December 7, 2017
It can no longer be disputed: Michael Dickson is the best punter in college football.
Dickson claimed the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter on Thursday night. Dickson, who is the first Longhorn to win the award, was selected for the honor over Alabama’s JK Scott and Utah’s Mitch Wishnowsky at The Home Depot College Football Awards presented by GILDAN in Atlanta.
Texas P Michael Dickson, your 2017 Ray Guy winner. pic.twitter.com/uT0OHSjB6a
— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) December 8, 2017
A two-time finalist and the first Longhorn to ever be a finalist for the award, Dickson taking home the trophy adds to what will likely go down as not only the best season ever for a Texas punter but arguably the finest season ever for a collegiate punter.
Dickson enters the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl against Missouri on Dec. 27 with a chance to set the FBS record for single-season punting average. Dickson, who leads the nation with an average of 48.38 yards per punt, is within striking distance of Todd Sauerbrun’s record-setting mark of 48.42 yards per punt in 1994.
A first-team All-American selection by the Walter Camp Football Foundation earlier on Thursday, Dickson is a two-time All-American and is only the second player ever to twice be named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year. Dickson also leads the country in net punting average (44.7 yards per punt).
Even with one game left to play, the Texas sports information department points out that Dickson has already done his part to re-write the school’s punting record books through 12 games:
So far in 2017, Dickson has 34 punts of more than 50 yards, 14 of more than 60 yards and a career-long punt of 76 yards in a game at TCU. That 76-yard punt was the fifth-longest in the country this season, and tied for the fifth-longest in school history. He has had 32 punts downed inside the 20-yard line, 27 downed inside the 15, 14 downed inside the 10 and six downed inside the opponents’ five-yard line.
Just 15 of Dickson’s 73 punts have been under 40 yards this season. Of those 15 punts, seven have been fair caught or downed inside the 10-yard line with an additional punt fair caught at the opponents’ 12-yard line. In comparison, Dickson has had 26 punts with a net average of more than 50 yards and nine with a net average of more than 60 yards. Only 17 punts have been returned this season, with nine of those for three yards or less and five of them having gone for negative yards.
Dickson has averaged more than 45 yards per punt in 9-of-12 games this season, while averaging more than 50 yards on six occasions (Maryland, 58.0; Kansas State, 53.3; Oklahoma, 55.0; Oklahoma State, 50.9; TCU, 50.8; and Texas Tech, 50.9).
Dickson is currently wrestling with a decision on whether or not to return to Texas for his senior season.
Whether he stays or goes, Dickson has already made his mark as the best Longhorn to ever play his position.