LOGAN, Utah – Utah State senior punter Peter Caldwell was named to the Preseason Ray Guy Award, which identifies the nation’s top collegiate punter, announced Wednesday by the Augusta Sports Council.”I’m very honored, but it is just a preseason award, I’d rather be one of the finalists this season after being a semi-finalist last year, and get other awards at the end of the season. I’d rather finish strong. I am working hard to continue to improve my punting and help our team have success,” Caldwell said. Caldwell, a Kaysville, Utah (Davis HS), native, is one of seven players on the preseason list, joining Drew Butler from Georgia, Ryan Donahue from Iowa, Johnny Hekker from Oregon State, Chas Henry from Florida, Jeff Locke from UCLA and Rob Long from Syracuse. All seven are returning Ray Guy Award semi-finalists from 2009.”It’s a great honor, Pete’s worked his tail off and that’s very exciting for him,” USU head coach Gary Andersen said. “That’s something that he’ll want to carry with him through the rest of camp and into the season as something that drives him to continue to become an even better punter, because he’s tremendous punter right now and a great asset to our team. He’s fully heathy and I can’t wait to see how he continues to progress through camp.”In 2009, Caldwell led the WAC and ranked 37th in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in punting with a 42.2 yards per punt average with 69 punts for 2,914 yards. Caldwell had 17 punts of 50+ yards, highlighted by a season and career long 62-yarder. He tallied 27 punts inside the 20-yard line and forced the opposition’s returner to call for a fair catch on 16 punts.”Pete is huge for us. Special teams is a game of hidden yardage and to have a great punter like Pete helps a ton as far as field position for the team,” senior long snapper Pat Scales said. “It’s almost like a security blanket because you know he’s going to go out and punt well and you know our punt coverage team is going to be able to go down and cover the return. You hardly have to worry about it with Pete punting.”While Caldwell is honored for the preseason award, he’s eager to add more hardware to his growing list, including several preseason all-conference honors, as well as helping the team continue its success with the goal of a bowl game.”It’s what you do at the end of the season that matters,” Caldwell said. “I think I got a little caught up in all the hype as a freshman when I was a midseason all-WAC honoree and I thought I was on my way, but I had a bad second half. I learned the hard way to continue to improve all season and finish out strong. I want to help get our team to a bowl game, something that Utah State hasn’t done in a long time.”The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens for nominations in mid-August. The complete list of candidates will be released on October 28. In early-November the Ray Guy Award committee will meet to select the ten semi-finalists, who will be announced on November 12. A national body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, coaches, 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 ESPNU College Football Awards Show airing on ESPN on Thursday, December 10.About the Ray Guy AwardThe Greater Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Georgia-native and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Ray Guy. The Ray Guy Award winner is determined by a national voting body of sports writers, college coaches, sports information directors, and past Ray Guy Award winners. Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardage punted, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline, and have a positive impact on the team’s success.Caldwell and USU’s final scrimmage of the fall will be in association with Utah State Aggie Football Family Fun Day, sponsored by Macey’s Foods, and will be held on Saturday, August 21 at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. The event provides fans a chance to meet USU football players and coaches, participate in games and activities as well as purchase season tickets.Activities sponsored by Macey’s Foods will begin at 12:30 p.m., on the South Concourse of Romney Stadium. USU’s football scrimmage gets underway at 1 p.m.Utah State opens the 2010 season at Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. (MT) before hosting border-foe Idaho State in USU’s home-opener on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. (MT).Season tickets as well as two-game packages will be also available for purchase at the USU Football Family Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 21 at the Romney Stadium Box Office, which is located on the South end of Romney Stadium. Season tickets will also be available for pickup for fans that ordered reserved west or east side season tickets prior to July 20, as well as anyone who purchased general admission, Junior Aggie, or family plan tickets. Fans that ordered reserved west or east side season tickets after July 20 will need to pick up their tickets from the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Ticket Office the week of the first home game beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7.To purchase tickets, or for more Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com under the “tickets” drop down menu.Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball and through the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.-USU-
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