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Gillikin on Ray Guy Award Watch List

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics 

Senior among the candidates for the nation’s top punter


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Senior punter Blake Gillikin(Smyrna, Ga.) landed on the Ray Guy Award watch list for the nation’s top punter.


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, self-discipline and have a positive impact on the team’s success.


Gillikin enters his final season as Penn State’s record holder in career punting average (43.32 ypp) and season punting average (43.95 ypp). He is the only player in program history with three punts of 70 or more yards, all of which came in 2018. Gillikin hit a career-long 74-yard punt at Michigan, which is tied for fourth on Penn State’s single-game charts with Anthony Fera. He also averaged 51.2 yards per punt in the 2019 Citrus Bowl against Kentucky, which is second in Penn State bowl history and fifth overall. A perfect 4.0 student, Gillikin was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American last year. He spent the summer interning at Drayer Physical Therapy and performing a job shadow at Penn State Health in State College.


Eight different Nittany Lions have been named to preseason watch lists. They include: senior linebackerCam Brown – Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker); senior punter Blake Gillikin – Ray Guy Award (nation’s top punter); Allstate AFCA Good Works Team; senior defensive tackle Robert Windsor – Nagurski Trophy (National Defensvie Player of the Year), Outland Trophy (best college football interior lineman); junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos – Nagurski Trophy (National Defensvie Player of the Year), Bednarik Award (National Defensive Player of the Year), Lott IMPACT Trophy (National Defensive Player of the Year on and off the field); junior wide receiver KJ Hamler – Maxwell Award (National Player of the Year), Biletnikoff Award (outstanding wide receiver); junior center Michal Menet – Rimington Trophy (top center); sophomore tight end Pat Freiermuth – Mackey Award (outstanding collegiate tight end); sophomore linebacker Micah Parsons – Nagurski Trophy (National Defensvie Player of the Year), Bednarik Award (National Defensive Player of the Year), Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker).


The Nittany Lions’ home schedule features three non-conference games and four Big Ten Conference match-ups. The Nittany Lions open the season against Idaho (Aug. 31; 3:30 p.m.), Buffalo (Sept. 7; 7:30 p.m.) and the 100th all-time meeting with Pittsburgh (Sept. 14; noon) in non-conference action. In Big Ten play, Penn State welcomes Purdue (Oct. 5; noon), Michigan (Oct. 19), Indiana (Nov. 15) and Rutgers (Nov. 30) to Happy Valley.


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