Max Duffy named Ray Guy Award winner

The Kentucky junior honored for being nation’s top punter after outstanding season

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Courtesy: UK Athletics Kentucky beats UT Martin 50-7. Photo By Jacob Noger | UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Kentucky junior punter Max Duffy has been named the winner of the 2019 Ray Guy Award given to the nation’s top punter, the Augusta Sports Council announced Thursday night during the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN in Atlanta.

Duffy, of Perth, Australia, has been an absolute weapon for the Wildcats this season, dominating the field position game with his booming and accurate leg. He leads the nation in punting at 48.6 yards per punt and has helped the Cats lead the nation in net punting as well. He has been consistently excellent this season and was twice named the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week. Duffy also is UK’s all-time leading career punter at 46.47 yards on 107 kicks.

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Duffy recently earned first-team All-SEC honors by the AP, first-team All-America by the FWAA and was a second-team choice by the league coaches.

He was twice been named the Ray Guy Award Player of the Week during the regular season and earned Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 28 after a magnificent night of punting vs. Missouri. He was on the Ray’s 8 weekly honor roll three times. He also was a First-Team Midseason All-America choice by ESPN and The Sporting News and a Second-Team Midseason All-America selection by the Associated Press.

Against South Carolina, Duffy set two school records, breaking his own single-game school record (min. 8 punts), averaging 51.1 yards on nine kicks and in the process, became UK’s career punting leader.

On a rainy, Saturday night against Missouri, Duffy punted five times for 262 yards (52.4 average), had a career-best 70-yard punt and pinned Mizzou inside its own 20-yard line three times. Duffy’s 70-yard punt was the longest by a UK player in an SEC game since Ryan Tydlacka vs. Ole Miss in 2010 (73 yards). Duffy also scampered 26 yards for a first down on a fake punt. It kept the drive alive that set up Kentucky’s final touchdown.

He also made a huge impact in UK’s wins over Toledo and Eastern Michigan. In the Toledo game, he punted six times for a 54-yard average, the second-highest single-game average in school history (min. 5 punts). Against EMU, he only punted three times but his three punts forced Eastern Michigan to start on its own 8, 11 and 13-yard lines. EMU did not score following any of his punts, helping set up UK touchdowns on both of its subsequent possessions (a third EMU possession ended the half).

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com