By SUSAN LAX, UK Athletics
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior punter Max Duffy has been named first-team All-America as announced Thursday night by Walter Camp, the nation’s oldest All-America team.
Duffy is UK’s second consecutive Walter Camp All-American and 11th overall. Linebacker/defensive end Josh Allen was named to the first team last season as well.
Duffy, a native of Perth, Australia, has been an absolute weapon for the Wildcats this season, dominating the field position game with his booming and accurate leg. He is UK’s career punt leader with a 46.5-yard average and with his distance and placement, Kentucky leads the nation in net punting with a 45.13-yard net average. Duffy leads the nation in punting at 48.6 yards per punt.
Only nine of Duffy’s 47 punts have been returned (19 percent) and 24 of them have landed inside the 20-yard line (51 percent). He doesn’t shy away from contact either. He has three career tackles, including an open-field tackle – possibly saving a touchdown – on UT Martin’s Terry Williams, who already has two punt return TDs on the season.
He is a finalist for the Ray Guy Award which will be announced later tonight on the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN in Atlanta. He also recently earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors by the Associated Press and was a second-team choice by the league’s coaches.
He was twice been named the Ray Guy Award Player of the Week and was on Ray’s 8 weekly honor roll three times during the regular season. He earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 28 after a magnificent night of punting vs. Missouri.
On that rainy Saturday night against the Tigers, Duffy punted five times for 262 yards (52.4 average), had a career-best 70-yard punt and pinned Mizzou inside its own 20-yard line three times. Duffy’s 70-yard punt was the longest by a UK player in an SEC game since Ryan Tydlacka vs. Ole Miss in 2010 (73 yards). Duffy also scampered 26 yards for a first down on a fake punt. It kept the drive alive that set up Kentucky’s final touchdown.
Against South Carolina, Duffy set two school records, breaking his own single-game school record (min. 8 punts), averaging 51.1 yards on nine kicks and in the process, became UK’s career punting leader.
He also made a huge impact in UK’s wins over Toledo and Eastern Michigan. In the Toledo game, he punted six times for a 54-yard average, the second-highest single-game average in school history (min. 5 punts). Against EMU, he only punted three times but his three punts forced Eastern Michigan to start on its own 8, 11 and 13-yard lines. EMU did not score following any of his punts, helping set up UK touchdowns on both of its subsequent possessions (a third EMU possession ended the half).
The 2019 Walter Camp All-America team will be honored at the organization’s 53rd annual national awards banquet, presented by David McDermott Lexus of New Haven, on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven, CT.