Sept. 13, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Tulane University football standout Chris Beckman has been named to the watch list for the 2006 Ray Guy Award, which is awarded annually by the Greater Augusta Sports Council to the nation's top NCAA Division I-A punter.
A senior from Grenada, Miss., Beckman has been the picture of consistency throughout his Green Wave career and currently ranks second in Tulane career history in punting average with a mark of 42.6. His 46.1 yard-per-punt average on eight attempts in the season opener at Houston currently ranks eighth in the nation.
"This is a great honor for Chris and one that is well deserved," Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo said. "Chris is one of the most consistent players we've ever had at Tulane. He has the ability to change field position and the momentum of a game with his leg. He is the epitome of a Tulane student-athlete, succeeding both on the field and in the classroom."
Beckman ranks second in Green Wave history in punting average to Casey Roussel (43.19 yards from 1997-2001). His eight punts last Saturday moved him into a tie for sixth on the Tulane all-time list, joining Roussel with 178 each. Beckman also leaped ahead of Howard McNeil on the career punting yardage list and now stands in sole possession of fifth place with 7,583 punting yards.
In Saturday's game against the Cougars, Beckman tallied 369 punting yards, including three 51-yard boots. His hang time forced one fair catch and helped the Green Wave special teams limit Houston to just 5.17 yards on six returns. He posted his first 51-yard punt of the day in the second quarter before booting two more in the third. His final punt of the day went for 49 yards and was downed at the Houston eight yard line. Following his punt plays, Houston's average drive start was their own 31 yard line.
The 2006 Ray Guy Award will be announced during ESPN's Home Depot College Football Award Show in December. The award is named after the Southern Miss great who later played for the Oakland Raiders and is considered by many as the most outstanding punter of all-time.
The Ray Guy award is presented to the nation's best collegiate punter as determined by a national selection committee made up of sports writers, college football coaches, sports information directors, former punters and members designated by the Greater Augusta Sports Council.
Among the statistics used to identify the Ray Guy Award winner are total yardage punted, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, net average, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned. It is also of importance for the award winner to display team leadership, self-discipline, and to have a positive impact on the team's success.
The Ray Guy Award watch list will be narrowed to ten semi-finalists in early-November. The national voting body will then vote for the top three finalists who will be announced at the end of November. The winner will be announced live on ESPN during the Home Depot College Football Awards show, which will take place in Orlando, Florida on December 7, 2006.
Beckman is one of four Conference USA punters named to the Ray Guy Award watch list, joining East Carolina's Ryan Dougherty, Michael Gibson of Memphis and Thomas Morstead of SMU. He is also one of two punters playing for Louisiana teams as LSU's Chris Jackson was named to the watch list as well.
Beckman and the Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Sept. 16, when they travel to Starkville, Miss., to take on Mississippi State at 6 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium. The game in Starkville marks the second of three straight road games to open the 2006 season as Tulane will play at LSU on Sept. 23 before hosting C-USA opponent SMU on Sept. 30 at the Louisiana Superdome.
Season and single-game tickets for the 2006 season are currently for sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased in person, via the telephone at (504) 861-WAVE or via the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com. In addition, single-game tickets are also available via Ticket Master at www.TicketMaster.com and at all Ticket Master outlets.
2006 RAY GUY AWARD WATCH LIST Jared Armstrong Jr. Purdue Tyson Beattie Sr. Indiana Chris Beckman Sr. Tulane Kody Bliss Sr. Auburn Justin Brantly So. Texas A&M Brendan Carney Sr. Syracuse Ken DeBauche Jr. Wisconsin John Deraney Sr. NC State Ryan Dougherty Sr. East Carolina Gordon Ely-Kelso Sr. Georgia Andy Fenstermaker Sr. Iowa Brandon Fields Sr. Michigan State Nick Folk Sr. Arizona Michael Gibson Sr. Memphis Adam Graessle Sr. Pittsburgh Michael Hughes Jr. San Diego State Chris Jackson Sr. LSU Jimmie Kaylor Jr. Colorado State Jim Laney Jr. Western Michigan Chris Miller So. Ball State Brian Monroe Sr. Miami (Fla.) Thomas Morstead So. SMU Adam Podlesh Sr. Maryland Tim Reyer Jr. Kansas Sate Alex Reyes Sr. Texas Tech Daniel Sepulveda Sr. Baylor Nic Schmitt Sr. Virginia Tech Jacob Skinner Sr. Arkansas Kyle Stringer Sr. Boise State Kyle Tucker Jr. Kansas Eric Wilbur Sr. Florida