Utah State punter Peter Caldwell is on the preseason Ray Guy Award watch list.
“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,” Caldwell said of the award given to the nation’s to punter. “I’d rather finish strong. I am working hard to continue to improve my punting and help our team have success.”
Caldwell is one of seven players on the preseason list and each of those were semi-finalists a year ago. The Davis High product averaged 42.2 yards per punt last season on 69 punts. 17 of those punts were 50 yards or longer and 27 landed inside the 20-yard line with 16 resulting in fair catches.
“It’s a great honor, Pete’s worked his tail off and that’s very exciting for him,” USU 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.”
Of course, the Aggies wouldn’t complain if Caldwell didn’t win the award but would prefer that reason to be that the offense kept drives alive and punting wasn’t necessary. Still, Caldwell has proven to be a valuable weapon when the offense has stalled out.
“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.”