Sunday, December 13, 2009

Butler Named Top Punter In Nation


All-American Drew Butler has been named the winner of the 2009 Ray Guy Award, which is presented annually to college football’s top punter by the Greater Augusta Sports Council.

Butler, a 6-2, 203-pound sophomore native of Duluth, Ga., received the award Thursday during The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show televised live on ESPN.

“I didn’t play a whole lot last year and knew that I had to come in and compete since I was following a great punter in Brian Mimbs,” said Butler. “We had a good punt team last year and I wanted to make sure we took a leap forward this year rather than a step backwards. The credit for this award goes to the team, all of the guys on the punt team. We call ourselves the ‘Pride’ team.”

Butler said much of his success comes from coaching and his hard work. “I want to thank Coach (John) Lilly and all of the coaches, I tried to be consistent this whole season and it has paid off.”

Butler is leading the nation in punting with a 48.8 average on 50 punts and leads the NCAA in Net Punting at 42.8.

Along with Butler, the other finalists were Michigan senior Zoltan Mesko and Florida junior Chas Henry. A national committee of sportswriters, sportscasters, football coaches, professional football punters and previous winners annually select the winner. The award is named after the legendary NFL punter Ray Guy.

This is the 10th year for the award, and Butler is the first winner from the Southeastern Conference.

Butler has also been named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America Team. The FWAA All-America team is the second-longest continuously-published team in major college football.

Butler is the 23rd Bulldog to be named to the team and first since David Pollack in 2004. He is among seven SEC players named to the All-America team.

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