The reigning Ray Guy Award winner, Tom Hackett has been named a finalist for the 2016 version of the award. The Aussie kicker for the Utes has been a constant weapon on special teams, as he has the ability the flip field position from almost anywhere on the field. Hackett hasn't been as dominate this season, but he hasn't been far off and should be the front runner for the award that will be given out next month.
Here's the full press release.
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Utah senior punter Tom Hackett, the 2014 Ray Guy Award winner, has again been named as a finalist for the award, the Augusta Sports Council announced today. The other two finalists are Michael Carrizosa (San Jose State) and Hayden Hunt (Colorado State).
The Ray Guy Award winner will be revealed on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing live from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Ga., on Thur., Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. ET (5 p.m. MT). Hackett and Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham will attend the event.
Hackett is aiming to become the third two-time winner of the award, joining Ryan Allen (Louisiana Tech, 2011-12) and Daniel Sepulveda (Baylor, 2004 and 2006). He is one of six two-time finalists.
Hackett, Utah's second Ray Guy Award finalist along with Louie Sakoda in 2008, became the first Ray Guy Award winner in Pac-12 history last season.
Utah leads the nation in net punting (43.44) behind Hackett, whose 47.4 punt average (48 punts, 2,274 yards) leads the Pac-12 and is fourth in the nation. His 17 punts of 50+ yards also leads the Pac-12.
He has placed 21 punts inside the 20-yard line (42.8-percent of his punts), with 11 inside the 10-yard line and two inside the 5-yard line. Hackett has two of the six longest punts in the country this season (76 yards vs. Oregon and 74 yards vs. Michigan).
Hackett, a 2014 consensus All-American and two-time first-team All-Pac-12 punter from Australia, had never played a down of American football before walking on to the Utah team in 2013. He has started every game the past three seasons after sharing the starting job as a freshman.