La. Tech punter Ryan Allen wins Ray Guy Award
AUGUSTA, Ga. — After spending two years at Oregon State, Ryan Allen knew it’d be a long while before he ever saw any playing time.
Roadblocked by punter Johnny Hekker, who’s now in his rookie season with the St. Louis Rams, Allen took fate into his own hands. After his redshirt freshman season, he transferred to Louisiana Tech. The move proved to be a success once again Thursday night.
Allen capped his career by winning his second consecutive Ray Guy Award on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show, broadcast on ESPN. Allen was awarded the trophy for the best punter in college football, beating out Florida’s Kyle Christy and Ball State’s Scott Kovanda for the honor.
Allen, a senior, became the first person to win back-to-back Ray Guy awards. Since the inception of the award in 2000, only Allen and Baylor’s Daniel Sepulveda (2004, 2006) have won multiple awards.
“It’s been crazy,” Allen said. “Louisiana Tech wasn’t my first choice. It’s been an unexpected journey.”
Allen will be honored by the Augusta Sports Council at The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Football Banquet, on Jan. 17, at the Legends Club. Last year, Allen couldn’t make it to Augusta due to his class schedule. This time, he said he’s coming.
“It was over the top busy for me,” he said. “For the Augusta Sports Council to recognize our position is important. We’re still trying to get respect for our position. It’s going to be a great honor to be out there.”
Allen, of Salem, Ore., led the nation with a 48.04 punting average – almost a yard better than second place. The Bulldog launched 21 of his 45 punts longer than 50 yards, with a long of 85. Twenty of his kicks were downed inside the 20, with none of his punts blocked.
The process for this year’s Ray Guy Award began with 55 nominees. That list was whittled down to 10 semifinals. In November, the sports council announced the finalists.
—This story was originally posted by the Augusta Chronicle.