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Two PFL athletes named to FCS Punter of the Year Watch List

Tuesday, August 24, 2021
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta Sports Council is pleased to announce the pre-season watch list for the 2021 FCS Punter of the Year Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate punter in the FCS.

The 20 candidates on the list incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Championship Series (FCS) punters. The 2021 watch list was compiled based on the 2020 FCS Punter of the Year watchlist, the 2020 All-Conference teams, the 2020 All-American Teams and the 2021 pre-season All-Conference Teams.

The FCS Punter of the Year Award winner will be voted on by the FCS Punter of the Year Award/Ray Guy Award Committee and will be announced after regular season play commences (subject to change based on current COVID-19 updates and decision making by the NCAA and other organizing bodies).

Niesner shared PFL Special Teams Player of the Year accolades during the Spring 2021 season, becoming the first player in program history to receive that honor. His 43.58 yards per punt last season was second-best in PFL history behind Valparaiso alumnus Greg Wood’s 43.64, which is the Pioneer Football League record. Niesner ranked eighth nationally in punting average among all FCS kickers. 

Last season, Foster averaged 41.4 yards per punt – the third consecutive season he finished a season with a punting average of more than 40 yards per punt. Two seasons ago, he led the Pioneer League in punting in 2019, averaging 41.8 yards on 53 boots with eight punts of more than 50 yards with 23 downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

2021 FCS Punter of the Year Preseason Watchlist

Andrew Foster, Morehead State
Aubrey Grace, Alabama State
Austin Dunlap, Southeastern Louisiana
Ben Niesner, Valparaiso
Brady Schutt, South Dakota
Chris Faddoul, Florida A&M
D.J. Arnson, Northern Arizona
Daniel Whelan, UC Davis
Harry O'Kelly, James Madison
Joe Gurley, North Alabama
Jon Sot, Harvard 
JT Bohlken, Illinois State
Kaleb Mosley, Tennessee State
Matthew Campbell, The Citadel
Matt McRobert, Sam Houston
Nathan Fondacaro, Villanova
Noah Gettman, Sacred Heart
Patrick Haughney, Holy Cross
Ryan Richter, Norfolk State
Zach Haynes, Southeast Missouri

About the FCS Punter of the Year Award

The Augusta Sports Council, also home to the Ray Guy Award (awarded to the best collegiate punter in the FBS), created the FCS Punter of the Year Award in 2019 to honor the best collegiate punter playing in the FCS. Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardage punted, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned with particular emphasis placed on net punting average. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline and have a positive impact on the team's success.

About the Augusta Sports Council

The Augusta Sports Council (ASC) enriches the quality of life and economic well-being for the Augusta metropolitan area by supporting and attracting sporting activities. To learn more, visit www.augustasportscouncil.org.
  

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