award in 2011.
In Louisiana Tech's appearance in the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl, ESPN broadcaster Joe Tessitore repeatedly said on air, "Good things happen when Ryan Allen is on the field."
Allen is one of only 25 punters named to the preseason watch list. The 25 candidates on the list incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) punters. Returning Ray Guy Award semifinalists from 2011 include Ian Campbell (UTEP), Steven Clark (Auburn), Bobby Cowan (Idaho), Richie Leone (Houston), Pat O'Donnell (Cincinnati), Jackson Rice (Oregon), Brian Schmiedebusch (Bowling Green) and Brad Wing (LSU), as well as 2011 Ray Guy Award winner Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech.
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 October 26. In early November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the ten semi-finalists, who will be announced on November 9. 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 November 19. 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 Thursday, December 6.