the study of all things kicker related

Thursday, April 24, 2014

California Golden Bears Kicker, Punter & Snapper News 2014


April 24th - kicker competition continues
"The competition for placekicker will continue into fall camp, coach Sonny Dykes said after Wednesday’s practice. Sophomore Noah Beito had the upperhand early in spring camp, but the depth chart released on Wednesday showed Beito, senior James Langford and redshirt freshman Matt Anderson separated by 'or'.... Dykes and his coaching staff will be looking for that mental toughness when they choose among the three candidates in August. 'It’s all about confidence,' he said. 'Summer will be good for them. In fall camp we’ll put them in a lot of stressful situations and see who reacts best to that and make a decision.' Beito, from Scotts Valley, lost his early edge in the competition because he hasn’t kicked as consistently well the past couple weeks. Langford, from Pleasanton, was Cal Poly’s kicker in 2011, when he made 15 of 20 field goals, including kicks from 48, 49 and 50 yards. Anderson, from Danville, kicked 15 field goals as a senior in high school. Dykes said Langford’s leg strength provides him a potential advantage, but consistency will decide who wins the job." - BearTalk

April 15th - spring kicker competition
"Noah Beito was the backup kicker last season, so I guess it's no surprise that he's winning this race with Matt Anderson and James Langford. Good for the walk-on for getting a chance to shine." - California Golden Blogs

March 11th - punter Cole Leininger
"Cole Leininger is back after a very solid season for the Golden Bears, where he was tied for second in the conference with an average of 42.9 yards per kick. Cal has four punters on the roster in addition to Leininger. And while he’s mostly unchallenged, there are plenty of backup options." - ESPN

Detroit Lions Kicker, Punter & Snapper News 2014


April 24th - kicking consultant Jason Hanson
"Hanson is spending time with young kickers in what amounts to free-lance consulting in this week’s veteran mini-camp in Allen Park. Hanson, who retired before last season after 21 seasons with the Lions, said he was invited to mini-camp by John Bonamego, who is beginning his second season as special-teams coordinator. Hanson’s presence was obvious Wednesday during the portion of practice that was open to the media. 'He (Bonamego) just wanted another set of eyes for the guys they want to kick,' Hanson said in a telephone interview from his home Wednesday evening. 'He wanted my opinion – somebody else to give feedback to him. They have a short time to look at the guys, to see if they feel they have the guys they want or if they want to look at other people'.... John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio, who have combined for four field-goal attempts – all by Potter – are the only kickers on the roster. Both were signed in the offseason, and Potter is the only one who has kicked in a regular-season NFL game." - Lions

April 15th - kicker Nate Freese visits
"The Lions also brought in Boston College kicker Nate Freese, one day after special teams coordinator John Bonamego outlined finding David Akers' replacement as a top offseason priority. Highly accurate, Freese connected on 86.4 percent (70-81) of his field goals in four seasons, including a perfect 20-20 last year. The potential downside is his range. Freese made just two kicks from beyond 50 yards last season, including a career-best from 52. Although the Lions wouldn't need him in either role, Freese also handled kickoffs and punts for the Eagles last season." - MLive

April 15th - kicker search
"The Detroit Lions have two kickers on their roster — John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio — but the man who handles field goals for them this fall could be someone entirely different. Special teams coordinator John Bonamego said at a town hall meeting for season-ticket holders Monday night that the Lions are still on the lookout for help at kicker. 'From a scouting standpoint, it’s our top priority in my department,' Bonamego said. 'We have two guys on the roster right now that both have some experience.… We’ll evaluate those guys in this upcoming period and we’ll compare them to the guys that are coming up in the draft, the draft-eligible guys, and we’ll find one'. Potter played six games as a kickoff specialist for the Buffalo Bills in 2012 and three games for Washington last year. He made three of four field goals in Washington, with a long of 43 yards. Tavecchio was in training camp with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 and the Green Bay Packers last year. He nearly beat out Mason Crosby for the Packers’ kicking job last fall and then tried out for the Lions in December." - Detroit Free Press

February 27th - long snapper Don Muhlbach re-signed
"The Detroit Lions have signed longtime long-snapper Don Muhlbach to a one-year contract, according to the team's website. Muhlbach has been with the organization the past 10 seasons after signing as a undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M in 2004. He's missed only one game since 2004 and is considered one of the best in the business. He was a Pro Bowler in 2012. Muhlbach is believed to have signed a minimum salary benefit deal. That means he will make the 10th-year veteran minimum ($955,000, plus up to a $65,000 bonus) but the contract will count as a third-year veteran minimum ($645,000 plus the bonus) against the cap." - MLive

February 21st - parting ways with kicker David Akers
"Embattled Detroit Lions kicker David Akers is among five veterans who were informed by general manager Martin Mayhew they will not return next season.... Akers is the most notable player of those who will not return. He signed with the Lions last offseason, but fell out of favor after struggling with his accuracy. He was 19-of-24 on the season, good for a 79.2 percent hit rate that was his second-worst mark since 2007. Mayhew said he expects kickers John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio to compete for the job after signing futures deals this offseason, though the club could pursue veterans in free agency." - MLive

Northwestern Wildcats Kicker, Punter & Snapper News 2014


April 23rd - spring specialists
"There are going to be a lot of new faces on Northwestern’s special teams depth chart this year, especially in the kicking game. Hunter Niswander seems like the most likely choice to replace Jeff Budzien, while Chris Gradone is the obvious choice to step in for Brandon Williams, since Gradone replaced Williams in a couple games at the end of last year." - Inside Northwestern

March 30th - replacing Budzien
"In the past three years, only once has someone without the name “Budzien” on the back of his jersey kicked a field goal for the Wildcats. But NU’s new all-time leading scorer is graduating and taking with him the near-automatic kicking game that the Cats have become accustomed to for the past few years. None of the current kickers on the roster — true freshman Hunter Niswander, redshirt freshmen Matt Micucci and Jack Mitchell or sophomore Arthur Omilian — have any sort of college kicking experience." - Football Nation


UAB Blazers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News 2014


April 17th - spring specialists
"Ty Long (kicker), Hunter Mullins (punter) and Dallas Noriega (long snapper) return as starters. This is as solid of a group as you'll find in the country." - AL.com

March 21st - first spring scrimmage
Overall, head coach Bill Clark was pleased with what he saw.... 'I thought our special teams looked really good. I think Ty Long hit about a 50 or 53-yard field goal. That was big. I thought our special teams looked really good. Hunter (Mullins) punted the ball well'." - Blazers

February 14th - special teams coordinator Daric Riley added
Daric Riley will join the UAB football staff, head coach Bill Clark announced on Friday.... Riley will be UAB's special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.... Both Wright and Riley come to UAB after serving on Clark's staff at Jacksonville State during the 2013 season....  'I am excited to be a part of the UAB family,' Riley said. 'I look forward to coaching current guys like Ty Long (placekicker), Hunter Mullins (punter) and Dallas Noriega (long snapper), who have a lot of talent. I am excited to be in Birmingham and look forward to being a part of the vision that coach Clark has'." - Alabama's 13

Draft Preview: Cody Parkey

Among the kickers eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Auburn's Cody Parkey. He ranks in the top ten in the majority of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Parkey's profile page on the Tigers' website:

2013 Senior Season
  • first in the nation with 69 touchbacks this season
  • 142 of 248 career kickoffs were touchbacks (.573)
  • field goals of 40, 19, 47 yards vs. Mississippi State
  • career long 52-yard field goal in SEC Championship Game vs. Missouri, a title game record
  • Senior Bowl most outstanding specialist
2012 Junior Season
  • made nine consecutive field goals before missing a 49-yard attempt against Arkansas
  • 33 touchbacks on 48 kickoffs (68.7%)
  • 4-4 on FG vs. Clemson at Georgia Dome, including a career-long 46-yarder ... four FG tied Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic record
  • kicked 35-yard game-winner in overtime vs. ULM
  • SEC Special Teams player of week (ULM) ... Groza Award star of the week (Clemson)
2011 Sophomore Season
  • Phil Steele All-SEC Third Team
  • 38 touchbacks, the second most in the SEC and third most in FBS
  • made the first two field goals of his collegiate career (43 and 37) against Mississippi State 
  • booted a 42-yard field goal with 35 seconds remaining to ice the win over Florida
  • hit 2-3 field goals including a then-career-long 45-yarder in Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Virginia
2010 Freshman Season
  • Appeared in seven games, averaging 63.2 yards on 35 kickoffs
High School
  • No. 1-ranked kicker by ESPN.com/Scouts Inc. ... No. 2-ranked placekicker by Scout.com ... ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 1 most accurate kicker and the No. 6 kicker overall 
  • 2010 Under Armour All-American game
  • named to the PrepStar All-America team
  • 8-9 on PATs and 9-12 on FG attempts in his senior season including a long of 42 yards ... all of his missed field goal attempts came from at least 49 yards
  • kicked field goals of 51 and 43 yards during the Outback All-Star game in Palm Beach, Fla.


College Stats:
2013: 15 of 21 (71.4%) FGs; 66 of 67 PATs; 111 points
2012: 11 of 14 (78.6%) FGs; 27 of 27 PATs; 60 points
2011: 13 of 18 (72.2%) FGs; 41 of 42 PATs; 80 points
2010: 0 of 0 (0%) FGs; 2 of 2 PATs; 2 points

Last month following Auburn's Pro Day, Parkey discussed the prospect of landing in the NFL:
"I've got some individual workouts coming up with some teams. I could be a late draft pick. ... if I'm a free agent, a lot of them were telling me they really want me to give their team a shot. All positive news....
I'd love to get drafted. That's the dream, I think anyone would rather get drafted than be a free agent. Whatever scenario comes my way, I'm going to make the best of it."

BYU Cougars Kicker, Punter & Snapper News 2014


April 23rd - spring specialists
"BYU coaches released their post-spring depth chart on Friday, and Vance "Moose" Bingham is listed as the starting kicker. He apparently edged out senior Trevor Samson, a transfer from Fresno (Calif.) City College who joined the program prior to the 2013 season, after a lengthy battle that wasn’t settled until the last day of spring camp. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said the kickers were 'within one percentage point going into the grand kickoff finale' in which Bingham made a couple of 45-yard attempts and Samson missed his. Another kicker, Hurricane High product Corey Edwards, will join the competition this fall when he returns from a church mission. Edwards might be the Cougars’ kickoff specialist until his accuracy returns because he is believed to have a stronger leg than either Bingham or Samson.... But that’s not what is keeping Mendenhall awake at night. He’s more worried about replacing senior Kevin O’Mary, who performed flawlessly as BYU’s deep snapper last year. Parker Dawe, a sophomore offensive lineman from Pleasant Grove, is listed as the starting deep snapper out of camp, just ahead of linebacker Kevan Bills.... Foothill (Calif.) College transfer Scott Arellano returns for his senior season as the punter, so the Cougars are set there. He punted 80 times last year with a respectable 41.0 average, but had three blocked. Mendenhall said Arellano 'is performing at a higher level than a year ago'." - Salt lake Tribune

March 29th - scrimmage kicking
"The battle for starting kicking duties intensified Saturday with Trevor Samson drawing dead even with Moose Bingham. 'Statistically, Moose Bingham had a slight edge, but today it swung more to Trevor Samson in terms of accuracy,' coach Bronco Mendenhall explained. “So ... (they’re) about dead even with Samson having a stronger day today.' Overall Samson connected on 3 of 5 attempts Saturday, with Bingham going just 3 for 8. Austin Brasher had the best day statistically, booting through 5 of 6." - Deseret News

Rutgers Scarlet Knights Kicker, Punter & Snapper News 2014


April 23rd - punter Joe Roth
"Roth and Aidan Murray are the only punters currently on the roster. Roth is confident he's done enough to claim the job this spring, but he knows the battle will extend into the summer when walk-on Mike Cintron joins the team. 'I'm excited to compete. I want to show everybody what I can do,' said Roth, a left-footed punter. 'I'm having a good time out there. I've had good days, I've had bad days. I just want to make my bad days better and get my good days better, also'.... Roth has traveled a circuitous route to Rutgers. A wide receiver, cornerback and punter in high school, he wanted to play football collegiately. His grades limited his options and his only opportunity to play football was to travel across the country to College of the Canyons, a two-year community college in Santa Clarita, Calif. Roth averaged 38.7 yards per punt during the 2011 season before transferring to Raritan Valley Community College. He spent 1-1/2 years there and earned his associate degree before landing at Rutgers last year. He has two years of eligibility remaining." - NJ.com

April 22nd - punter competition
"Head coach Kyle Flood said punter Joe Roth is the starter as of now, but Rutgers’ staff will reevaluate the position. 'I don’t know I’d be ready to name him the No. 1 starter for the game just yet,' Flood said. Neither Roth nor backup Aidan Murray have punted during a game." - The Trentonian

April 20th - spring scrimmage
"Strange as it sounds, missing his first kick Saturday during the Rutgers football team’s scrimmage allowed Kyle Federico to hit all of his goals. Federico showed resilience and reliability as he rebounded from a blocked 34-yard field goal to make his final four attempts, two of which were from 40-plus yards and one of which was under simulated end-of-game pressure. He resembled the weapon Rutgers once thought it had. 'My goal is always to be consistent over 40,' Federico said. 'My first kick was a bad kick. Really everything I did was consistency after the first kick. I moved on after my miss. I won the game. I think everything I did was a good mix of everything I want to be'.... Rutgers is breaking in a new long snapper and a new holder — Flood was not pleased with the kicking results in the first scrimmage — putting greater emphasis on Federico to handle his own part of the operation. Backup kicker Nick Borgese went 2-for-4 on field goals Saturday but missed a PAT." - My Central Jersey

April 16th - spring practice update
"Following the graduations of four-year long snapper Robert Jones and holder J.T. Tartacoff, the Rutgers football team’s special-teams unit is undergoing a transition phase. True freshman long snapper Alan Lucy, who Federico helped recruit, will not arrive in Piscataway until training camp. Senior middle linebacker Kevin Snyder is currently handling Lucy’s duties, and so far the unit has labored. In Rutgers’ first spring scrimmage April 5, Federico and junior backup kicker Nick Borgese combined to go 1-for-6 on field goals, including two misses from inside 30 yards. Gusty wind and filler specialists did them no favors, but head coach Kyle Flood voiced his displeasure after the scrimmage. Federico made no excuses either, saying Saturday he has since focused only on himself. 'You can’t really worry about no matter who’s new snapping, holding — all you can focus on what you do,” Federico said. “You’ve just got to trust those guys and their abilities, and all you have to worry about is kicking the ball'." - The Daily Targum

March 25th - LB Kevin Snyder also long snapping
When Kevin Snyder was a grade-schooler growing up playing football in Mechanicsburg, Pa., the Rutgers senior middle linebacker’s father got him to practice his long-snapping.... The fact that Snyder is capable of long-snapping is a benefit to Rutgers, at least for now. When the spring depth chart was released on Monday afternoon, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Snyder was listed as the first-team long-snapper after Robert Jones held the position for the last four seasons.... Long-term, whether or not Snyder continues as the first-team long-snapper beyond the spring will depend on Alan Lucy. Lucy, a 6-foot-1, 230-pounder out of Dinwiddle (Va.) High School, will arrive in Piscataway this summer as the rare scholarship long-snapper. Theoretically, the long-snapping job should be his when the Scarlet Knights open the 2014 season on Aug. 28 in Seattle against Washington St." - My Central Jersey

February 18th - punter Mike Cintron preferred walk-on
"Cintron, a senior who also led Middlesex County placekickers with 44 points, will attend the state university in the fall as a preferred walk-on who was the Scarlet Knights’ top recruited non-scholarship specialist, according to St. Joseph head coach Casey Ransone. 'He’s got everything you look for in a big-time college level punter,' said former Rutgers placekicker Lee McDonald, who runs Special Teams Solutions, which trains kickers, punters and long snappers. Cintron, competing with 75 other aspiring college punters from across the Northeast at an exposure camp last November, averaged a camp-best 48 yards per punt." - My Central Jersey

January 26th - long snapper Alan Lucy commits
"The Rutgers staff added a commitment from 6-1, 230-pound Dinwiddie (Va.) long snapper Alan Lucy. According to Lucy, he was recruited to Rutgers due to his 'ability to snap, block and be physical'. The long snapper is expected to contribute as a true freshman. 'They've been recruiting me since the (specialist) camp back in June,' said Lucy, who was hosted on his official visit by kicker Kyle Federico. 'My official (visit) was set for like two months. But two weeks ago, (special teams coach Joe) Rossi told me they would probably offer me while I was up here. And when they offered me, I just knew it felt right, so I decided to commit'.... Lucy held no scholarship offers but was extended preferred walk-on opportunities by Texas A&M, Wake Forest, Old Dominion and William and Mary." - NJ.com