Blake Gillikin Named Candidate For Ray Guy Award
Freshman Blake Gillikin found himself among 66 of the nation’s best punters Monday, as the Ray Guy Award announced its preliminary group of candidates. A list of 10 semifinalists will be announced on Friday, Nov. 11.
— Ray Guy Award (@RayGuyAward) October 31, 2016
The Smyrna, Ga., native joins 2015 finalists Michael Carrizosa (San Jose State) and Hayden Hunt (Colorado State) on the list, and is part of six Big Ten punters to get the call. Since its inception in 2000, Penn State has never had a punter win the award, but Jeremy Kapinos was a finalist in 2006. Gillikin earned the starting job right away in preseason camp and is one of four Nittany Lion freshmen to see the field this fall, joining Miles Sanders, Connor McGovern, and Cam Brown.
Gillikin has already proven himself a tremendous addition to Penn State’s special teams, as the 6-foot-2 punter is averaging 41.4 yards per attempt (39) with a career-long bomb of 69 at Pitt. Only Ohio State’s Cameron Johnston has recorded a longer punt (70) in the Big Ten through eight games this season. Gillikin currently sits in fourth place in the conference in terms of average behind Johnston (47.5), Northwestern’s Hunter Niswander (42.7), and Michigan’s Kenny Allen (42.1). All three were named candidates for the 2016 Ray Guy Award, as were Ryan Santoso (Maryland) and Wade Lees (Maryland).