Jackets' punter honored by win

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Georgia Tech punter Durant Brooks became the first Georgian to win the Ray Gay Award on Wednesday night. The senior from Macon beat out two other finalists.

It took eight years, but a Georgian finally won the college football award named in honor of another Georgian.

 

Georgia Tech senior Durant Brooks, a Macon native, was named the 2007 Ray Guy Award winner Thursday night at the annual ESPNU Home Depot College Football Awards Show. The trophy is given to the top collegiate punter.

"I think it's great to bring home the award from Georgia where it originated," Brooks said of the award given by the Greater Augusta Sports Council.

"This is just a tremendous honor just being in the company of these other punters."

Brooks beat Cincinnati junior Kevin Huber and Toledo senior Brett Kern. Huber led the nation with a 46.87 punting average on 53 punts, while Kern finished second (46.13, 52 punts).

Brooks was one of three finalists last season. He lost out to Baylor's Daniel Sepulveda, who became the first two-time winner in the award's history.

"Durant being the only finalist who returned, it definitely made him the one to watch for the season," Ray Guy Award coordinator Randy Duteau said. "The kid just got stronger as the year progressed."

Last week, Brooks was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team for the second year in a row. He owns the highest career punting average in ACC history.

Brooks ranked fourth in the nation in punting with a 45.54 average. He boomed a career long of 77 yards against North Carolina. Thirty of his 61 punts (49 percent) stopped inside opponents' 20-yard line.

The award is named after Guy, a Thomson native, considered the greatest punter in NFL history.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or chris.gay@augustachronicle.com.

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