Aug. 5, 2009
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Baylor junior Derek Epperson was named to the initial watch list for the 2009 Ray Guy Award, given annually by the Greater Augusta Sports Council to the nation’s top collegiate punter. Epperson, who was a 2009 Guy Award semifinalist, is one of nine players on the preseason list and the lone player from the Big 12 Conference.
A product of Keller [Texas] High School, Epperson earned All-Big 12 honors from various outlets last season after averaging 44.3 yards on 49 punts, an average that ranked ninth nationally and second in the conference. He had 16 punts of 50-plus yards, including three of 60-plus yards, and his per-punt average was the seventh-best in school history. Epperson has a career 41.3-yard average on 115 career punts.
Epperson, a unanimous preseason first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection this season, earned preseason All-America honors from Lindy's (first team), Yahoo! Sports/Rivals.com (first team), The Sporting News/Walter Camp (second team) and NationalChamps.net (honorable mention).
Other punters on the initial watch list for the Guy Award are Bryan Anger (California), Ben Armer (Western Michigan), Matt Dodge (East Carolina), Ryan Donahue (Iowa), Chas Henry (Florida), Zoltan Mesko (Michigan) and Ross Thevenot (Tulane). Anger, Donahue, Henry and Mesko all were 2008 Guy Award semifinalists along with Epperson.
The Greater Augusta Sports Council created the Guy Award in 2000 to honor Georgia native and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Ray Guy. The Guy Award winner is determined by a national selection committee of FWAA sports writers, college coaches, sports information directors, and past Guy Award winners.
Among the statistics used to identify the winner are total yardage punted, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, net average, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline, and have a positive impact on the team's success.
Past Guy Award winners include former Baylor All-American Daniel Sepulveda, to date the award's only two-time recipient.