Top 15 Best Punters in College Football History

If you’ve ever seen a football game, at any level, you’ve undoubtedly seen a player kick the ball. To be clear, we’re not talking about field goals here; we’re talking about punting the football.

In this article we would be looking into everything about Punters in College Football. We would be looking into the top 15 best punters in college football history, who a punter is, and what the punter is supposed to do.

Now without wasting time, let’s get into it, giving you the world history of the Best Punters in College Football in 2024.

Now that you understand what special teams are let me shed some light on something else. After high school, a football team often had two kickers specializing in punting and kicking on the squad.

In football, two positions are essential: the kicker, who kicks field goals and kickoffs after scores, and the punter, whose sole responsibility is to punt the ball.

Even though they both kick the ball with their foot, their postures differ significantly. In most cases, a kicker can only kick the ball while it is still or stationary. The “holder” is the player who is responsible for catching the ball and placing it on the ground for the kicker to kick during a field goal.

The kicker can use a “tee” to keep the ball in place as they are kicking off.

On the other side, a punter is the player who kicks a moving ball. After the long snapper has completed the hike, the punter is given the ball to punt with. He takes possession of it, then lowers it in front of him before punting it with the tip of his toe end of his foot.

A skilled punter may kick the ball like a gymnast, with his leg soaring almost above his head as he does so. In addition to having quite excellent hands, punters typically take on the role of holders during field goals.

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If you are familiar with the fundamentals of the game of football, you are aware that there are 11 players on both the offensive and defensive teams. Punting is not at all considered an offensive play, despite the fact that it takes place when a team is technically on offense.

Punting and kicking in general (including kickoffs and field goals) are part of what is referred to as “special teams.”

The realm of football that is occupied by special teams is an entirely distinct subset of the sport. In most cases, special teams have their own players, coaches, and even specific hours during practice to work on improving their performance.

Don’t listen to anyone who tries to convince you that the special teams are less important. It may be said that the most crucial duty on the field is on special teams.

The ability to successfully execute punts, field goal attempts, and kickoffs can be the deciding factor in whether or not an effort results in a win or a loss by a few points. Frank Beamer, a former coach at Virginia Tech who is widely regarded as one of the most successful coaches in the history of the profession, built his fortune by placing a strong emphasis on his team’s special teams.

The game became known as “Beamer ball,” and he worked hard to ensure that his special teams were the finest in the league. As a result of how popular it became, other instructors started using the same methodology.

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Punters perform a kick known as a punt by letting go of the football with both hands, allowing it to fall to the ground, and then kicking the ball just before it touches the turf. The objective of any punt is to either position the other team such that they are close to their own end zone or to provide some breathing room for your own squad. Punts are almost always taken on the fourth down of the play.

The act of punting the ball is not as straightforward as it may first appear. The punter is a specialist whose main responsibility (or at least, it should be) is effectively kicking the ball away from the field. A successful punt requires timing, technique, and should force your opponent towards the wall if it is completed correctly (their end zone).

On the football field, punters are also known for being some of the most versatile athletes. So, let’s get right into it and analyze this best punter in college football without further ado, shall we?

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Top 15 Best Punters in College Football History

Position on the field is often considered to be the single most essential factor in modern sports.

Punters are the game’s unsung heroes because of their significant role in trapping opponents deep into their territory. There is nothing more satisfying than forcing an offensive team to drive all the way down the field. Despite this, there are still a few punters on the team who are walk-ons and are working toward earning scholarships.

During the previous football season, these 15 best punters in college football history demonstrated their value by displaying incredible leg strength on the field.

At this point, everyone is practicing their talents with the spring ball while it is in the air.

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1. Adam Korsak, Rutgers 

Fans of the Scarlet Knight will claim that he was overlooked for the Ray Guy Award in the last two seasons. Korsak’s stats have been stable, and this is justifiable.

We consider him one of the best punters in college football history.

In 2021, he was the ninth-best punter in the Power Five in terms of yards per punt. AP All-America second team and first team honors were among Korsak’s final season accolades. Astonishingly, 38 of the Australian’s punts fell within the 20-yard line.

Then there’s the fact that he kicked 19 punts that traveled at least 50 yards. Against Penn State, Korsak’s 74-yard bomb was the longest of the season for the wide receiver. None of his punts ended up in the end zone and this is why he is one of the best punter in college football.

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2. Kyle Ostendorp, Arizona 

At one point in his career, the former three-star prospect had punt averages of over 50 yards in video games. The Wildcats finished the season with a record of 1-11, however Ostendorp led the Pac-12 and was third in the FBS in punt yardage.

In addition, he was named to the All-Pac-12 team at the end of the season and one of the best punters in college football. One-hundred and seven of his punts came down within the 20-yard line! 17 of his balls went for over 50 yards in the native’s boot of Phoenix.

To go along with his long punt of 71 yards, Ostendorp kicked the ball a mind-boggling 10 times versus San Diego State.

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3. Bryce Baringer, Michigan State 

The Spartans were 11-2 last year with the help of the Michigan native. In terms of punt yardage, Baringer was first in the Big Ten and seventh overall in college football.

His exploits earned him a spot on the Big Ten second team. On 20 punts, he got inside the 20-yard line on each one. He also kicked 26 balls for 50+ yards.

Ohio State was Baringer’s ninth and longest punt of the season, with a 74-yarder. In the win over Nebraska, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound punter averaged 58.8 yards per punt season-high. He is currently one of the best punter in college football.

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4. Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M 

Last season, he established himself in the storied Southeastern Conference. Punting yards per punt, Constantinou was ranked 17th in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

A total of 22 of the Australian’s punts fell within the 20-yard line. As many as 19 of Constantinou’s kicks went for over 50 yards.

He also had two touchbacks on his punts. With his 65-yard bomb against Colorado, Constantinou set a new season record.

It was a stellar year for the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder named All-SEC first team. In 2024, Constantinou intends to bury his opponents in the sand. He is one of the best punter in college football.

5. Lou Hedley, Miami

The former three-star prospect has been a very productive player for the Hurricanes over the past two seasons. Hedley ranked second in the ACC and 14th in the Power Five in yards per punt last year.

Not to mention he earned second-team, All-ACC honors. Hedley landed 19 of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

Only one of Hedley’s punts went for a touchback because he’s crafty with his kicks. The Australian had 11 of his punts soar for 50-plus yards and is one of the best punters in college football history.

Hedley will be Coach Mario Cristobal’s secret weapon and should keep the Hurricanes in close games this fall.

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6. Tory Taylor, Iowa

Big Ten Punter of Year in 2020 was previous two-star recruit. In 2021, the Hawkeyes finished with a 10-4 record under Taylor’s leadership.

In terms of punt yardage, he was third in the Big Ten and 12th overall in the FBS. The 39 punts he made within the 20-yard line were mind-blowing for the Australian.

Not to mention the fact that 27 of Taylor’s punts were 50-yarders or longer. In the win over Iowa State, Taylor punted eight times for an average of 51.1 yards, a season high.

His return to Iowa strengthens the case that the Hawkeyes’ special teams will be world-class again this fall. He is also one of the best punter in college football.

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7. Rhys Byrns, Louisiana

Last season, he helped the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 13-1 record by putting up some impressive numbers. In terms of punt yardage, Byrns was second in the Sun Belt and 11th overall in Division I football.

In addition, Byrns was named to the All-Sun Belt first team. 22 of the six-foot, 188-pounder’s punts fell within 20 yards of the target. 19 of his balls he kicked went for 50 yards or more.

When Byrns punted 70 yards in the win over Troy, he had the season’s longest. No surprise there that he is one of the best punter in college football. With Byrns, coach Michael Desormeaux has one of the league’s top players at his disposal.

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8. Matt Hayball, Vanderbilt

Hayball, a transfer portal find for the Commodores in January, has been an excellent addition to the team. During the 2014 season, the Australian punter was ranked second in Conference-USA and 16th overall in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

28 of Hayball’s punts fell within the 20-yard line. To top it all off, he hit 17 of his punts for 50-plus yards each.

At UAB, Hayball threw a 68-yard punt, which was his season-longest. In the victory over UTEP, he punted nine times for a season-high average of 51.1 yards.

In spite of receiving only Honorable Mention, All-C-USA honors last year, Hayball will be ready to slug it out in the SEC.

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9. Lachlan Wilson, Tulsa

In 2021, the Australian punter was second in the AAC and 18th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in yards per punt. There were 21 touchdowns within the 20-yard line for Wilson.

Not to mention the fact that 23 of his punts sailed for 50 yards or more. On the season, Wilson’s longest punt was 67 yards against Ohio State.

In the win versus Arkansas State, he punted for an average of 54.4 yards per punt. If you don’t believe me, look at Wilson’s stats from last year. Although he didn’t even get Honorable Mention consideration, Wilson should play with a sense of resentment in his heart.

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10. Peter Moore, Virginia Tech

While his sophomore season was decent, the former two-star prospect hopes to improve on it in 2024. Moore was fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 25th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in punting yards per attempt last season. The 6-foot-1, 207-pounder kicked 23 punts inside the 20-yard line throughout the course of the whole season. He is also one of the best punter in college football.

Furthermore, Moore kicked 24 balls over 50 yards throughout the course of the season. At Boston College, Moore’s 68-yard punt was the longest of the season.

At Miami, he punted for 51.8 yards on six attempts. The distinction of being named to the All-ACC third team was the perfect way to round up Moore’s season.

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11. Porter Wilson, Duke

The Blue Devils finished the season with a 3-9 record, but the Ohio native was a shining light. Third in the ACC and 15th in the Power Five, Wilson ranked 15th for yards per punt.

22 of his punts landed within 20 yards of the goal line. In addition, Wilson fumbled 17 times for 50-plus yards.

No one can disagree that the former three-star prospect is now one of the top punters in the league. Incoming Duke head coach Mike Elko will inherit a veteran and prolific player in Wilson.

It will be an exciting year when the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder steps on the court in 2024.

12. Oscar Chapman, Auburn 

Last year, the Australian was the SEC’s second-best punter regarding average yardage per punt. Chapman’s net punting average was 18th in the Big Five.

In the preseason, he punted 23 times within the 20-yard line and showed a lot of promise as a leg kicker. 12 of Chapman’s 12-punt attempts went for more than 50 yards.

Against Ole Miss, the 6-foot-3, 202-pounder kicked three punts for an average of 56 yards per punt. After a 65-yarder against the Rebels, Chapman had the season’s longest punt return average.

Field position will be an option for Coach Bryan Harsin coming autumn given Chapman’s ability to kick the ball. He is also one of the best punter in college football.

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13. Jeremy Crawshaw, Florida: 

The former two-star prospect finished third in SEC punting yards when he was a sophomore. As a natural at trapping opponents in their own zone, Crawshaw was a joy to play against.

The Australian had a 20-for-20 fielding percentage. Additionally, 20 of his punts were at least 50 yards long. In Crawshaw’s punts, just six of them resulted in a touchdown.

In the win over Vanderbilt, the 6-foot-4, 188-pounder kicked a ball for 69 yards, which was his longest of the season. Crawshaw will provide the Gators’ new coaching staff a tool in field position if he has a good spring.

14. Anthony Beck, Georgia Southern

As a punter and kickoff returner, the Georgia native is a versatile player. Last year, Beck had a punting average of 44.32 yards, good for second in the league, and was named to the All-Sun Belt second team.

Only two of his punts were returned for touchdowns, and he landed 23 of them within the 20-yard line. Not to mention the fact that 17 of Beck’s punts went for 50 yards or more.

At Arkansas, the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder punted for 48 yards on a season-high 10 punts. His longest kick of the year was a 63-yarder against Georgia State.

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15. Kyle Ulbrich, Middle Tennessee

Among the Conference-net USA’s punting average leaders last season was Kyle Ulbrich of Middle Tennessee. Ulbrich has a strong leg; 24 of his punts were downed within the 20-yard line.

16 of his punts were at least 50 yards. Six punts from Ulbrich ended up in the end zone. In the victory over Marshall, he recorded a season-long 74-yard punt. In the win over Southern Miss, the six-foot, 193-pounder averaged 49.6 yards per boot.

Having Ulbrich back on the field gives the Blue Raiders a shot at a second consecutive bowl appearance. He is one of the best punters in college football history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the SEC’s top punter?

Nik Constantinou is number one. After dominating the SEC and finishing in the top-10 nationally in yards per punt at 46.61 yards, the AP All-SEC first-team punter returns.

In college football, what is the average punt?

The player is as consistent during the season as he is during our training sessions. A typical punt should have a hang time of 4.2 to 4.7 seconds and a yardage of 42 yards per punt.

Who or what is the Punt God?

Matt Araiza, the Bills’ rookie ‘Punt God,’ must learn another position to make the team. Brian Moorman’s favorite day at Buffalo Bills training camp was when players who thought they could do one of football’s most underappreciated tasks came to try it out.

Is a 30-yard punt acceptable?

The punt is an offensive play under the game’s rules, but a punter may dramatically assist a team’s defense by moving the other team back any number of yards with a single play. Ten to thirty yards of rope are worth their weight in gold. That is what a good punter can provide.

In American football, what does a punter do?

A punter (P) is a special teams player in gridiron football who takes the snapped ball immediately from the line of scrimmage and then punts (kicks) the football to the opposing team to restrict any field position advantage.

What is the NFL’s longest punt?

Broncos | NFL History Today. On September 21, 1969, Jets rookie punter Steve O’Neal blasted the NFL’s longest punt, a 98-yarder against the Broncos.

Conclusion

We have given the top 15 best punters in college football above with some memories you should all keep an eye out for in the 2024 seasons.

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References

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