The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa punter Tory Taylor wins Ray Guy Award

The 26-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, won the award for college football’s best punter during his final season as a Hawkeye.
Iowa+punter+Tory+Taylor+acknowledges+fans+after+a+football+game+between+Iowa+and+Illinois+at+Kinnick+Stadium+in+Iowa+City+on+Saturday%2C+Nov.+18%2C+2023.+Taylor+punted+for+413+total+yards%2C+averaging+51.6+per+play.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Fighting+Illini+15-13.
Emily Nyberg
Iowa punter Tory Taylor acknowledges fans after a football game between Iowa and Illinois at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023. Taylor punted for 413 total yards, averaging 51.6 per play. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini 15-13.

After what has been a years-long campaign across Iowa City, Iowa punter Tory Taylor took home the award that the Black and Gold have been clamoring for. No, not the Heisman — although Taylor did appear on the official Heisman podcast earlier this season — but the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top collegiate punter.

Taylor beat out fellow finalists Matthew Hayball from Vanderbilt and Alex Mastromanno from Florida State to earn the hardware on Friday night.

This season, the 26-year-old broke the program record for number of career punts and punting yards, racking up 288 boots for 13,297 yards. Downing 43.4 percent of those punts inside the 20-yard line, Taylor set the Iowa single-season punting yards record in 2021, then extended that mark last year and in 2023. This season, he has amassed 4,119 yards over 13 games and had a Senior Day entrance to remember on Nov. 18 against Illinois. According to Scott Dochterman of The Athletic, Taylor is shy of breaking the NCAA single-season punting yards record (4,138) set by Michigan State’s Johnny Pingel in 1938.

 

Having not played American college football until he got to Iowa, Taylor has never averaged less than 44 yards per punt during a season. His career-long punt traveled 70 yards.

Taylor is the first Hawkeye punter to earn the Ray Guy Award and the first Hawkeye finalist since Ryan Donahue in 2010. After winning the award, Taylor shouted out Iowa long snapper Luke Elkin in his interview with ESPN. Taylor has confirmed he will not return to Iowa next season.

Taylor and defensive back Cooper DeJean were also named Walter Camp first-team All-Americans on Friday night. Linebacker Jay Higgins was named to the second-team.

Iowa, Georgia, and Notre Dame are the only programs to have multiple 2023 Walter Camp first-team All-Americans. The Hawkeyes have had at least one Walter Camp first-team All-American since 2019, the longest active streak in the country, according to Iowa Sports Information.

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About the Contributors
Matt McGowan, Pregame Editor
he/him/his Matt McGowan is The Daily Iowan's Pregame Editor. He is a sophomore double majoring in journalism and mass communications and American studies with a minor in sport studies.  This is his second year with the DI
Emily Nyberg, Visual Editor
(she/her/hers)
Emily Nyberg is a second-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic arts. Prior to her role as a Visual Editor, Emily was a Photojournalist, and a News Reporter covering higher education.