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Ranking the Pac-10 punters

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Our final position ranking: punter.

Ranking the bottom guys was difficult because four teams have new punters and all four seemed to have had good camps.

  1. California: Bryan Anger is might be the nation's best punter. He's got a huge leg and did-you-see-that? hang time. He averaged 43.7 yards per punt and led the Pac-10 with 25 boots killed inside the 20.

  2. Arizona: Keenyn Crier actually averaged better than Anger: 44.0 yards per punt. He also could get some national recognition.

  3. Arizona State: Thomas Weber is not a great punter -- he's a kicker first -- but he's a good one and he's experienced.

  4. Washington State: Reid Forrest punted 77 times last year, so you know his 41.2-yard average was legit. Also: none were blocked.

  5. Oregon State: Johnny Hekker struggled during the regular season, ranking eighth in the conference with a 38.6 average, but he averaged 45 yards on 10 boots in the Sun Bowl.

  6. Stanford: David Green averaged just under 40 yards per boot in 2008, but he won the job again.

  7. UCLA: Redshirt freshman Jeff Locke was behind the outstanding Aaron Perez last year, and he looked like Perez during much of camp with 50-yard boots and great hang time.

  8. Oregon: Some recruiting services ranked Jackson Rice the No. 1 prep punter in the nation in 2008, and he beat out junior Tim Taylor with a solid camp performance.

  9. Washington: This ranking shouldn't disturb Huskies fans because Will Mahan evidently has lived up to his high billing as a touted JC transfer during camp. He likely will be an upgrade from Jared Ballman.

  10. USC: Junior Billy O'Malley beat out touted JC transfer Jacob Harfman because of his quick release. Harfman has a bigger foot. The problem here is O'Malley didn't previously beat out the departed Greg Woidneck, who ranked last in the conference with a 36.9 average in 2008.