Zentner Named Ray Guy Award Semifinalist

MANHATTAN, Kan. (Kansas State Athletics) – Kansas State senior Ty Zentner is one of 10 punters in the nation to be named a semifinalist for the 2022 Ray Guy Award, the Augusta Sports Council announced Monday.

Zentner is the first Wildcat to be named a semifinalist for the college punter of the year since Tim Reyer in 2007. He made the cut among 81 nominated candidates throughout the season.

A product of Topeka, Kansas, Zentner has averaged 43.4 yards on his 44 punts this season, which ranks third in the Big 12 and ninth in school history. He has helped the Wildcats rank 15th nationally and second in the conference with a net punting average of 41.2 yards. His punting average this season was highlighted by a 54.3-yard effort against Missouri, which was the second highest in a single game in school history (minimum four attempts). He had a 66-yard punt against the Tigers, which was the longest by a Wildcat since 2013.

Usually called upon to pin the opposition deep in its own territory, Zentner has a career-high 20 punts that have been downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, which leads the Big 12 and are the most by a Wildcat since Nick Walsh had 21 in 2017.

In addition to his punting abilities, Zentner has been the Wildcats’ primary kickoff specialist each of the last three seasons and has added placements to his repertoire the last four games. He has totaled 44 touchbacks on 69 kickoffs this season (63.8%) and 124 on his 204 career kickoffs (60.1%). Over the last four games, Zentner has been true on all seven field goal attempts and 19 extra point attempts. He connected on a 53-yard field goal just before halftime last week at West Virginia, which tied for the 10th-longest field goal by a Wildcat in school history and the longest by an opponent in Milan Puskar Stadium history.

The candidates for the 2022 Ray Guy Award were evaluated by the committee on their overall statistics and contribution to the team. Particular emphasis was placed on net punting average, number of times a punt was downed or kicked out-of-bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardage punted, average returned yardage and percentage of punts not returned. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline and have a positive impact on the team’s success.

A national voting body of FBS sports information directors, national media and previous Ray Guy Award winners will decide the three award finalists who will be announced on Tuesday, November 29. Voters will then vote again to determine the winner who will be announced live on Thursday, December 8 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.

The Ray Guy Award will provide one additional vote as determined by football fans. The Fan Vote will be located on the Ray Guy Award website and is equivalent to one national selection committee member’s vote. The vote will be included for the selection of the finalists and the winner.

Kansas State, ranked 15th in this week’s Associated Press Top 25, hosts Kansas in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Saturday inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The sold-out contest, which serves as Senior Night for the Wildcats, kicks off at 7 p.m. and will be shown on FOX.

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