The Third Phase: Your Ray Guy Award Winner is…


Mike Gundy can breathe easy (I don’t know that he had that much trouble with breathing) as Texas punter Michael Dickson was awarded the Ray Guy Award during the College Football Awards ceremony Thursday night.

Dickson got the award over last year’s winner, Mitch Wishnowsky of Utah, as well as Alabama’s JK Scott. Interestingly enough, Dickson was runner-up to Wishnowsky.

You could’ve made a case for all three players to win the award. I know this because I tried. Plus, I know the fan voting favored Scott. Dickson was the right guy, though.

You don’t necessarily hear punters get praised that often, certainly from opposing coaches. Not only did Gundy praise him, but Texas Tech Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury recently sent a card to Dickson.

Maybe Kingsbury sends a lot of cards, but it’s still noteworthy when he sends one to a punter. Of course, Dickson is no ordinary punter.

We’re talking about a punter who had 32 punts land inside the 20 this season. He had seven alone against Texas Tech, five against Oklahoma State and four versus Iowa State.

Of Dickson’s 73 punts, none of them were blocked and only eight of them landed in the end zone for a touchback. If that’s not enough, Dickson could boot it. He had 34 punts go 50-yards or longer. Dickson had one punt go 76 yards against TCU, one go 69 against Oklahoma, and also 67-yard boots against Kansas State and Texas Tech.

He was the only punter this season to be selected as Ray Guy National Punter of the Week twice. Additionally, Dickson was also named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year recently. We’re talking about a punter who led the nation in average punting yards. You better believe Dickson is the real deal.

The NFL is a real possibility for Dickson. I’d love to see what he can do in the pros. Of course, if he comes back for his senior season, he’d definitely be a contender to repeat as the Ray Guy Award winner.

Author’s note: I’m not sure what to do as of yet for future Third Phase columns. I’ll probably have one more column for the bowl season, maybe another if something noteworthy occurs. As for the offseason, we’ll take a wait and see approach to everything.