Ray Man, broadly thought-about the best punter in historical past, has died on the age of 72.
“The Southern Miss household mourns at present following the passing of Golden Eagle nice Ray Man, who died Thursday morning following a prolonged sickness,” his alma mater mentioned in an announcement on the college’s web site.
In 2014, Man turned the primary – and to this point solely – specialist punter to be enshrined within the Corridor of Fame. He was additionally the primary punter ever to be taken within the first spherical of the NFL draft.
“Once we first drafted him, it was a heck of a alternative. I assumed then he might be the best within the league, however I modified my thoughts. I believe Ray proved he’s the very best of all time,” mentioned the late Raiders coach John Madden of the group’s determination to draft Man in 1973.
Man’s all-round athleticism was legendary. He additionally performed as a defensive again in faculty, setting a Southern Miss document one season with eight interceptions, and he was drafted as a pitcher on 4 events by Main League baseball groups. Throughout his faculty profession he was mentioned to have as soon as punted the ball 93 yards and threw a softball 337 toes in an intramural recreation.
Within the NFL, he was a seven-time Professional Bowl choice and received three Tremendous Bowls with the Raiders. He led the league in punting common thrice, completed second on three different events and was a member of the NFL’s a centesimal Anniversary All-Time Staff.
“I used to be a great athlete and will have been a Main League pitcher or an NBA basketball participant, however I knew God had one thing particular for me,” Man mentioned throughout his Corridor of Fame induction speech. “And ultimately one sport would stand out past the remaining, and it did. Taking part in within the NFL with the Raiders was my future, and I by no means seemed again or questioned my determination.”
Man had two youngsters along with his ex-wife, Beverly.