Ryan Plackemeier Named to Ray Guy Award Preseason

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest sophomore punter Ryan Plackemeier is one of 32 players nationwide who appear on the preseason watch list for the 2003 Ray Guy Award, as announced by the Greater Augusta (GA) Sports Council. The annual award is presented in December to the country¡¦s best collegiate punter.

Plackemeier began his career as a true freshman last season for the Demon Deacons, punting in 10 games. He averaged 43.2 yards per boot, a figure that would have ranked first in the ACC if he had a few more attempts to meet the minimum qualifying standards. He had a long punt of 62 yards and put two inside the 20-yard line.

Plackemeier is one of just four sophomores to appear on the preseason watch list. He¡¦ll also have the opportunity to go head-to-head with four other candidates during the season, as East Carolina¡¦s Ryan Dougherty, NC State¡¦s Austin Herbert, Maryland¡¦s Adam Podlesh and Purdue¡¦s Brent Slaton all appear on the list as well.

Among the statistics to be included in determining the Ray Guy Award winner are total yardage, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside of the opponent's 20-yard line, net average, average return yardage and percentage not returned The winner will display leadership and self-discipline, and will have a positive impact on the team's success.

The Ray Guy Award watch list will be narrowed to ten semi-finalists who will be announced in early November. The national voting body will then vote for the three finalists and the winner who will be announced in late November. On December 11, 2003 the three finalists will travel to Orlando, Florida for the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, with the winner being announced and presented with the award live on ESPN. Punters are eligible to join the watch list at any time prior to the announcement of the ten semi-finalists.

Further, the Ray Guy Award winner will be invited to Augusta, Georgia for an exciting two-day celebration, including the Greater Augusta Sports Awards Gala, the Ray Guy Kicking & Punting Academy, and community appearances.

During his All-American collegiate football tenure at Southern Mississippi and his legendary career as a Pro Bowl punter for the NFL's Oakland Raiders, Ray Guy, a native of Thomson, Georgia was unsurpassed in his ability to impact the outcome of games with incredible hang time and ball control. Since his retirement, Ray Guy has sought to bring heightened awareness and recognition to the punter position at all levels, and to spotlight the contributions and talents that these young athletes bring to the playing field.

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