JONESBORO (11/30/09) – Arkansas State sophomore punter Ryan Wilbourn (Searcy, Ark.) has been named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week and has also been tabbed College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Honorable Mention National Punter of the Week for his performance in the Red Wolves' game against North Texas on Nov. 28.
Wilbourn, the Sun Belt Conference's leading punter in conference games only, averaged 47.5 yards per punt on four attempts, posted two punts of over 50 yards and pinned North Texas on its own one-yard line once in ASU's 30-26 victory over the Mean Green. Wilbourn's 47.5 yard average was his second best of the season and he booted one punt that traveled 60 yards, his second longest of the season.
He now has 14 punts of 50 yards or more. His 60-yard punt was downed at the North Texas one-yard line and led to an interception which ASU turned into a touchdown. Wilbourn now has 13 punts inside the 20 this year. Additionally, Wilbourn recorded his fifth touchback of the season on a kickoff during the game.
"Ryan has had a great year for our team," said ASU Head Coach Steve Roberts. "He punted the football extremely well last week. The big one pinned them on the one-yard line and we were able to get the stop defensively with the interception. He's also kicked off extremely well this season."
Wilbourn is the second ASU player to receive one of the Sun Belt Conference's weekly individual honors this season. Sophomore linebacker Demario Davis was named the league's defensive player of the week on Oct. 26.
Wilbourn was recognized by the College Football Performance Awards for the second time this season, also being named its national punter of the week after the Red Wolves' 27-10 homecoming victory over Florida International.
The College Football Performance Awards' performers of the week are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. Wilbourn received this week's honorable mention punter honors along with Matt Dodge (East Carolina), Jake Harry IV (Missouri), Alex Henery (Nebraska), Matt Reagan (Memphis) and Jacob Harfman (USC).
The Red Wolves play their final game of the 2009 season Thursday, Dec. 3 against Western Kentucky. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 6:00 p.m. from Houchens Industries – L.T. Smith Stadium.