HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – When it came time for ESPN to fill in the “punter” slot on its All-Time All-America, only one name would suffice.
Former University of Southern Mississippi star Ray Guy was selected first-team All-Time as part of ESPN’s celebration of 150 years of college football.
Guy, a two-sport star in Hattiesburg (football/baseball), lettered in football at USM from 1970-72 before becoming the first true punter selected in the first round when he was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 1973 draft.
The Thomson, Ga., native set school records as a placekicker, punter and defensive back at USM, reigning as NCAA punting champion in 1972 after averaging 46.2 yards a punt. In three seasons, Guy averaged 44 yards per punt.
Guy also was the team's place-kicker and a three-year starting safety with 18 career interceptions. In 1972, he was a member of The Sporting News, Football Writers Association, Walter Camp, Gridiron, Football News, Playboy and Associated Press All-America teams.
Guy eventually was named to Southern Miss’ Team of the Century as well.
Guy played 13 seasons in the National Football League, earning Pro Bowl honors seven times and leading the league in punting three times. He also played on three Super Bowl championship teams.
Guy was selected the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team and the NFL’s All-Century team.
Guy has been honored by his alma mater, earning a spot on USM’s “Team of the Century” and was the first USM player to have his jersey retired.
He became the first Golden Eagle football player and first punter inducted into the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2004 Division I-A class.
Ten years later, Guy became the first true punter inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, as a member of the Class of 2014.
Guy set the standard that punters have tried to emulate since his playing days were finished.
The Greater Augusta Sports Council certainly believed Guy was the best punter in the history of NCAA collegiate football, naming an annual award in his honor. The Ray Guy Award is given annually to the best collegiate punter in the nation.
The ESPN All-Time All-America team derived from the vote of a blue-ribbon panel assembled earlier this year. The 25 players represent a span of nearly 90 years, ranging from the Roaring ’20s to the 21st Century.
The selections represent 19 schools, from Ohio State University to Mississippi Valley State University; nine conferences, from the Southeastern Conference to the Ivy League; and both segments of Division I.