ATHENS - Even under the best of circumstances, punting can be one of the more thankless jobs on any football team.

It can also be one of the more anonymous jobs.

That's not necessarily the case for Georgia punter Drew Butler, whose last name is familiar to most die-hard Bulldog fans.

His father, Kevin Butler, is one of the most noted placekickers in Georgia history, a two-time All-American who still holds four school records. He also delivered some of the most clutch kicks in Bulldog lore before going on to a professional career with the Chicago Bears.

To some, the younger Butler's situation - playing a similar position on the same field as a famous father - might be an unenviable one.

However, the redshirt sophomore is intent on making a name for himself in the Georgia program.

"It's special. It's an honor," Butler said of donning the same red, black and silver uniform his father did almost three decades earlier. "I'm glad to be here and I'm glad to help this team out. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season and the next two years to help this team win.

"We play different positions. I know we're both (on) special teams, but he was a kicker. I'm a punter. I'll probably never have to attempt a field goal. So, hopefully, the statistical comparisons won't happen."

Perhaps, but it's also easier for a kicker - who can provide offensive points through PATs and field goals - to make a name for himself than a punter.

That, too, is just fine with Butler, who relished the idea of punting at Georgia after a successful high school career as a punter and placekicker at Peachtree Ridge.

"I knew I was going to be a punter in college," Butler said. "I knew if I came here, I probably wouldn't be doing placekicking. That didn't shy me away from (Georgia)."

While punter is hardly the most glamorous position, that doesn't mean it's not important.

"You've just got to be prepared to try to flip field position (or) get the ball inside the (opponent's) 20 (-yard line), hang it high and long," Butler said. "It feels natural, and I'm ready to help the team."

Still, a punter doesn't always get noticed unless something goes wrong, like it did in one of the only two times Butler took the field in last Saturday's 41-37 win over South Carolina, when a snap sailed over his head and rolled out of the end zone for a safety.

But those mishaps have been rare for Butler and his long snapper, Ty Frix.

In his first season as the Bulldogs' starting punter, Butler is averaging 54.1 yards per punt through Georgia's first two games.

That figure would lead the entire nation in average if he had just one more punt to meet the minimum requirement of 3.6 punts per game. Oklahoma State's Quinn Sharp, with just two more punts, is the official leader at 48.78 yards per punt.

Those results come as little surprise to John Lilly, Georgia's tight ends coach, who also works with the Bulldogs' special teams.

After Butler's redshirt season, an apprenticeship to senior Brian Mimbs last year, Lilly said Butler staked an early claim to the job when it became open in the spring.

"He really made some strides during spring practice," Lilly said. "He was able to separate himself from the very first day.

"I'm no (punting) guru, and I'm not ashamed to say he probably knows more about it than I do. But he makes it a lot easier because he's so coachable. He does what we ask him to do, and he always asks for feedback."

As thankless as Butler's job as punter seems, his other job with the team may be even more thankless.

As the holder for placekicker Blair Walsh, Butler's hands are every bit as important to the Bulldogs as his legs, and the job isn't as simple as it seems.

"There are so many people involved (in punting and placekicking)," Lilly said. "There's snapping, blocking, holding and kicking and you have to be consistent in your operation time, and your hang time (on punts) have to match up with your distance."

So, Saturday's mishap is an obvious concern, though Butler points out that such a problem has been rare, and that he and Frix have a good working chemistry.

"Ty's a fantastic snapper," Butler said. "He gets (the ball) back there so accurate and so quick. (A bad snap) happens to everyone. ... I think it caught everyone by surprise ... but I think he's brushed that off and moved on."