Blue Raider punter Bonadies named to Ray Guy preseason award watch-list


Head coach Rick Stockstill addressing his team after the Blue-White Spring Finale at Floyd Stadium on April 15, 2017. (MTSU Sidelines/Tyler Lamb)

Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sidelines Archives

For the second consecutive season, Middle Tennessee junior punter Matt Bonadies was one of 29 punters around the country selected for the Ray Guy Award watch-list on Wednesday.

The Ray Guy Award, which is named after former NFL All-Pro punter Ray Guy, has been given to the nation’s top punter since 2000 and is presented in Georgia by the Augusta Sports Council at the end of each season.

Bonadies is coming into his third season as the starting punter for the Blue Raiders. For his career, Bonadies has averaged 39.6 yards per punt and has pinned opponents inside the 20 a total of 26 times, including 16 times in his sophomore campaign. Bonadies has also had success keeping the ball out of the opposing endzone, with only six touchbacks on 89 career punts.

Last season against Louisiana Tech, Bonadies had four kicks downed inside the twenty yard-line while averaging 44.4 yards per punt on the way to a 38-34 victory.

Bonadies, who registered five punts of over 50 yards last season, is happy to have been nominated, but he knows that winning is all that matters to him and his teammates.

“I’m honored to be on the Ray Guy Watch List,” Bonadies said in an interview with Middle Tennessee Athletics. “I’ve worked hard through the years on my kicking so it’s nice to be recognized, but the main thing is having a good season and helping the team.”

Bonadies and the Blue Raiders will open the season against the Vanderbilt Commodores on September 2, a team Bonadies averaged 42.3 yards per punt against in their meeting last season.

Follow MTSU sports reporter Anthony Fiorella on Twitter at @A_Fiorella74 for more coverage.

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