Whitehead added to Ray Guy Award watch list

New punter Haydon Whitehead is making an instant impact for Indiana.

The Australia native has been added to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, which honors the nation’s top punter. Whitehead is averaging 42.1 yards on 16 punts with a long of 56 yards through the first two football games he’s ever played.

Whitehead has placed seven punts inside the 20-yard line and four inside the 10. Opponents have returned merely four of his 16 punts for 27 yards.

Although Whitehead is listed as a redshirt sophomore on the roster, IU coach Tom Allen believes he’ll have four full years of eligibility for the Hoosiers. Allen said on his radio show last week that IU will petition the NCAA to grant Whitehead four full seasons due to the fact that his previous school in Australia, Swinburne University of Technology, did not have American football.

Whitehead trained at Prokick Australia in Melbourne, a program that has produced the past four Ray Guy winners, including all three finalists in 2016.

2 comments

  1. I definitely feel much better with Whitehead punting rather than Gideon. Gideon’s slow motion punting style was a block waiting to happen. Whitehead has not really come close to having a punt blocked so far, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run a fake sometime this season, as he has good mobility. He is a definite upgrade for the team, and I am happy that Allen saw fit to offer him a scholarship. If he gets his lost eligibility back and stays with the program for four years, our punting should be in good hands through 2020.

  2. Yes, he seems to be doing very well so far. As for running the ball on a fake punt, assuming he has the necessary speed, let’s hope Allen saves that play until the Purdue game or the bowl game. He may be too valuable to be exposed to the hit he’d likely take running the ball. If he is given the green light to run, Allen needs to be sure Whitehead knows how to slide and protect himself.

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