GILLETTE, Wyo. — On Wednesday, the Augusta Sports Council released the 2023 Preseason Watch List for the Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate punter in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Among the 50 student-athletes named to the watch list was Wyoming punter Clayton Stewart.
Stewart was an Honorable Mention All-Mountain West selection in 2022 as voted by Mountain West head coaches and media. He ranked No. 3 in the conference and No. 33 in the nation in punting in 2022, averaging 43.8 yards per punt. Stewart placed 20 of his 72 punts inside opponents’ 20-yard lines. He had 19 punts of 50 yards or more and forced opponents into 22 fair catches.
The 2023 watch list was compiled based on the 2022 Ray Guy Award Semifinalist List, the top 10 NCAA punters from 2022, the 2022 All-Conference teams, the 2022 All-American Teams, the 2023 preseason All-Conference Teams and eligible punters on the 2022 watch list.
The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens nominations on Aug. 3. The complete list of candidates will be released on Nov. 6. In mid-November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the 10 semifinalists, who will be announced Nov. 10.
A national body of Football Bowl Subdivision sports information directors, media representatives and previous Ray Guy Award winners will then vote for the top three finalists, to be announced Nov. 22. 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.
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 and self-discipline and have a positive impact on the team’s success.