Ray Guy, legendary Hall of Fame punter, dies at 72

Ray Guy, legendary Hall of Fame punter, dies at 72 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Ray Guy, the first ever full-time NFL punter to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died Thursday at age 72.

His alma mater, Southern Mississippi, said that Guy died of a lengthy illness.

Guy first starred at the school before making history in the 1973 NFL Draft. The Oakland Raiders selected him 23rd overall, marking the first time a punter had been selected in the first round.

Guy wasn’t an ordinary punter, though. He spent his entire 14-year NFL career with the Raiders franchise, was named to seven Pro Bowls, made three All-Pro teams and won three Super Bowls. His three titles are the most for any punter in league history.

Out of the 1,049 punts in his career, just three were blocked and 210 landed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. 

“Ray was a warm, humble Southern gentleman who represented the game, the Raiders organization and the Hall of Fame with dignity and class at all times," Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement. “A truly gifted athlete, he could have been a star in Major League Baseball or pro basketball. Fans of the NFL thank Ray for choosing to focus on football.”

Speaking to Guy’s all-around ability, John Madden lauded his former punter before presenting him at the 2014 Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony.

“Ray Guy was a football player who punted,” Madden said.

Along with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Guy is also immortalized in the College Football Hall of Fame and the National High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Funeral arrangements are still being arranged for Guy, according to Southern Mississippi.