Utah State football player Tyler Bennett is one of 69 candidates for the 2012 Ray Guy Award, which identifies the nation’s top collegiate punter; it was recently announced by the Augusta Sports Council.

Bennett is one of five players from the Western Athletic Conference nominated for the 2012 Ray Guy Award along with Idaho’s Bobby Cowan, New Mexico State’s Cayle Chapman-Brown, San Jose State’s Harrison Waid and Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Allen, who is the 2011 Ray Guy Award winner. Bennett also joins two players from the state of Utah on the list in BYU’s Riley Stephenson and Utah’s Sean Sellwood.

Bennett, a 5-foot-11, 218-pound senior punter from Phoenix, Ariz., (North Canyon HS/Phoenix CC), ranks fifth in the WAC and 44th in the nation averaging 42.0 yards per punt. On the season, he has punted 47 times for 1,976 yards and has had eight 50-yard punts including a season-long 59 yards against Utah. Bennett has also had 24 of his punts downed inside the 20 this season and only two of his 47 punts have been touchbacks.

Ten semi-finalists for the 2012 Ray Guy Award will be announced November 9. Following the semi-finalists announcement, a national body of Football Bowl Subdivision sports information directors, coaches, media representatives and previous Ray Guy Award winners will vote for the top three finalists, who will be identified November 19. The voting body will then cast ballots to select the winner.

The presentation of the Ray Guy Award will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show live Thursday, December 6, at 5:30 pm MT on ESPN.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.