LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech sophomore punter Austin McNamara and sophomore place kicker Trey Wolff were both named to national watch lists Wednesday with McNamara appearing as a candidate for the Ray Guy Award (nation’s top punter) and Wolff for the Lou Groza Award (nation’s top kicker).
Texas Tech was one of only seven schools nationally and the only school in the Big 12 Conference to place both its punter and place kicker on the two watch lists, joining Arizona State, LSU, N.C. State, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Washington State. None of those seven schools, however, featured a sophomore at both specialist positions.
McNamara is coming off one of the best debuts in school history as he earned All-Big 12 first team honors and Freshman All-America accolades in 2019. McNamara, a native of Gilbert, Arizona, averaged 45.0 yards per punt, which led all freshmen nationally and ranked 16th nationally in the category. His average marked the highest all-time by a Tech freshman and was the fourth-best clip by any punter in program history.
In addition, McNamara was instrumental in limiting opponents in the return game as the Red Raiders ranked fourth in the FBS for net punting average (42.5). Opponents returned only nine of McNamara’s 59 punts on the year, averaging just 5.2 yards per return. He downed 20 of his punts inside the 20 yard line as well.
Wolff, meanwhile, was among the most accurate kickers in college football as a redshirt freshman after finding the uprights on 20-of-22 field goal attempts and 40-of-41 PAT tries. Wolff was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection by the conference coaches as he ranked seventh in the FBS for field goal percentage (90.9) and 14th in field goals per game (1.67). He concluded the year ranked second in the Big 12 for total field goals, third in field goal percentage and fourth for points per game (8.3).
Wolff, a native of Spring, Texas, similarly placed his name in the Texas Tech record book, finishing second in single-season history for field goals as he trailed only Ryan Bustin’s 23 successful tries from 2013. He also ended the year tied for 11th all-time in Big 12 history for field goal percentage.
The Ray Guy Award tabbed 19 candidates to its preseason watch list. The final list of candidates will be released by the committee on Nov. 10 followed by the selection of 10 semifinalists on Nov. 24. The award committee will decide on three finalists on Dec. 2 with the winner being named Dec. 10 during The Home Depot College Football Awards live on ESPN.
The Lou Groza watch list featured 30 preseason candidates with additional kickers added throughout the season. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission will trim the candidates to 20 semifinalists on Nov. 5 before naming three finalists on Nov. 24 and eventually a winner on Dec. 10 during the ESPN broadcast.