Florida punter wins Ray Guy Award

Henry is first Gator to earn honor

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Chas Henry's roller coaster week climbed to a high Thursday night.

Florida's Chas Henry (left) is the first Gator to win the Ray Guy Award, which is awarded each year to the top college punter in the nation.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Florida's Chas Henry (left) is the first Gator to win the Ray Guy Award, which is awarded each year to the top college punter in the nation.

One day after Florida head coach Urban Meyer resigned, Henry won the Ray Guy Award, which is handed out by the Augusta Sports Council to the nation's top college punter at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla.

"There's been a lot of highs and lows," Henry said in a phone interview. "Tonight is a high.

"To see (Meyer) walk away is hard. ... But I can understand why he's doing it."

Henry was one of three finalists for the award, along with Georgia's Drew Butler and Iowa's Ryan Donahue. Butler, the 2009 Ray Guy Award winner, and Henry were repeat finalists from a year ago.

The 6-foot-3, 222-pound Henry became the third Georgia native in four years to win the prize, following Georgia Tech's Durant Brooks (2007) and Georgia's Drew Butler (2009). Henry, of Dallas, Ga., capped his stellar senior campaign with a well-earned trophy.

"Hopefully, we can keep it going in Georgia," said Henry, who became the first Gator to win the Ray Guy Award.

A first-team, All-Southeastern Conference selection, Henry has been a valuable part of Florida's team. He's filled in as kicker, converting 4 of 8 field-goal tries and 24 of 25 extra point attempts. In October, Henry booted the game-winning, 37-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Gators past rival Georgia.

Henry worked on his strength and conditioning during the off-season and continued improving his technique. The extra work showed in his statistics.

He improved his punting average by three yards a kick and leads the nation with a 46.4 average. Fifteen of his 44 kicks were 50 yards or longer, with a long of 75.

On the strength of Henry's season, Florida leads the nation in net punting at 41.82 -- more than a half-yard better than UCLA. Georgia is fourth at 40.56, while Iowa is 30th (38.15).

The Ray Guy Award winner is chosen by a national voting body of Football Bowl Subdivision coaches, sports information directors, national media and former Ray Guy Award winners.

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