Colorado State punter Hayden Hunt is in the spotlight after being named a nominee for 2015 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate punter. The junior from Long Beach, California has been a nominee for the award in all three seasons.
At the season’s midpoint, Hunt is averaging 45.6 yards per punt, which is eighth best in the nation. San Jose State’s Jose Carrizosa currently leads the nation with an average of 49 yards per punt.
Consistency should be his middle name; Hunt has punted 32 times for CSU this season, eight of which traveled at least 50 yards. Out of the 32 punts, 14 of them were downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, and only one has resulted in a touchback.
Hunt, a political science major, has consistently pinned opponents deep in their own territory. Sep. 12 against Minnesota, he booted a 73-yard punt that was downed at the 2-yard line. The punt was the eighth longest in school history, and the longest punt in four seasons for CSU. The following week, Hunt was named Ray Guy Award Player of the Week.
In a matchup on the road with UTSA Sep. 26, Hunt pinned the Roadrunners inside the 20-yard line on all four of his punts, one of which was downed at the 2-yard line. Two plays later the Colorado State defense forced a safety, and in the end CSU won 33-31.
Hunt continued to be clutch against Air Force, when one of Hunt’s punts was downed at the 1-yard line early in the game. Air Force went three-and-out on offense, and CSU scored on offense the following possession, taking advantage of the good field position.
After being on the award watch list since July, Colorado State’s standout punter has continued to show he is worth the attention.
Of the 79 nominees, ten will be selected as semifinalists Nov. 13, and narrowed down to the top three Nov. 23. The winner will be announced Dec. 10 on the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.
Collegian Sports Reporter Justin Michael can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JustinSportsCSU.