Monday, July 23, 2012
Ranking the SEC's punters
By Edward Aschoff and Chris Low
Now that we've looked at the SEC's top kickers, we're checking out the league's top punters.
Here are our top 10 SEC punters:
1. Brad Wing, Soph., LSU: He was one of the league's most entertaining people last year, and he had the left leg to back it up. The first-team All-American averaged 44.4 yards per punt last season, with a long of 73 yards, and pinned 27 kicks inside his opponents' 20-yard line. He also had 20 punts of 50 or more yards.
2. Steven Clark, Jr., Auburn: The Ray Guy finalist and the SEC coaches All-SEC selection was one of the most accurate punters in the nation last fall. Not only did he average 40.8 yards per punt, he pinned 33 of his 72 kicks inside the 20. He had a long of 58 yards and sent 13 punts 50 yards or more.
3. Dylan Breeding, Sr., Arkansas: He returns as the SEC's top statistical punter after averaging 45.3 yards per punt last fall, with a long of 70 yards. Breeding landed 16 of his 53 punts inside the 20, and had 17 punts of 50 or more yards. He ranks fifth all-time at Arkansas in punts (166), punt yardage (6,971) and punt average (42.0).
4. Tyler Campbell, Sr. Ole Miss: He ranked fifth in the SEC last season, averaging 43.6 yards per punt with a long of 73. He also had 28 of his 72 kicks drop inside the 20, and had 16 punts go for 50 or more yards. Campbell is both powerful with his kicks and very accurate, making him a big weapon for the Rebels' defense.
5. Trey Barrow, Sr., Missouri: He was a second team All-Big 12 member last season, and ranked second in the league in punting average (44.8). Barrow, who also shared place-kicking duties, had a long of 74 yards last season, pinned 10 punts inside the 20, and had 18 punts of 50 or more yards.
6. Richard Kent, Sr., Vanderbilt: He averaged 42.5 yards per punt last season, with a long of 67. He also pinned 23 punts inside the 20 and had 18 punts of 50 or more yards. He had a 41.2-yard net punting average, and has put at least one punt inside the 2o in 24 of his 25 career games.
7. Baker Swedenburg, Jr., Mississippi State: He averaged 41.8 yards per punt, with a long of 58 last season. Nineteen of his kicks dropped within the 20, and he had 14 punts of 50 or more yards. The staff expects him to be even better after having a tremendous spring in Starkville this year.
8. Ryan Epperson, Sr., Texas A&M: He averaged 41.2 yards per punt last season, and pinned 19 inside the 20. He had a long of 68 yards, and sent 10 punts 50 or more yards. He directed four punts inside the 20 against Arkansas and Texas last season.
9. Cody Mandell, Jr., Alabama: He averaged just 39.3 yards per punt, but had a long of 52 yards, pinned 11 inside the 20, and had two punts of 50 yards or more. He put a season-high five punts inside the 20 against Florida last fall. The former walk-on enters his third year as a starter this fall.
10. Kyle Christy, Soph., Florida: He became Florida's starting punter during the last seven games of the season, but the spot is now all his. He still finished with 30 punts, and averaged 40.9 yards per kick along the way, with a long of 67 yards. Ten of his kicks were downed inside the 20. In his debut against Auburn, four of his punts were downed inside the Tigers' 20.