TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2003
Ryan Long Earns National Football Honors
Sept. 16, 2003
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU freshman punter Ryan Long (Jacksonville/Orange Park) has been named NCAA Division I-AA National Mid-Major Special Teams Player of the Week by Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette for his play in the Dolphins' 42-38, record-setting come-from-behind win over Wingate on Saturday. JU (1-1) erased an early 21-point deficit with 28-fourth quarter points to upset the Bulldogs and record the Dolphins' sixth win all-time over a scholarship opponent and the best comeback in school history. Long was also tabbed Pioneer Football League Co-Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday.
Long averaged a league-best 45.6 yards per punt against Wingate on seven punts, while nailing two kicks inside the 20-yard line. He also had a career-best 63-yard punt, which ranks third all-time at JU. The average start for Wingate was at its own 29-yard line. In the second half when JU limited the Bulldogs to just one score, Wingate's average start was at their own 23-yard line. Long is now averaging a league-best 42.6 yards per punt, which also ranks 14th in NCAA Division I-AA. In his first career start, the true freshman averaged 40.5 yards on 10 punts against Lenoir-Rhyne, which was just one punt shy of the school record.
The Dolphins return to action Saturday as they host first-year I-AA program Coastal Carolina (1-1) at D.B. Milne Field in the second of three-straight home games. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. The Chanticleers fell to Morehead State, 31-6, on Saturday.