On Monday it was announced that Utah State senior punter Tyler Bennett and senior punt returner Kerwynn Williams were placed on the 2012 College Football Performance Award Watch List for special teams.
Bennett is one of 43 punters around the nation to be recognized, joining Bobby Cowan of Idaho, Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech and Harrison Waid of San Jose State from the Western Athletic Conference. Sean Sellwood of Utah was the only other punter from the state.
Williams is one of 30 punt returners on the watch list joining Justin Veltung of Idaho and Craig Johnson of Louisiana Tech from the WAC, along with J.D. Falslev from BYU, who is also the only other punter from the state.
A native of Phoenix, Ariz. (North Canyon HS/Phoenix College), Bennett emerged as USU’s top punter in his first year in the program. He booted 58 punts for a total of 2,542 yards, while finishing the 2011 season ranked 16th in the nation with 43.8 yards per punt average. Bennett also had 15 punts of 50-plus yards and a long of 67 yards, as well as 21 punts inside the 20-yard line. He was also named to Phil Steele's College Football Preview Preseason All-WAC third-team for 2012, along with being placed on the Phil Steele's College Football Preview Postseason All-WAC third-team in 2011. Additionally, Bennett garnered second-team honors from College Sports Madness and was a Ray Guy Award Watch List honoree in 2011.
A native of Las Vegas, Nev. (Valley HS), Williams returned seven punts in 2011 for 98 yards for an average of 14.0 yards per return, which would have ranked second in the WAC but did not meet the minimum requirement of returns. Williams also rushed for 542 yards on 81 carries for an average of 6.7 yards per carry, along with 36 kick returns for 817 yards and an average of 22.7 per return. He also was named to the 2012 Phil Steele's College Football Preview Preseason All-WAC first-team as a kick returner and second-team honors as a punt returner, while also garnering first-team preseason honors as a running back and kick returner from Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook. In 2011, Williams was named to the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll on Oct. 10, while also being placed on the Paul Hornung Award Preseason Watch List. He also made the preseason All-WAC first-team for the Athlon Sports College Football Preview and the Phil Steele's College Football Preview in 2011.
The College Football Performance Awards watch list is a rough guide, highlighting returning players with strong individual performances. All players are eligible for recognition at their respective positions; players are not preemptively eliminated from consideration for weekly, annual or career awards.
The official 2012 annual & career awards announcement will be on January 9, 2013. For more information on the award and watch lists, fans can visit the official website at http://www.collegefootballperformance.com.
Fan can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.