Kai Kroeger Named to Ray Guy Award Watch List
University of South Carolina junior punter Kai Kroeger is one of 49 candidates named to the pre-season watch list for the 2022 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate punter in the FBS.
Kroeger, a 6-4, 207-pounder from Lake Forest, Ill., has been a two-year starter for the Gamecocks. He has averaged 43.1-yards per punt through his first two seasons, which ranks third on the school’s all-time career list behind only Joseph Charlton (45.5) and Sean Kelly (43.3). Last season he booted 14 punts of 50 or more yards and 23 of his 59 punts landed inside the 20-yard line with just two touchbacks. He boomed a pair of punts of 70-plus yards, becoming the first Gamecock to accomplish that feat since 1984.
The 49 candidates on the list incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) punters. The 2022 watch list was compiled based on the 2021 Ray Guy Award Semifinalist List, the top ten NCAA Punters from 2021, the 2021 All-Conference teams, the 2021 All-American Teams, the 2022 pre-season All-Conference Teams and eligible punters on the 2021 watchlist.
The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens nominations on July 28. The complete list of candidates will be released on November 2nd. In mid-November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the ten semifinalists, who will be announced on November 8th. A national body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, media representatives and previous Ray Guy Award winners will then vote for the top three finalists to be announced on November 18th. After the finalists are named, the voting body will cast ballots again to select the nation’s top punter. The winner will be announced live during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing on ESPN in December 2022.
About the Ray Guy Award
The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Georgia native and College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ray Guy. Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardage punted, average returned yardage and percentage of punts not returned with particular emphasis placed on net punting average. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline and have a positive impact on the team’s success.