Hornsey first Australian to win award

Tom Hornsey averaged 45.2 yards per punt this season, pinning 29 inside the 20-yard line. Photo by USATSI

Tom Hornsey averaged 45.2 yards per punt this season, pinning 29 inside the 20-yard line. Photo by USATSI

Tom Hornsey came through Nathan Chapman’s ProkickerAustralia program that is modeled after American version Prokicker.com. Hornsey, Memphis’ punter for four years, is the first Australian to win the Ray Guy Award.

He received the award during The Home Depot College Football Awards broadcasted by ESPN. Ray Guy, the College Hall of Fame punter who played at Southern Mississippi and went on to have a 14-year career in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders, presented the award.

Hornsey is Memphis' all-time leading punter. Photo by University of Memphis.

Hornsey is Memphis’ all-time leading punter.

Hornsey received one of nine National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) awards during the evening. He was also named a member of the Walter Camp All-America Second Team, becoming only the second player from the University of Memphis to be selected.

During his senior season Hornsey ranked eighth nationally with a 45.2 punting average while helping the Tigers post a 41.02 net punting average which ranked fourth in the country. During the year he had three of the 15 highest game punting averages in Memphis history.

Hornsey placed 29 of 62 punts inside opponents’ 20-yard line (.468). The .468 percentage ranked fifth nationally while the 29 punts downed inside the 20 tied for third among FBS punters through the regular season. He only had four of his punts go into the end zone for touchbacks while opponents managed just 19 returns for 136 yards.

A two-time Ray Guy Award Player of the Week, Hornsey averaged 40+ yards 10 times during the season. In the two games in which he averaged just under 40 yards, he placed a total of eight of 13 punts inside opponents’ 20-yard line.

GO FIGURE: 41.02
Hornsey’s net punting average, which ranked Memphis fourth nationally.

During his career, Hornsey had 34 games in which he averaged 40+ yards, three shy of an NCAA record. His 43.15 career punting average currently ranks ninth among active, Football Bowl Subdivision punters.

Hornsey was the inaugural winner of the Ray Guy Award Player of the Week award when he averaged 49.6 yards per punt against Middle Tennessee. He placed two of his five punts inside the Blue Raiders’ 20 and had a 68-yarder in the game. Coupled with a career-long, 79-yard punt the previous week against Duke, he had two of the 10 longest punts in FBS football through the first three weeks of the college season.

Hornsey would also have a 70-yard punt against UT Martin en route to a 46.8 yard average in the Tigers’ win against UT Martin. He was recognized for his efforts against UTM with a second Ray Guy Award Player of the Week honor, becoming just the second punter to receive the honor twice during the year.

Hornsey averaged a season-best 51.7 yards against Houston, which ranked seventh in school history, and also averaged 50.5 yards against Temple on Senior Day.

In addition to his statistical numbers, Hornsey was a member of Justin Fuente’s second Leadership Council at the University of Memphis. He was a game captain all 12 contests this year.

A native of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, Hornsey will graduate next spring. He will attend and participate in the All-Area Football Awards and Ray Guy Award Celebration hosted by the Augusta (Ga.) Sports Council in mid-January.

Hornsey’s bio information

February 17, 1989 (Geelong, Victoria, Australia)
St. Joseph’s College (Australia)
6-foot-3, 210 pounds
Four-year starting punter at Memphis who averaged 43.15 yards per punt in his career. Ranked No. 9 among active Football Subdivision punters in career average. Established school records with 297 punts and 12,815 yards. Nationally ranks first and second respectively in career punting yards and career punts.
Projected as top punter in class.
Hornsey is the first Ray Guy Award winner from Australia.

Hornsey talks about being a Ray Guy Award finalist