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The third two-time winner in the history of the Ray Guy Award, as the nation's best punter, Utah's Tom Hackett said he owes his place in history to his aversion to running.
"Deep down, I'm fat," deadpanned the childhood Australian rules football player, who was named Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts during his first American football game and last week became the only active college player on the Pac-12's All-Century team, rubbing shoulders with John Elway and Ronnie Lott.
Hackett accepted the award from its namesake at Atlanta's College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday, joined his mom, three brothers and sister, as well as Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.
"I had a better feeling this year than I did last year," Hackett said by phone Thursday night.
Teams game-planned to negate Hackett's directional kicks this season, often fielding two kick returners, and he's had fewer punts downed inside the 20 (from 36 in 2014 to 24 in 2015), 10 (from 19 to 11) and 5 (from six to two).
But Utah leads the nation in net punting (43.7 yards), and Hackett increased his average punt from 46.7 yards in 2014 to 47.8 in 2014.
He made a leaping grab and ran 33 yards for a first down on a fake against Oregon and two of the longest punts in the country, a 76-yarder against the Ducks and a 74-yarder against Michigan.
Hackett was also named as a back-to-back Walter Camp All-American on Thursday, the lone two-time first-teamer in school history and just the sixth Walter Camp All-American overall.
Hanging with the likes of Alabama running back Derrick Henry and Stanford rusher Christian McCaffrey, he had to pinch himself, he said.
"These are probably going to be the best days of my life."
Louisiana Tech's Ryan Allen (2011-12) and Baylor's Daniel Sepulveda (2004, 2006) are the other two-time winners. Allen punts for the New England Patriots, while Sepulveda played five seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers.