Arkansas redshirt junior punter Reid Bauer has been named a finalist for the Mortell Award, which has been awarded annually since 2015 to college football’s best holder.
Working with kicker Cam Little and long snapper Jordan Silver, Bauer helped Arkansas’ field goal and extra point operation convert 19-of-23 field goal attempts and all 43 point after tries. Bauer, who also handles the Razorbacks’ punting duties, has shined on fake field goals this season, converting a pair of fakes with his legs and his arm in back-to-back weeks.
On the road at LSU, Bauer received the snap for what would have been a 53-yard field goal try, and ran 23 yards for a first down, setting up 27-yard field goal, giving Arkansas a 13-10 lead in the third quarter of an eventual overtime win.
The next week at No. 2 Alabama, Bauer completed a 32-yard pass on a fake field goal to tight end Blake Kern for a touchdown, which brought Arkansas within one possession in the fourth quarter.
Bauer is averaging 40.0 net yards per punt and has the ninth-highest grade (85.0) among FBS punters, according to Pro Football Focus.
Clemson’s Will Swinney and Michigan’s Brad Robbins were also named finalists.
The award is named after Minnesota punter Peter Mortell, who started the award that was highlighted by ESPN’s College Gameday in its inaugural season. For the winner, the Holder of the Year Foundation helps raise money for a charity of his choosing.
Under second-year head coach Sam Pittman, the Razorbacks won eight games during the regular season – the most regular season wins for the program since 2011 – and will meet Penn State in the Outback Bowl at 11 a.m. CT on Jan. 1, 2022.