DURHAM, N.C. - Duke kicker Ross Martin and punter Will Monday have garnered first team Freshman All-America accolades from Phil Steele Publications, announced this week by the outlet.
A native of Solon, Ohio, Martin has put together the finest placekicking season in school history by totaling 98 points by making 18-of-20 field goals and all 44 of his PAT attempts. With one game remaining, he has already set the school single-season record for PATs, bettering Robert Gantt's previous Duke standard of 41 in 1943.
The 98 points rank as the second-highest single-season total in school history, trailing only Clarkston Hines' total of 104 in 1989, while the 18 field goals also rank second on Duke's single-season chart, trailing only Will Snyderwine's total of 21 in 2010. Martin owns school freshman records for points in a game (15 vs. North Carolina), points in a season (98), field goals in a game (4 vs. North Carolina), field goals in a season (18), longest field goal (50 yards vs. Georgia Tech) and PATs in a season (44).
Monday, a product of Flowery Branch, Ga., and first team All-ACC selection by both the league's media and coaches, currently leads the league and ranks 14th nationally in punting average at 44.12 per kick. He has punted 66 times on the year for 2,912 yards with 18 boots downed inside the opponent 20 yard line against just six touchbacks. Monday, who serves as Duke's holder on placement kicks, also paces the ACC in punts of 50-plus yards with 19.
Monday's average marks the fourth-highest single-season standard in Duke history - tops among freshmen - trailing only Steve Lach (45.89 in 1941), Brian Morton (45.17 in 2000) and John Krueger (45.16 in 1996). Monday is aiming to become just the fourth Blue Devil to pace the conference punting average, joining Rodney Stewart (1965; 42.51), Krueger (1996) and Morton (2000).
Martin and Monday become the seventh and eighth Duke players to earn first team Freshman All-America accolades, joining running back Tony Benjamin (Football News; 1973), linebacker Carl McGee (Football News; 1975), linebacker Michael Tauiliili (Sporting News; 2005), offensive tackle Kyle Hill (Sporting News; 2008), wide receiver Conner Vernon (Sporting News; 2009) and offensive guard Laken Tomlinson (Sporting News; 2011).
Duke will face Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl on December 27, 2012 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m., and tickets are available at GoDuke.com.