Cal football punter Steven Coutts earns Ray Guy Award watchlist nomination

Derek Remsburg/File

Fourth down doesn’t often invoke positive memories from a team’s offensive standpoint. A consistent punter, however, can often soften the blow of a stagnant offense.

Cal punter Steven Coutts took advantage of ample opportunities last season and was rewarded Wednesday with a nomination to the watchlist for the Ray Guy Award, annually given to college football’s most outstanding punter.

In his first full year as the starting punter, Coutts led the nation with 37 punts inside his opponents’ 20-yard lines. Overall, the Australian punted 72 times, averaging 41.5 yards per boot. His efforts landed him an honorable mention on the All-Pac-12 list in 2018 in addition to first-team All-Academic honors.

Coutts — who also earned preseason second-team All-Pac-12 honors on Wednesday — joins inside linebacker Evan Weaver and center Michael Saffell as Bears named to preseason watchlists.

Named after former Southern Mississippi and Oakland Raiders star Ray Guy, the award’s watchlist currently features 26 student-athletes, including four representatives from the Pac-12: Coutts, Colorado’s Alex Kinney, Arizona State’s Michael Turk and Washington State’s Oscar Draguicevich III.

Josh Yuen covers football. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @joshcal2020.