December 10, 2009

Butler wins Ray Guy Award

Drew Butler said he was just honored to be considered one of the country's best punters when he first received word that he was a finalist for the prestigious Ray Guy Award.

He's now considered the best.

Butler won the award during Thursday night's annual college football award ceremony at Disney World which was televised live by ESPN.

Butler's teammate Blair Walsh was a finalist for the Lou Groza award signifying the nation's best placekicker but that honor went to UCLA's Kai Forbath.

"It's just an honor to be considered," Butler told UGASports recently. "You always strive to be the best. That's all I've ever tried to do."

Butler beat out fellow nominees Zoltan Mesko of Michigan and Chas Henry of Florida after 48.8 yards this season. He also had 17 punts downed inside the 20, with a season-long 75-yarder against Oklahoma State.

Also Thursday, Butler was also named to the Walter Camp and AFCA All-American teams.

He becomes the first Bulldog to be named to the Walter Camp All-American team since Max Jean-Gilles in 2005. Butler's honor marks the 31st Walter Camp All-America certificate given to a Bulldog.

Butler, who also leads the NCAA in net punting at 42.8, is on pace to become only the third Bulldog in school history to lead the NCAA in punting (Zeke Bratkowski, 42.6 in 1953; Bobby Walden, 45.3 in 1958). He is also on pace to eclipse the school's single season punting average record.

The current mark is 45.4 by Chip Andrews in 1984 while the SEC mark is within reach at 48.2 (Ricky Anderson, Vanderbilt in 1984).

Butler is also the first Bulldog punter to be named an All-American in the modern era.

Previous All-Americans who doubled as punters include Chick Shiver (1927) offensive backs Bill Hartman (1937), Frank Sinkwich (1941-42), Charley Trippi (1946) and quarterback Zeke Bratkowski (1952).

Butler's father, Kevin, was also a Walter Camp All-American place-kicker in 1984 for the Bulldogs and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

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