By: Hunter Cornejo
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This week, the Ray Guy Award announced their finalists for the 2022 Ray Guy Award. The finalists however, were extremely shocking. The three finalists were: Adam Korsak of Rutgers, Bryce Baringer of Michigan State, and Mason Fletcher of Cincinnati, with Fletcher being ranked 28th in yards per punt. Michael Turk is the most deserving winner of the Ray Guy award after he continued his dominant NCAA punting career this season building off of his dominant season from last year. Turk very well could’ve won the award last season. However, Matt Araiza was just as good and took home the award.
Turk played a major part in Oklahoma’s 6 wins this year, as he was the most consistent player on the team this year. When the offense was struggling, Turk did everything he could to flip the field for the defense. Turk’s monumental punts provided the defense the momentum and confidence to go out and get the ball back for the offense, especially in Bedlam. Turk’s Bedlam performance was absolutely unreal, having 11 punts for 539 yards.
On the season, Turk had 17 punts downed inside the 20. That is 25% of his punts. Turk had 19 punts that went for 50+ yards, which is nearly 32% of his attempts. Turk was also effective at limiting punt returns as 17 were fair caught. Turk averaged 46.7 yards per punt on 60 attempts.
Not only can Michael Turk punt the football at an elite level, but he can also sling the pigskin. Turk had 2 fourth down conversions on the season, both of which were completions to kicker Zach Schmit. Turk is 2/3 on the season for 5 yards and 1 TD, as well as leading the Sooners with a 190.7 passer rating.
Ray Guy Award Voters:
The Ray Guy Award voters should be absolutely ashamed that Turk is not at the bare minimum a finalist for the award. When you think of the Ray Guy Award, you think of the most elite punters in the country. That is exactly what Michael Turk is. The most elite punter in the NCAA. Turk’s ability to completely flip the field is absolutely unreal, and is quite frankly game changing.
Although Turk will not be receiving this award, he will be hearing his name as one of the first punters drafted this April. Turk was the first NCAA player to attend the combine and then return to the college level. Whether the NFL club that calls his name needs a quarterback or punter, they are getting an elite one by the name of Michael Turk.
All Big 12 Team
Michael Turk was named to the 2022 All Big 12 first team for the second time in his career. He was the only Sooner named to the Preseason All Big 12 team. Congratulations Michael Turk on a very deserving All Big 12 first team nomination.
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