After the Syracuse Orange’s Andre Szmyt took home the Lou Groza Award last year, as the nation’s best kicker, we were hoping to start a streak of taking home individual special teams honors. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be at Thursday night’s College Football Awards.
Kentucky’s Max Duffy took home the Ray Guy Award for the nation’s best punter, coming out on top over Syracuse’s Sterling Hofrichter and Houston’s Dane Roy.
Duffy had the nation’s top punting average by a full yard, and just over half of his 47 punts wound up inside the 20. Also, just nine of them were returned at all.
Hofrichter, as you well know by this point, averaged 43.9 yards per punt on 69 attempts — but with a 43-yard net average. He put 31 of those inside the 20, and 11 inside the 10. While the average may not be as lofty as Duffy’s, Hof also put up some pretty solid figures elsewhere in the punting categories.
Though the award would’ve been an awesome way to cap off what’s been an excellent career with the Orange, Hof still leaves SU as one of the top punters in school history, and a legitimate NFL prospect who could very well get drafted come the spring. Former Syracuse punter (and future league MVP) Riley Dixon just secured a three-year extension with the New York Giants, so there’s already a clear path to success for the Orange at the position.
Congrats to Hof on the honor of being a finalist. We’ll give him the Riley Dixon award for Syracuse’s top punter instead.