Texas A&M punter Braden Mann was named the winner of the Ray Guy Award, given annually to the nation's top punter, Thursday at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
Mann earned the award over Cincinnati's James Smith and Utah's Mitch Wishnowsky to become the Aggies' first winner of the prestigious award.
"This is a huge honor and an absolute blessing for me," Mann said. "I have great teammates, great coaches and a great family behind me. God has blessed me to be able to have a season like this, but I wouldn't have been able to do that without my teammates, coaches, family and the 12th Man behind me. I'm happy to finally bring the Ray Guy Trophy back to College Station for the first time after following in the footsteps of great punters before me like Shane Lechler, Drew Kaser and Shane Tripucka. It has been an honor to be in the conversation with punters like them and so many others. I really want to thank the 12th Man for giving me a lot of juice in games this season."
The Houston, Texas, native is on pace to break his third NCAA record of the season as he leads the country with a 51.15 punting average and is nearly a yard ahead of Chad Kessler's mark of 50.28 set in 1997.
In September at No. 1 Alabama, Mann broke the NCAA record for the high gross punt average in a single game at 60.8 yards on five boots, breaking the old record of 60.4 which was set originally in 1983 and matched in 2010.
Against UAB, Mann uncorked his 14th 60-yard punt of the season, breaking Wake Forest's Ryan Plackemeier's record set in 2005 for the most 60-yard punts in a single season.
Texas A&M's punting unit leads the FBS in net punting at 45.0 yards and could become the first team since BYU in 1983 to average 45.0 or more net yards per punt in a full season. Only one team in FBS history that does not play home games at altitude has averaged over 45.0 net yards per punt – Southern Miss in 1972, led by legendary punter and award-namesake Ray Guy.
Mann's continues his assault on the NCAA record book on December 31 at 6:30 p.m. as the Aggies take on North Carolina State at the Taxslayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.