The college football award season is never complete without the awarding of the nation’s top punter award. With so little praise given out throughout a season, the Ray Guy Award is annually given out to the nation’s top punter, and a prestigious title among the kicking circle.
Tory Taylor was given the prestigious honor during Friday’s Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
Tory Taylor Wins 2023 Ray Guy Award
The 2023 season saw some dominant special teams performances, especially from punters across the country. Whether you casually enjoy a good punt or are a diehard kicking enthusiast, few things warm the spirits of any football fan than a perfect punt.
In 2023, the best punting performance was certainly from Taylor. And now, he’s the 2023 Ray Guy Award winner.
Being nominated as a finalist was a feat in and of itself this season, considering the names in the trio of finalists. Taylor beat ouf Alex Mastromanno of Florida State and Matthew Hayball of Vanderbilt for the honor.
Taylor was at his best for an anemic offense in Iowa City, leading the nation in punt yards at 4,119. He is on pace to break the all-time punt yards record and yet somehow still managed a ridiculous net punt average of 43.8 yards, the highest of any punte with at least 51 boots this year.
Mastromanno was a coffin corner expert in 2023. He often pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line and averaged 43.2 net yards per kick this past season.
Hayball punted the ball 58 times and averaged 47.6 yards per kick, 43.7 of which were net yards. He was a master at keeping his defense with plenty of grass behind them, even if his offense struggled at times to do the same.
Each punter had their moments in 2023, but a record-setting performance by Taylor was absolutely more than enough to grant him the title of Punter of the Year in 2023.
And in the end, Taylor was likely a runaway choice for the Ray Guy Award this season.