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Mesko, Donahue named to Guy Award watch list

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Three Big Ten teams finished among the top 11 nationally in net punting last season, and punter once again figures to be a strong position in the league.

More evidence arrived Tuesday as Michigan's Zoltan Mesko and Iowa's Ryan Donahue were named to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top punter. Mesko led the Big Ten and ranked 20th nationally in punting average (42.95 ypp) despite a whopping 80 attempts for the Wolverines. Donahue has averaged 41.3 yards per punt in his career.

Both men were semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award last season, when the hardware went to Oklahoma State's Matt Fodge.

I was a little surprised not to see Michigan State's Aaron Bates or Penn State's Jeremy Boone on the nine-man Guy Award watch list. Boone averaged 43 yards a punt in very limited action last year (Penn State's offense didn't need him much), while Bates was a workhorse for the Spartans.

Keep an eye on two younger punters, Indiana's Chris Hagerup and Wisconsin's Brad Nortman, who will contend for the Guy Award in future seasons.