The days of Rice special team players being in the running for national awards will not end after Chris Boswell’s graduation.
Rice junior punter James Farrimond was one of 25 players named today to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award. The annual postseason award honors the top collegiate punter. Memphis punter Tom Hornsey won the award in 2013.
Farrimond, a San Antonio native who graduated from Churchill High School, arrived at Rice as a walk on. He redshirted in 2011 and served as Boswell’s backup kicker the following season. He won the punting job in 2013, and put together a solid sophomore campaign.
He was called up 71 times to punt. Farrimond finished the season with a 42.1 yard per punt average. His best effort was against Marshall in the Conference USA title game. Three times he forced the Herd to start inside its own 10 yard line. He had 11 puts travel 50 or more yards last season and 15 of his punts resulted in the opposing team starting inside its 20.
Farrimond is part of group of talented Conference USA kickers. With three other selections on the watch list (Sean Kelley of Florida Atlantic, Hunter Mullins of UAB and Tyler Williams of Marshall), C-USA had more punters on the list than any other conference except for the ACC.
How do the C-USA punters stack up against each other? One publication, Athlon Sports, picked Mullins, Williams and Farrimond, in that order, for its 2014 Conference USA preseason football team.
Farrimond is the second Rice player to be named to a watch list. Defensive tackle Christian Covington was selected to the Chuck Bednarik Award preseason watch list on Monday.
This is fourth consecutive year a Rice special team player has been named to a watch list. Boswell was chosen for the Groza Award watch list from 2011-2013.
The Ray Guy award will be narrowed to semifinalists on Nov. 14. The three finalists will be named on Nov. 24. Here’s the complete list of punters on the watch list.