Colquitt among final 3 for punter of year

Tennessee sophomore Dustin Colquitt was named Monday by the Greater Augusta (Ga.) Sports Council one of three finalists for the third annual Ray Guy Award, recognizing the nation's top collegiate punter. Colquitt joins Colorado's Mark Mariscal and Kentucky's Glenn Pakulak at the Dec. 12 ESPN College Football Awards Show.

Colquitt, a Knoxville native, has punted 59 times this season for a 43.2-yard average that ranks fourth in the Southeastern Conference and 11th in Division I-A. Colquitt has only nine touchbacks for the year against 22 punts that were downed inside the 20-yard line -- including 10 inside the 10. Opponents have attempted 26 returns for a 7.7-yard average and the Vols rank fifth nationally in net punting with a 38.7-yard average.

Colorado's Mariscal, a senior from Tallahassee, Fla., leads the nation in gross punting and is tops in net punting with a 43.2-yard average. Pakulak, also a senior and from Lapeer, Mich., is known for his field position, landing 45 percent of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

In Saturday's UT-Kentucky game, Colquitt punted four times for a 45.5-yard average, while Pakulak kicked six times for a 47.3-yard average. The Vols returned four of Pakulak's punts for 32 total yards, while Kentucky returned only two Colquitt attempts for six total yards. Colquitt had his 14th and 15th punts of 50 yards or more, hitting for 51 and 58 yards in the game.

Each of the contenders for this year's award was evaluated on his overall statistics and contribution to his team with emphasis placed on the following categories: net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20, average return yardage and percentage of punts not returned. A national selection committee of college coaches, sports information directors and sports writers decided the three finalists.

Previous Ray Guy Award winners are Kevin Stemke of Wisconsin (2000) and Travis Dorsch of Purdue (2001).

In addition to attending the ESPN awards show in Orlando, Fla. (ESPN live, 7 p.m. Eastern time), the 2002 winner will be honored at the Greater Augusta Sports Awards Gala in January.


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