Another college football regular season has come to a close after Saturday’s Army-Navy matchup and Oklahoma redshirt junior quarterback Kyler Murray taking home the Heisman Trophy. However, other awards were handed out last week, and Texas A&M football was a big part of the night’s festivities.
Junior punter Braden Mann secured the Ray Guy Award at Thursday’s Home Depot College Football Awards show, becoming the first Aggie to do so. Mann blasted punts all year, becoming a real weapon for head coach Jimbo Fisher and the A&M coaching staff.
Earlier this year, he broke the record for the highest punt average in a single game, averaging 60.8 yards on five punts against No. 1 Alabama. In the second to last game of the year against University of Alabama-Birmingham, Mann launched his 14th 60-plus yard punt, beating the NCAA record for most 60-plus yard punts in a game. Mann is also on pace to break a third record for punting average, sitting at 51.15 yards per punt on the year.
“This is a huge honor and an absolute blessing for me,” Mann told 12thMan.com. “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.”
At the same College Football Awards, the A&M student section that packs Kyle Field every home game won the first ever Taco Bell Live Más Student Section of the Year award. The award is voted on by a committee of ESPN broadcasters and college football analysts, and the 12th Man was the only student section to win Student Section of the Week more than once this season, taking the honors in Week 6 against Kentucky and Week 13 against Louisiana State University.
The Aggies and Kyle Field already had the largest student section in the country, and it’s now recognized as the best.
“I’ve been watching the College Football Awards my whole life,” Mann told TexAgs.com. “To be up on stage was surreal. It was really cool, just an awesome experience. The fans have been the best. Obviously the 12th Man won the student section award last night, so there is no disputing it, but I’ve had a lot of great people behind me.”
As Mann took home the Ray Guy Award, A&M became the most recent school in Texas to win multiple prominent awards in the world of college football.
Such awards include the Heisman Trophy, AP Player of the Year, Butkus Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Outland Trophy, Manning Award and the Wuerffel Trophy. Former A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman, AP Player of the Year, O’Brien and Manning awards, all in 2012. Von Miller, former A&M and current Denver Broncos linebacker, won the Butkus Award in 2010, while former A&M offensive guard Luke Joeckel won the Outland Trophy in 2012. Trevor Knight, former A&M quarterback, secured the Wuerffel Trophy in 2016, and Mann closed up the accolades after winning the Ray Guy Award on Thursday.