Dec. 6, 2007
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Georgia Tech senior Durant Brooks was named the winner of the 2007 Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter it was announced tonight at the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show at the Atlantic Dance Hall on the Disney Boardwalk. Brooks beat out finalists Kevin Huber from Cincinnati and Toledo’s Brett Kern to win the award for the first time. He was also a finalist last season.
“This is such an honor,” said Brooks. “Just being in the same room as some of the best players in the country was a thrill and I am so appreciative of everyone and knowing that all of the hard work paid off. After being here last year it is a nice feeling to go home a winner.”
One of the top punters in Georgia Tech and ACC history, Brooks is a two-time first team All-ACC selection. He has the highest career punting average in the history of the ACC and also serves as the holder on kicks. Brooks transferred to Tech in 2005 after two seasons at Georgia Military College and has remarkable punting statistics considering that he handles all Tech punts, including pooch-punts that can impact individual averages.
This season, brooks ranks first in the ACC and fourth nationally in punting (45.5). He has punted 61 times for 2,778 yards and only 19 of his 61 punts were returned. Nearly half (30 of 61) of those punts were downed inside the 20 yard line. He booted a career-high 77-yarder against North Carolina and the average starting position for opponents following a Brooks punt has been the 18-yard line.
This year, 56 punters were nominated for the honor. Each of the punters on the list was evaluated on his overall statistics and contribution to the team. Particular emphasis was placed on the following categories: net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20-yard line, average return yardage, and percentage not returned.
The award is named for Thomson, Georgia resident Ray Guy, a 2004 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee and perennial candidate for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Guy, who played with the Oakland Raiders from 1973 to 1986, is, perhaps, the first punter who could change the make-up of a game with his kicking style. It is said “hang-time” was added to football vernacular because of Ray Guy, who was known for his soaring kicks and deadly precision. This namesake award, created by the Greater Augusta Sports Council, was begun in 2000. Mr. Guy said about this year’s candidates, “It is obvious this outstanding group of punters have focused on team success instead of individual accomplishments. Everyone on our top-ten list have performed unselfishly, qualifying each to be worthy of being named the nation’s top punter.”
A national voting body of Division 1-A coaches, sports information directors, national media, and former punters voted on this award.