USC punter Ben Griffiths was named to the Ray Guy Award watch list as one of the top returning punters in the country on Wednesday.
Griffiths averaged 46.4 yards per punt last season, posting USC’s top punting mark since Tom Malone hit 49 yards per kick in 2003. Seven of his 18 punts in 2020 traveled more than 50 yards and he allowed just two touchbacks against nine punts that landed inside the 20-yard line. Only five of his 19 punts were returned.
Griffiths will be a key part of a USC special teams unit that has a chance to be one of the best in the country. Special teams coordinator Sean Snyder was hamstrung last season without a spring ball to really implement his schemes on return or coverage. But the Trojans buttoned up a kickoff coverage unit that ranked last in the country in 2019 and found a solid kicker in true freshman Parker Lewis.
Griffiths came to USC in 2019 after an eight-year career with the Richmond Tigers of the Australian Football League. He was picked as the preseason second-team Pac-12 punter by the conference’s media on Tuesday.
No USC player has ever won the Ray Guy Award, which was first awarded in 2000.