JONESBORO, Ark. -- Arkansas State sophomore punter Cody Grace has been named to the complete list of candidates for the 2017 Ray Guy Award, announced Tuesday by the Augusta Sports Council.
The Ray Guy Award identifies the nation’s top collegiate punter at The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN every year in December. Grace is one of 78 candidates this year and becomes the fourth A-State player to ever find a place on the watch list, joining Luke Ferguson (2014 and 2015), Brett Shrable (2008) and Andy Shatley (2000).
Grace has recorded 35 punts for 1,471 yards, giving him a 42.0 average per attempt. He has posted seven punts covering at least 50 yards, including a long of 55 yards in the Red Wolves’ season opener at Nebraska. Grace has seen 17 of his punts result in a fair catch, as well as 17 pin A-State’s opponents inside their own 20-yard line.
The Perth, Western Australia, native holds a 41.8 net punting average that ranks as the second highest in the Sun Belt Conference and tied for 11th in the nation. Grace has seen 31 of his 35 punting attempts go unreturned for an .886 percentage, while the Red Wolves’ punt return defense is allowing just two yards per attempt to lead the conference and rank tied for ninth in the nation.
This year’s list of candidates will be narrowed down to 10 semifinalists to be announced Thursday, Nov. 16. Following the announcement, a national voting body of FBS sports information directors, media representatives and previous Ray Guy Award winners will vote for the three finalists who will be identified Tuesday, Nov. 21. The voting body will then cast ballots to select the winner. The 2017 Ray Guy Award winner will be announced live on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 7.