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Fresno State's Garrett Swanson Named to Ray Guy Award Watch List

Fresno State's punter had a fine season in 2013, and is now one of nine mid-major players to make an appearance among the nation's best at his position.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Specialists are getting their moment in the sun today with the release of the Lou Groza and Ray Guy watch lists, but the nation's top punters are an exclusive bunch and just one Mountain West player made the cut: Fresno State's Garrett Swanson.

The junior from Riverside saw more action last year than one might expect from a team with a high-octane offense like the Bulldogs, averaging 43.1 yards and a conference-best 40.7 net average on 53 kicks in 2013. Surprisingly enough, he is just one of two punters on the West Coast to be named to the watch list (the other being Cal's Cole Leininger), but the chances are good he'll be counted on to assume a greater role with the uncertainty that currently surrounds the offense.

Last year's Ray Guy winner was Memphis's Tom Hornsey, so for the sake of comparison I thought I would showcase what his numbers looked like next to Swanson's. Do you think the 'Dog has a fighting chance to bring some hardware to the Valley?

Swanson Hornsey
Number of punts 53 62
Average punt 43.1 45.2
Average net 40.7 41.0
Punts inside the 20 14 (26.4%) 29 (46.8%)
Touchbacks 3 (5.7%) 12 (19.3%)
Fair catches 26 (49.1%) 43 (69.0%)
Return average 3.0 7.2