AUGUSTA, Ga. – As announced by the Augusta Sports Council Friday morning, senior punter/kicker Michael Palardy has been named as one of 10 semifinalists for the 2013 Ray Guy Award.
The semifinalists were chosen from a field of 85 candidates for the award, which recognizes the most outstanding punter in college football.
“It is a great honor to be a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award,” said Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones. “Everything in our football program is based on every player in our program having great pride and consistency in their performance. Michael Palardy is one of those individuals who has exceeded those expectations. It is an honor and a privilege for him and our entire football program that he be represented on the semifinal list of the Ray Guy Award.”
The candidates were evaluated on their overall statistics and contribution to the team. Particular emphasis was placed on the punter’s net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20-yard line and percentage of punts not returned.
This season, through nine games, Palardy is averaging 44.4 yards per punt, 11th in the country and second in the SEC. The senior has also dropped 23 of his 47 punts inside the 20-yard line, or 48.9 percent, most in the FBS. Palardy has landed 12 of his punts inside the 10-yard line, second most in the country. He has also launched 12 of his punts 50+ yards.
In addition to his punting duties, Palardy handles kickoffs and field goal/PAT kicks, one of just seven FBS athletes to handle all three special teams duties, and the lone semifinalist on the Ray Guy Award to do so.
“It is an honor and a blessing to be recognized as one of the nation’s top punters,” said Palardy. “I wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for the help of my coverage team on punts and the support from Coach Jones, the staff and my teammates. The other nine semifinalists are some of the top punters in the country and to be a part of a list of that caliber is something special and something I won’t forget for the rest of my life.”
A national voting body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) coaches, sports information directors, national media and former Ray Guy Award winners will decide the three award finalists, who will be announced on November 25. Voters will then cast a second round of ballots to decide the winner.
2013 Ray Guy Award Semi-Finalists
Steven Clark (Sr.) – Auburn
Tom Hornsey (Sr.) – Memphis
Cameron Johnson (Fr.) – Ohio State
Drew Kaser (So.) – Texas A&M
Cody Mandell (Sr.) – Alabama
Michael Palardy (Sr.) – Tennessee
Mike Sadler (Jr.) – Michigan State
Will Scott (Sr.) – Troy
Cody Webster (Sr.) – Purdue
The presentation of the Ray Guy Award will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards live on Thursday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The show, hosted by ESPN’s Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will feature live presentation of nine player awards, along with the recipients of Disney’s Spirit Award, The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the NCFAA (National College Football Awards Association) Contributions to the College Football Award, and student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team.
The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Georgia native and College Football Hal of Fame inductee, Ray Guy. Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardage punted, 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.