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Kovanda just the latest in great Ball State punters

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For more on college football, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at Tom101010.

Cardinal kicker in line for national honor

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 12:01 am

Ball State having a great punter isn't exactly a story that has been told for the first time. However, when the current Cardinal punter is up for the highest national honor that someone in his position can earn, well, that is newsworthy.

Scott Kovanda has been named as one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award, which goes to the nation's best collegiate punter.

"Scott has had an outstanding career here at Ball State both on and off the field," Ball State coach Pete Lembo said in a release. ""It has been a pleasure to work with him closely the last two years. I am pleased to see his accomplishments are being recognized despite having a relatively small number of opportunities to showcase his talent this season."

The other two finalists for the award are Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech and Kyle Christy of Florida.

The Ray Guy Award - named for football's premier punter - honors the nation's best collegiate punter.

Along with awards such as the Heisman Trophy and the Doak Walker Award, the Ray Guy Award honors one of the most important members of any football team. The ASC presents the award live each year on The Home Depot College Football Awards broadcast on ESPN from Orlando. This year's show is slated for Dec. 6.

Kovanda serves as a team captain and has punted 38 times this season, pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line 23 times.

He has helped Ball State to rank fourth in the country in punt return defense with the Cardinals allowing only 1.5 yards per return and having only four punts returned this season. Kovanda has punted for 1,540 yards and a 40.5 average this season, including six punts of 50 or more yards.

Kovanda was one of 10 semifinalists for the honor a year ago and has 220 career punts for 9,029 yards and a 41.0 career average. He ranks fourth all-time at Ball State in career punt yardage, fourth in career punts and third in career punt average.

Kovanda is the latest in a long line of punters from Ball State. Brad Maynard (1993-96) set the Ball State career record with a 44.2 average and was a consensus All-American as a senior. He was also named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year and the MAC's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. He competed 15 years in the National Football League.

Reggie Hodges is the current punter for the Cleveland Browns and is in his seventh year in the NFL.

Chris Miller completed his Ball State career in 2008 ranked second in Ball State record books with 10,342 punt yards and broke Maynard's career average with a 44.77 mark.

Kovanda marks the second player in the history of the ESPN Home Depot Awards Show to be invited as a finalist for an award. Dante Ridgeway was one of three finalists for the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's most outstanding wide receiver in 2004.