After missing out on a trip last season to Augusta due to his class schedule at Louisiana Tech, Ryan Allen finally made it to town Thursday.
Allen was honored by the Augusta Sports Council at The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Football Banquet at the Legends Club.
Allen became the first person to win back-to-back Ray Guy awards. Since the inception of the award in 2000, only Allen and Baylor’s Daniel Sepulveda (2004, 2006) have won multiple awards.
“It’s a privilege to be here,” Allen said. “To be able to accept this award means a lot to me and to Lousiana Tech.”
Also during the evening, Prokicker.com and the Augusta Sports Council inducted Fred Mitchell, Dr. Stephen O’Neal and Reggie Roby into the American Football Kicking Hall of Fame. Mitchell, a former columnist for the Chicago Tribune is the inspiration for “The Fred Mitchell Award,” an annual national award given to an outstanding kicker during the National Football Foundation ceremony.
O’Neal was an All-American punter for Texas A&M in the 1960s. Drafted by the 1969 New York Jets, O’Neal made NFL history with a record 98-yard punt – still a record. O’Neal played four seasons with the Jets and another with New Orleans before suffering a career-ending knee injury. He went on to become a dentist.
Roby (1961-2005) became an All-American punter at Iowa, setting a record for average punt (49.8) in 1981. Roby went on to play for the Miami Dolphins from 1983-92 before playing for five other teams. He was named to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team and attended 3 Pro Bowls.
Before his death in 2005, Roby was involved with Backfield in Motion, a non-profit organization aimed toward helping inner-city youth with athletics and academics.
“It’s just such an honor and privilege for us to accept this for Reggie,” said Roby’s widow, Melissa, who attended along with five other family members. “It couldn’t be any better unless Reggie were here himself.”