Illini Justin Duvernois named 2013 Ray Guy candidate

Sep 03, 2011; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini punter Justin DuVernois (18) punts the ball against the Arkansas State Red Wolves during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. The Fighting Illini defeated the Red Wolves 33-15. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Fighting Illini junior Justin Duvernois has been named to the watch list for the 13th annual Ray Guy Award, it was announced Wednesday by the Augusta Sports Comission.

The Guy Award, named in honor of Ray Guy, has been given to America’s College Punter of the Year since 2000. Guy played baseball and football at Southern Mississippi, he averaged 44.7 yards in three seasons for the Golden Eagles before becoming the first pure punter drafted in the NFL’s first round. Guy then went on to play 14 years with the Oakland Raiders, winning three Super Bowl titles and named to the Pro Bowls seven times. In 2004, Guy became the first punter inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

During his sophomore season, Duvernois ranked fourth in the Big Ten with a 41.9 average on 73 punts including 19 inside the 20. Against Western Michigan he recorded a career-long 72-yard punt and punted eight times for 350 total yards. Duvernois has been the No. 1 starting punter since his freshmen year.

Semifinalists for the Guy award will be announced on Nov. 9, while the finalists will be unveiled on Nov. 19. The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 12.

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Topics: 2013 Ray Guy Award, Big Ten, Illinois Football, Justin Duvernois, NCAA

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