Virginia punters receive national recognition

ASHLAND, Ky. - The inaugural Ray Guy High School All-Americans
include some of the nation's top punting, kicking, kickoff and long-snapping
prospects.  Included are two Virginia standout punters!
First-team selection: Thomas Meadows (6-foot, 170, senior), Goochland, Va.,
Goochland High School, Purdue commit. Averaged 41.2 yards per punt for Goochland
High School, the Division II Class A state runner-up. He had 13 punts inside the
20 and allowed only 14 return yards. He was first-team district, first-team
region, All-Metro and participated in the Chesapeake Bowl where he punted five
times for a 46-yard average.
Meadows credits his early experience with into making him a
top-notch punter.
"They really teach the techniques," Meadows said. "I took a different approach
than most kids my age did. Most kids my age went out and kicked the ball. I
wanted to learn how to do it the right way. I wanted to establish my form. In my
opinion, and in Rick Sang's opinion, I've got some of the best form of anybody
my age."
Meadows will compete for the punting, kickoff and placekicking jobs when he gets
to Purdue this summer.
"It depends on how I do in the offseason but I could be doing all three (for
Purdue in the fall)."
Third-team selection: Mitchell Ludwig (6-foot, 170, junior), Abingdon, Va.,
Abingdon High School. First-team district and regional punter, second-team
kicker; AA First-Team All-State Punter and
AA underclassmen First Team All-State Punter; set five school kicking and
punting records; one state of Virginia record submitted (single game six punts
for 50.33 yard average).
Players were selected after much vetting from the staff, who
watched and coached the players during camps, and also by how the players
performed on the field during the 2011 high school season.
"Our staff has personally watched these players and worked with these players
during camps," said founder and camp director Rick Sang. "We've
seen them and know what they can do."
There were four All-America categories - punting, kicking, long-snapping and
kickoff specialist. The last category is believed to be the first of its kind in
receiving All-America postseason recognition.
"There are a lot of facets to special teams and we feel like this is an
important one that sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to being recognized
as the best," Sang said.
Selecting the first All-America team with the Ray Guy brand was
something that Sang wanted to make sure was done as accurately and fairly as
possible. rankings and ratings weighed into the selection process
but only because that meant staff members had either worked with or watched
these honorees perform.
"We're proud of what these young men have accomplished for their high school
teams and look for each one of them to play at the college level," Sang said.
Eight different states were represented: Georgia (two), Texas (two), Florida
(two), Kentucky, Virginia (two), Arizona, South Carolina and Arkansas.
Ray Guy, the former All-Pro punter for the Oakland Raiders who is considered the
greatest punter in NFL history, was proud to lend his name to the inaugural Ray
Guy High School All-Americans.
"These young men have proven that they're the best of the best," Guy said. "I've
seen many of them personally in camps and know the work ethic that goes with
being a great kicker or punter. These guys have that something special, that
'it' factor, that separates them from the pack. This is just a steppingstone for
many of them. We look for them to do great things at the next level."
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