Kai Kroeger Named to 2023 Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch List
University of South Carolina’s returning All-American punter, Kai Kroeger, is one of 50 candidates named today by the Augusta Sports Council to the preseason watch list for the 2023 Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate punter in the FBS.
Kroeger, a 6-4, 212-pound senior from Lake Forest, Ill., earned first-team All-America honors from ESPN.com and The Athletic in 2022, and second-team honors from Walter Camp and AFCA, after averaging 46.1 yards per punt, including a net of 42.8 yards. The first-team All-SEC punter boomed 18 punts of 50 or more yards, including a career-long 79-yard bomb against Georgia State. Twenty-nine of his 58 punts (50 percent) were downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
Kroeger was one of 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award last season. He was listed on “Ray’s 8” six times during the year and was the Ray Guy National Punter of the Week following his efforts in the season opener against Georgia State.
The 50 candidates on the list incorporate a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) punters. The 2023 watch list was compiled based on the 2022 Ray Guy Award Semifinalist List, the top ten NCAA Punters from 2022, the 2022 All-Conference teams, the 2022 All-American Teams, the 2023 pre-season All-Conference Teams and eligible punters on the 2022 watchlist.
The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens nominations on August 3. The complete list of candidates will be released on November 6. In mid-November, the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the ten semifinalists, who will be announced on November 10. A national body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, media representatives and previous Ray Guy Award winners will then vote for the top three finalists to be announced on November 22. After the finalists are named, the voting body will cast ballots again to select the nation’s top punter. The winner will be announced live during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing on ESPN in December 2023.