AWARD HONORS NATION’S TOP PUNTER
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee junior punter Matt Bonadies has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2017 Ray Guy Award, as announced by the Augusta Sports Council Wednesday.
The Ray Guy Award honors the nation’s top collegiate punter. Bonadies is one of three punters from C-USA on the 29-player watch list. The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens nominations in September.
Bonadies, the son of Gregory and Debbie Bonadies, had a stellar sophomore campaign for the Blue Raiders. He played in 13 games and had a 38.8-yard average. He proved to be a weapon as 16 of his punts were downed into the opponents’ 20.
Bonadies had five punts of 50 yards or more, including efforts of 59-, 57-, 55-, 54-, and 53-yards. One of his best games came on the road at Bowling Green where he had a 42.5 yard average on six punts in a pouring rain. Four of his six punts at Bowling Green were downed inside the 20, helping Middle Tennessee earn the clutch road win.
“I’m honored to be on the Ray Guy Watch List,” said Bonadies, who hails from Buford, Ga., and shares the same home state as Ray Guy. “I’ve worked hard through the years on my kicking so it’s nice to be recognized, but the main thing is having a good season and helping the team.”
The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Guy, a Thomson, Ga., native and College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times a 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.