Hayball Named Ray Guy Finalist

Vanderbilt punter Matthew Hayball has been named a finalist for national punter of the year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After concluding his career as the school’s all-time leader in punting average, Vanderbilt’s Matthew Hayball has been named one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award given annually to the nation’s best punter.

Hayball has been named a finalist alongside Florida State’s Alex Mastromanno and Iowa’s Tory Taylor. The winner will be announced live during The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 8 (6 p.m. CT on ESPN).

The West Adelaide, Australia, native has ranked among the nation’s top punters in multiple categories this season. At the conclusion of the regular season, he currently ranks seventh in net punting (43.1), sixth in average punt (47.6), is one of 14 punters in the nation with a long of 71 yards or more and ranks second in Pro Football Focus Punting Grade (88.8).

His average of 47.6 yards per punt this year is the second-best single-season average in school history, trailing only Ricky Anderson’s clip of 48.2 yards per punt in 1984. Coupled with his average of 45.4 yards per punt in 2022, Hayball owns two of the top five seasons in school history.

The graduate student was named midseason All-America by the Associated Press, Pro Football Focus and College Football Network after being selected third-team preseason All-SEC by the league’s coaches.

He was named the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week following the Kentucky game after his seven punts went for an average of 50.3 yards. It was the highest single-game punting average for a Commodore since 1982, trailing only Jim Arnold’s 53.1 yards per punt against North Carolina in the Vandy record books.

Combined with his tenure at Florida Atlantic, Hayball has appeared in 59 games, punting 289 times for 13,073 yards. At the conclusion of the regular season, he is the only active punter across all divisions of NCAA football (FBS, FCS, D-II, D-III) to have eclipsed 13,000 career yards. His career average is 45.2 yards per punt and he has pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard-line on 108 occasions.

In two seasons at Vanderbilt, Hayball has punted 115 times for a total of 5,347 yards, pinning opponents inside the 20 on 36.5 percent of his punts. With a Vanderbilt career average of 46.5 per punt, Hayball boasts the best career punting average in school history.