Former Belleville West All-American kicker/punter Austin Seibert, now at Oklahoma, was the only college freshman among 10 semifinalists announced Friday for the Ray Guy Award.
The award is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding punter.
Seibert has punted 34 times this season for an average of 43.5 yards, which ranks second in the Big 12 Conference. Nine of his punts have gone at least 50 yards, 14 have been downed inside the 20-yard line and only two have resulted in touchbacks.
Only eight of Seibert’s punts have been returned this year and those returns have totaled nine yards. Only four of his punts (none the last four games) have been returned for positive yards (one, one, two and six yards). The Sooners lead the Big 12 this year with their 42.0 net punting average.
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Seibert doubles as OU’s placekicker and is tied for the Big 12 lead in scoring in conference play with 10.2 points per game. He is 12-for-15 on field goals and is perfect on 53 extra-point tries. Seibert is the only major Division I (FBS) kicker who has made at least 12 field goals and 53 extra points.
A total of 79 original Ray Guy Award candidates were evaluated on their overall statistics and contribution to their 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. 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 Nov. 24. Voters will then cast a second round of ballots to decide the winner.
The presentation of the Ray Guy Award will be featured on “The Home Depot College Football Awards” show live at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 on ESPN.