Australia's record of claiming US college football's top award for punters the past five years appears set to grow to six.
Two of the three candidates for this year's Ray Guy Award are Australians who grew up playing Aussie rules.
Perth's Mitch Wishnowsky, punting for the University of Utah, and Wangaratta's James Smith, for the University of Cincinnati, are on the shortlist for Friday's [AEDT] Ray Guy Award announcement at a ceremony in Atlanta.
Michael Dickson won the award in 2017.Credit:John Veage
The lone American candidate this year is Texas A&M's Braden Mann.
A year ago, the NFL's new punting sensation, Michael Dickson, won the award after a phenomenal season with the University of Texas and was snapped up by the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL draft.
Wishnowsky won the Ray Guy Award in 2016, Melbourne's Tom Hackett claimed it in 2014 and 2015 while also punting for the University of Utah.
Geelong's Tom Hornsey was victorious in 2013 for his punting at the University of Memphis.
The punting pipeline from Australia to the US has largely been created by Nathan Chapman's Melbourne-based Prokick Australia program, with Wishnowsky, Smith, Hornsey and all four of Australia's NFL punters – Dickson, Cameron Johnston (Philadelphia 76ers), Jordan Berry (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Lachlan Edwards (New York Jets) – graduates.
The Ray Guy Award will be announced at a ceremony at the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards.
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