the study of all things kicker related

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Denver Broncos Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

July 23, 2014 - kicker Mitch Ewald signed
"Ewald played 48 games for Indiana University and is the program’s all-time leader in field goals (53), field goal percentage (80.3%) and extra points (161). During his four seasons with the Hoosiers, he hit 53-of-66 field goals (80.3%) and 161-of-162 (99.4%) extra points. He ranks second in school history with 320 points scored." - Broncos

June 13, 2014 - kicker Matt Prater healthy again
"At long last, the best place-kicker in football is feeling like himself again. Matt Prater, who set NFL records last year with a 64-yard field goal and 81 touchbacks, caught a debilitating virus in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Then he started the offseason with a stitched lip from a golfing accident (he caught a backswing while delivering instruction) and a personal medical issue that caused him to miss some of the Broncos' organized team activity (OTA) sessions. 'I feel great now,' Prater said. 'I'm happy to be out here and kicking and getting to know all the new faces. Team looks good. I'm not getting younger. I'm actually one of the oldest guys on the team now. Which is crazy'." - Denver Post 

June 4, 2014 - kicker Matt Prater returns to practice
"Whatever it was, it apparently wasn’t that serious. Broncos kicker Matt Prater was back with the team Tuesday and Wednesday and participated in the closed offseason team activity (OTA) practices. Prater had missed the first four OTA sessions because of a personal medical issue." - Denver Post

May 19, 2014 - punter Steven Clark released
"On Monday, the team announced six transactions to reach the offseason roster limit.... In addition, defensive end John Youboty (Achilles) was designated as waived/injured, while defensive tackle Mister Cobble and punter Steven Clark were waived." - Broncos

May 10, 2014 - punter Steven Clark signed
"Steven Clark was not drafted, but the former Auburn punter will still get a shot in the NFL. Despite being ranked as one of the top punters in the draft class, Clark had to wait and sign a deal in free agency with the Denver Broncos, he confirmed to Early reports had Clark agreeing to a deal with the Miami Dolphins, but Clark confirmed to at the time he was still weighing his options. He agreed to a deal with the Broncos an hour later." -
See Clark's profile here.  

May 10, 2014 - long snapper Tanner Hedstrom to tryout
"Tanner Hedstrom, CSU's long-snapper, also will get a shot with the Broncos during a rookie minicamp that begins Thursday, he said....  Hedstrom doesn't yet have a contract with the Broncos but hopes to earn one with his performance in the minicamp. The 6-1, 230-pound Fort Collins native has been the Rams' long-snapper for the past 3½ seasons and had the opportunity to showcase his skills in an all-star game after the season, the Medal of Honor Bowl in Charleston, South Carolina. Hedstrom said Broncos' long-snapper Aaron Brewer is one of the best in the business, and he hopes he gets the chance to compete with him during training camp. ' feel like I'm at least ready to compete with somebody at an elite level,' Hedstrom said. 'I'm feeling pretty confident right now, and hopefully I can prove that I can be the guy'." - Coloradoan

May 6, 2014 - Gene Mingo added to Ring of Fame
"Until Tuesday, just one player known mostly for his special-teams work was in the Ring of Fame: kicker Jim Turner. Rick Upchurch and Gene Mingo change that. Students of the history of the Broncos and pro football should always have a place of affection for Mingo. He scored the winning touchdown in the first game in AFL history, racing 76 yards with a punt return in the third quarter of a 13-10 win over the Boston Patriots. But Mingo was also the placekicker, the role for which he would be best known, and before he caught his breath, he had to line up for the kick. As he would later recall, 'I kicked this big divot; my leg was so dead'. But in the years that followed, Mingo had no such worries. Pro football's first African-American kicker became one of its best, leading the AFL in field-goal percentage in 1960 and 1964 and in total points in 1960 and 1962. His 137-point season in 1962 was a Broncos record until Terrell Davis amassed 138 points on 23 touchdowns in 1998 -- but took two more games than Mingo had to do it. Mingo's return at Boston was the first of 12 touchdowns he would score for the Broncos in four-plus seasons; he added eight rushing and three receiving. 'You know, what people said – for what I did with the Broncos, being the first black field goal kicker, scoring the winning touchdown against New England, leading the league in scoring, still hold the longest touchdown run from scrimmage -- they were questioning why wasn’t I one of the original ones going into the Ring of Fame. And, I couldn’t tell them,' he said." - Broncos

BC Lions Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

July 23, 2014 - who will kickoff and punt?
"On Tuesday, head coach Mike Benevides couldn’t say whether the Lions will explore the option of contacting Steve Shott, a kicker/punter from the North Shore who has attended four training camps with the Lions. Shott, 24, was released by the Lions last year and then re-signed and placed on the practice roster in August. He was cut again, in June this year, before the team broke its 2014 training camp in Kamloops. The 44-year-old Paul McCallum may be required to turn the clock back one year, and handle the placekicking, punting and kickoffs as he has done through most of his 22-year CFL career. 'It’s the same as always,' McCallum said. 'As far as I know they’re going to ask me to do what I do. I’ve been doing all three for long enough'." - Vancouver Sun

July 22, 2014 -  punter Ricky Schmitt in scooter accident
"General manager Wally Buono did not have all the details, but confirmed the club’s punter and kickoff specialist was involved in an accident Tuesday not far from the team’s Surrey practice facility and may have suffered a shoulder injury that could keep him out of Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Schmitt lives not far from the facility and in an effort to save a few pennies in his first year with the Lions, secured a motorized scooter to get him to and from practice. At the very least, Paul McCallum was back to handling all kicking duties Tuesday." - The Province

June 21, 2014 - kicker Steven Shott released
"Lions reduced their training camp roster Saturday by releasing seven players, among them Steven Shott, who kicked the game-winning field goal in a preseason game against the Edmonton Eskimos on June 13. The 24-year-old Shott, from North Vancouver, has been to four training camps with the Lions. He was released at this time last year, but re-signed with the club on August 16 and spent the remainder of the season on the practice roster." - Vancouver Sun

June 12, 2014 - punter Ricky Schmitt's new direction
"Directional kicking isn’t a needed component of an NFL resume, and there were concerns that Schmitt’s leg isn’t suited for the CFL, considering he had 13 singles last year in Saskatchewan. Too many deep kicks give opponents better field position if the ball is unreturned and placed on the 35-yard line. Too many kicks with big hang time can hurt when not executed properly, too. But McMann and the Lions are comfortable that Schmitt can adapt to the directional kicking game made famous for years by McCallum, whose perfect punt was a cue shot that bounced out of bounds inside the 10-yard line. In Saskatchewan, the Riders pushed back the opposition nearly 10 yards further per possession for a good portion of last season because of Schmitt’s punting, which could also result in milestone statistical performances this year from the likes of Rolly Lumbala and Jason Arakgi on special teams." - Canada

February 20, 2014 - kicker Paul McCallum extended
"Lions have agreed to a contract extension with non-import kicker Paul McCallum. The Vancouver native converted 28 of 33 field goal attempts in 2013 for the Lions. He has also played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Ottawa Rough Riders during his 21 season CFL career. The 44-year-old kicker is expected to handle field goal kicking during the 2014 season while the Lions plan to bring in another kicker for punting and kickoff duties." - TSN

February 20, 2014 - punter Ricky Schmitt signed
"Schmitt comes to the Lions after a championship season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Virginia Beach native ranked among the CFL's top-three kickers in punting yardage, net punting yardage and kickoff yards in 2013. 'Ricky has one of the strongest legs in the league and he demonstrated that in some pretty tough conditions last season in Regina,' said head coach Mike Benevides. 'With Paul looking after field goals and Ricky responsible for punting and kickoffs, I believe we have secured one of the best tandems in the CFL.' Schmitt was originally signed as a free agent by the Riders in November 2012 and appeared in the Western Final that year. Last season, he dressed for all 18 regular season games as well as both West Division playoff games and the Grey Cup. 'I'm very pleased to be joining the Lions," Schmitt said from his Virginia Beach home. 'The opportunity to be a part of this organization and work with a kicker of Paul's ability and experience was an opportunity that I could not pass up. I can't wait to get started on working towards bringing a Grey Cup to BC'." - OurSports Central

Murray State Racers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

February 5, 2014 - kicker Gavin Wilson signs
"Four-year letterwinner for head coach Bill Shaver at Thomas County Central High School...garnered All-America laurels as a senior by the Offense-Defense Sports Inc...earned all-region honors as a junior and senior...selected to the all-area team his final three seasons...named to the 2012 Thomasville Times Enterprise Electrifying Eleven...finished career with 210 career points...went 89-of-90 on extra points, including a perfect 48-fo-48 as a sophomore...connected on 14 career field goals, including three game winners...recorded 76 career touchbacks, including school record 42 as a senior...selected to particpate in the Diamonds in the Rough All-America Game as a senior...ranked as the No. 3 combo kicker/punter by as a junior." - Racers

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

July 22, 2014 - long snapper Connor Kubala commits
"Connor Kubala, Long Snapper of Lakeside HS Football 2015 verbally committed to Coastal Carolina on Monday." - Connor Kubala

April 12, 2014 - spring game
35 Austin Cain - 1 Punt (50 yds)
46 Alex Catron - 1 Punt (42 yds), 2 Kick Offs (65 yds, 65 yds), Missed PAT
80 Chris Jones - 1 Kick Return (25 yds)
86 Jesse June - 1 Punt Return (0 yds)
87 Storm Baker - 2 Punts (50 yds, Blocked)
89 Ryan Granger - Missed PAT - Chanticleers

April 1, 2014 - kicker/punter David Lamb Jr. signs"Pineville, N.C. / South Mecklenburg HS: Finalist for the Charlotte Kicker of the Year … Named Southern Mecklenburg 8 All-Conference Offensive Specialist … Averaged 38.5 yards per punt … Had a 90 percent touchback rate on kickoffs." - Chanticleers

March 20, 2014 - spring specialists

"For the second consecutive year, the specialists - All-Big South kicker Alex Catron, long snapper Shane Ballard and 2013 CCU record-setter for average yards per punt Austin Cain - return intact." - Chanticleers

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Morehead State Eagles Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

April 19, 2014 - Spring game
Kicking -- Boyd -- 3-of-3 on FGs (good from 47 yds, 35 yds, 31 yds) / 2-of-2 on PATs
Kicking -- Pat DiSalvio -- 0-of-2 on FGs (missed from 42 yds, 45 yds)
Punting -- Matt Ward -- 2 punts, 36.5 average, long of 40 yds
Punting -- Boyd -- 3 punts, 35.3 average, long of 48 yds
Punting -- DiSalvio -- 6 punts, 33.7 average, long of 42 yds

- Eagles

April 11, 2014 - incoming specialists
The Morehead State football program has added 16 student-athletes on defense and two on special teams for the 2014 season....
Shavi Bash, K/P, Roswell, Ga. (Roswell HS) - Connected on 8-of-9 field-goal attempts as a senior … Named team Most Valuable Player his final year and earned all-region honors.
Joe Iuliano, LS, Springfield, N.J. (Jonathan Dayton HS) - Played three varsity seasons … Led the Bulldogs in tackles as a senior … Played 10 different positions his final campaign … Named team Defensive Most Valuable Player in 2013 … Earned First-Team All-Conference, Second-Team All-County, Second-Team All-Area and Second-Team All-State accolades as a senior - Eagles

Penn State Nittany Lions Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

July 22, 2014 - kicker & punter competitions
"A similar talent grab happened to fill up the specialists room, though all of them are coming as walk-ons. Hummesltown Lower Dauphin prospect and kicker/punter Joey Julius is already on campus, and Athens booter Troy Stivason is expected in August. The same philosophy was applied at punter, where walkon Chris Gulla was left to handle the duties by himself after former Nittany Lion punter Alex Butterworth graduated. Though the New Jersey native is the leader in the clubhouse for punting duties heading into camp, Australian native and new Penn State walk-on Daniel Pasquariello is expected to challenge for the job, as is St. Petersburg, Fla., IMG Academy product and walkon Robby Liebel. The additions could be seen as much needed competition for a unit that has often struggled throughout the last couple of years. According to Sam Ficken, though, it also has another major benefit that should help the senior accomplish one of his biggest personal goals. 'On a personal level, I think staying healthy is obviously big,' Ficken said. 'I kind of lacked in that category the last two seasons, so obviously there [is a personal goal]. I think it's just a matter of taking care of my body and not over kicking is probably the biggest issue'." - Penn Live

July 2, 2014 - Aussie punter Daniel Pasquariello to walk-on
"Penn State should enter the 2014 season with no fewer than four candidates to win the starting punting job. The most intriguing among them is Daniel Pasquariello, who comes to State College from Prokick Australia, a Melbourne-based training ground that specializes in teaching punting. 'Daniel can kick with both feet and even kick it over his shoulder whilst facing the wrong way,' his coach, Nathan Chapman, wrote in an email to Lions247, 'so I'm sure you will get a thrill out of some of his skills'.... Chapman sent Penn State special teams coach Charles Huff some film of the 6-foot, 200-pound Pasquariello, who spent one year with Prokick Australia after attending Xavier College High School in Melbourne, and the Nittany Lions liked what they saw enough to ask him to be a preferred walk-on. He will compete with redshirt freshman Chris Gulla, the Nittany Lions' lone returning punter, as well as freshman walk-ons Robbie Liebel and Troy Stivason." - 247 Sports

June 10, 2014 - kicker Joe Julius and the all the specialists
"If you would've asked Julius a year ago what he'd be doing in his future he said his mind would've already been made up. 'I would've been playing soccer," he said. "I was a soccer player. I stuck with soccer and I kicked once a week on Fridays. I think now that I'm just coming into it I have so much more excitement about this and I'm just ready to go at it.' Julius hit 32 of 49 field-goal attempts during his high school career and made 12 of 19 field goals last year. He also showcased his big leg by turning 141 of his 187 kickoffs into touchbacks. Putting his high school success behind him and preparing to join fellow walk-on kickers Nick Boumerhi and Troy Stivason at Penn State later this month is the next challenge on the all-state kicker's radar. Sam Ficken returns as the only known commodity on the Penn State special teams unit....
Penn State has former preferred walk-on specialist Chris Gulla on the roster too and how Gulla fits into the program could change how much or how little impact the three new walk-on kickers have. Gulla came to Penn State with better success as a field goal kicker than punter, but the Lions spent extensive time working him into becoming a punter, a role he's expected to take on this season. Ficken backed up Gulla as the punter this spring and the senior kicker is expected to continue working on punting this summer in case he'd be needed to do so in an emergency role this season." - Penn Live

April 12, 2014 - Blue-White spring game punting
"The punter was far from a given, with the graduation of Alex Butterworth and no scholarship options on the roster. Redshirt freshman Chris Gulla punted for both teams Saturday, 12 kicks for just under a 40-yard average with what appeared to be very good hang time." - Lancaster Online

April 7, 2014 - punter Chris Gulla
"This season Penn State needs the walk-on specialist to become their punter. With former punter Alex Butterworth gone due to graduation, the Nittany Lions redshirted Gulla last season knowing this day was coming. Senior Sam Ficken is still in line to maintain his kicking duties and while Gulla could inherit that role in the future, the redshirt freshman is the only punter on the roster. Penn State will add a handful of walk-on specialists this summer, but the punting job is one the Lions have been grooming Gulla for since his arrival last summer. '[Gulla’s] still got some work to do. I’ve been pleased with his attitude and approach,' Penn State head coach James Franklin said. 'I think Ficken has had a great spring so far. I think a lot of times we talk about the kickers but the snappers, the holders, [Ryan] Keiser’s been really good at holding, so it’s all of them together. I’ve been very impressed with Ficken. Gulla still has got some work to do but I’ve been pleased with him as well'.” - Penn Live

April 2, 2014 - kicker Sam Ficken: kicks more, runs less
"Senior kicker Sam Ficken ended Wednesday's practice with a 55-yard field goal, keeping the Nittany Lions from running sprints. 'Ficken has been money all of camp,' RB Akeel Lynch said. 'He's made a lot of improvement. Anytime it has been double or nothing for running at the end of practice, we put it on Ficken's leg and he's been clutch every time'." - Penn State

March 30, 2014 - kicker Luke Hayek commits
"Luke Hayek, a 5-9, 165 kicker from Shelby. N.C. announced his intention to attend Penn State on Twitter. 'Finally official. I have committed to Penn State University to play football. Going from a Golden Lion to a Nittany Lion.' Hayek visited Penn State the weekend of March 22-23. He will apparently be an invited walk-on." - Lancaster Online

February 3, 2014 - kicker Joe Julius to walk-on
"Lower Dauphin kicker Joe Julius announced on his Facebook page today that he will walk on at Penn State next season. Julius is the fourth kicker to announce his intentions to walk on at Penn State in 2014, joining Nick Boumerhi, Jorge Powell and Troy Stivason. Julius was once committed to play soccer at SIU-Edwardsville, but changed course and made his intentions known to play football instead. He was an all-state kicker at Lower Dauphin last season and made 12 of 19 field goals, including clutch kicks in the District 3 and PIAA playoffs. The 5-11, 200-pound Julius boomed touchbacks on 45 of his 52 kickoff attempts last season and netted a long field goal of 46 yards. He will participate in the Big 33 Football Classic at Hersheypark Stadium this summer." - Penn Live

February 2, 2014 - kicker Nick Boumerhi commits as walk-on
"Philipsburg-Osceola P/K Nick Boumerhi will walk on at Penn State. Committed on Saturday evening." - 247sports

January 25, 2014 - kicker Jorge Powell commits as preferred walk-on
The Nittany Lions added a preferred walk-on commitment from Miami (Fla.) Belen Jesuit Prep placekicker Jorge Powell. "It's been great so far," Powell said on Saturday evening. "It seems to be the best fit for me and I really like the new coaching staff." The 5-foot-10, 170-pound prospect was previously committed to a scholarship to Tulane. He decommitted from the Green Wave on Jan. 20. He also had an offer from Florida Atlantic. Powell is the No. 2 kicking prospect in the country according to Kornblue Kicking's Fab 50 rankings. He is the No. 11 kicking prospect nationally according to Kohl's Kicking. Powell hit 9 of 12 field goals this season with a long of 47 yards. He was 28 of 30 on extra points as a senior and had 40 touchbacks as a senior." - Lions247

Alcorn State Braves Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

July 22, 2014 - punter Haiden McCraney named to watch list
"Sophomore kicker has been named to the 2014 Punter Award Watch List, as announced by College Football Performance Awards. McCraney ranked fourth in the SWAC in punting averaging 41.3 yards per punt with his longest being for 72 yards.  He earned SWAC Player of the Week three consecutive times during the 2013 season and was named to the All-SWAC 1st Team." - SWAC

April 12, 2014 - spring game
"A few minutes later kicker Haiden McCraney nailed a 41-yard field goal to extend the gold teams' lead to 9-0." - Braves