the study of all things kicker related

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

College Special Teams Players of the Week 1, 2014

Article still in progress... check back for updates...

The following kickers and punters have been named Special Teams Players of the Week by their respective conference for the first week of the 2014 college football season. 

No slight intended to any returners that received such honors, but our focus (as always) is on the kicking end of things.

AAC - USF kicker Marvin Kloss
Big Sky - Eastern Washington punter Jake Miller
Big South - Monmouth placekicker Lucas Santangelo
Big Ten - Penn State kicker Sam Ficken
CAA - William & Mary kicker John Carpenter
CSFL - Oklahoma Baptist kicker/punter Trey Tully
FBS Independent - Notre Dame kicker/punter Kyle Brindza
Frontier - Montana Tech punter Travis Farewell
MAC East - Ohio kicker Josiah Yazdani
MVFC - Youngstown State kicker Joey Cejudo 
MW - Colorado State kicker Jared Roberts
NEC - Duquesne kicker Austin Crimmins 
NSAA - Waldorf kicker Dustin Wilke
Patriot - Bucknell kicker Derek Maurer 
SBC - Arkansas State kicker Luke Ferguson
SEC - Alabama kicker Adam Griffith
SLC - Incarnate Word kicker/punter Ramon Coto
SoCon - Wofford kicker David Marvin 
SWAC - Jackson State kicker Ryan Deising

Lou Groza Award
  • Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
  • Sam Ficken, Penn State
  • Adam Griffith, Alabama
Ray Guy Award
  •  
Beyond Sports Network
  • FBS kicker:
  • FBS punter:
  • FCS kicker: 
  • FCS punter:
  • Division II kicker:
  • Division II punter:
  • Division III kicker:
  • Division III punter:
  • NAIA kicker:
  • NAIA punter:
College Football Performance Awards
  • FBS placekicker: Adam Griffith, Alabama
  • FBS specialist:Sam Ficken, Penn State
  • FBS punter: Wil Gleeson, Ole Miss
  • FCS placekicker:Ramon Coto, Incarnate Word
  • FCS punter: Matthew Spencer, Central Arkansas
If we missed someone that should be on the above list, please let us know!

Germany Men's National Soccer Team News


September 2, 2014 - Bastian Schweinsteiger named captain
"Bastian Schweinsteiger was named Germany captain on Tuesday, replacing the retired Philipp Lahm. The 30-year-old Schweinsteiger takes over from his Bayern Munich teammate, who is also 30 but stepped back from international soccer after winning the World Cup. 'Schweinsteiger has always taken on responsibility when he had to. I could always rely on him,' said Germany coach Joachim Low, who said the combative midfielder would remain captain for at least two years. 'He is very well respected in the team and among the coaching staff. His immense experience is also important'. Schweinsteiger has made 108 appearances for Germany since his debut in a friendly against Hungary on June 6, 2004.... Schweinsteiger will miss Germany's next two games because of a lingering knee injury and Low said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will lead the side in Wednesday's friendly against Argentina." - USA Today

August 11, 2014 - Miroslav Klose retires
"Miroslav Klose has called time on his international career with Germany at the age of 36. The Lazio attacker played a key role in the country's successful World Cup campaign - scoring twice in five appearances as he became the tournament's all-time record goalscorer - and he has now decided to bid farewell to the national team. 'Winning the World Cup was a dream come true,' Klose stated. 'I've had a great time with the national team and enjoyed some amazing moments. There's no better way for me to end my time with the German team than by winning the World Cup. The team's success always came first for me. We have reached the objective that we set.' Klose ends his time with Germany not only as the World Cup's top scorer, with 16 goals, but also as Germany's all-time leading marksman, with 71 strikes to his name." - Goal

July 13, 2014 - Mario Goetze scores in extra time, Germany wins World Cup
"With two quick touches, Mario Goetze ended Germany's 24-year wait for another World Cup title. Goetze scored the winning goal in extra time to give Germany a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Sunday in a tight and tense World Cup final that came down to one piece of individual skill. Goetze, who wasn't born when West Germany beat Argentina in the 1990 final, controlled a cross with his chest in the 113th minute and in one fluid motion volleyed the ball past goalkeeper Sergio Romero and inside the far post. It was a goal that gave Germany its fourth World Cup title in its eighth final, and left Argentina star Lionel Messi still walking in the shadow of his compatriot Diego Maradona, who led his country to the 1986 title. Goetze had come on as a substitute for Miroslav Klose at the end of regulation time and the 22-year-old midfielder's fresh legs made the difference." - CBS

July 8, 2014 - Germany kicks Brazil 7-1
"The Germans were merciless, playing with grace and unity and a raw power that saw them rip open the Brazilian defense as if it were a can of soup. Thomas Müller opened the scoring in the 11th minute, blasting home a corner kick from just six yards out. Miroslav Klose followed about 12 minutes later, knocking in a rebound to record his 16th career World Cup goal and become the tournament’s all-time leading scorer. By then, the mood at the Estádio Mineirão had already deflated, but the fans had no idea what was yet to come. In the next six minutes, Germany scored three more goals — a stretch roughly equivalent to a boxer landing three uppercuts in a row in the first round — which essentially ended the match before a half-hour had been played. Toni Kroos scored two of those goals; Sami Khedira added the other. 'I couldn’t change anything,' Scolari said. 'It was one goal after the other. There was nothing to be done during that breakdown.' The second half — yes, they played the second half — was more of the same. André Schürrle scored two more goals for Germany. Brazil kicked the ball around as if in a stupor. Spectators poured out of the stadium in agony, leaving a small German contingent who happily stayed in their seats and sang and sang." - NY Times

July 4, 2014 - Mats Hummels scores in 1-0 win over France
"Didier Deschamps’ team had the chances and they fought until the bitter end. Karim Benzema, their sharpest attacking threat, tricked through in injury-time only to be thwarted by a mighty swipe of Manuel Neuer’s hand. French regrets, though, will centre on the moment early in the contest when the defender Raphaël Varane did not do enough to prevent Mats Hummels from heading home from Toni Kroos’ free-kick. It was fitting that the quarter-final’s decisive snap-shot should have been shaped by a defender. Hummels deserved to be named as the man of the match." - The Guardian

July 1, 2014 - injured Shkodran Mustafi out for remainder of World Cup
"Shkodran Mustafi's World Cup is over after the Germany defender tore muscle fibres in his left thigh during Monday night's 2-1 win over Algeria. The Sampdoria central defender, who was in the starting XI deputising for Mats Hummels, who had the flu, had to leave the field in the 70th minute of the match to be replaced by Sami Khedira. Tests carried out on Monday evening confirmed the extent of his injury. 'He's not going to play any further part in this World Cup,' said Germany coach Joachim Low, who will now be keeping his fingers crossed that Hummels will recover in time to face France on Friday." - FOX Sports

June 30, 2014 - Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Ozil score in extra time over Algeria
"All three goals came in extra time after Algeria dominated for long stretches during the opening 90 minutes. Germany substitute Andre Schuerrle scored in the 92nd minute and Mesut Ozil made it 2-0 in the 120th before substitute Abdelmoumene Djabou pulled one back in injury time for Algeria.... Germany finally took the lead when Thomas Mueller provided a cross from the left flank that was slightly behind Schuerrle. The Germany forward dragged his left leg and backheeled the ball into the far corner, leaving goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi with no chance.... Ozil thought he had put the result out of reach when he pounded in a rebound after a shot from Schuerrle was cleared off the line by defender Esseid Belkalem, but Djabou volleyed in a minute later to make the last seconds count." - SF Gate

June 26, 2014 - Thomas Muller scores in win over USA
"Thomas Muller moved level with Lionel Messi and Neymar at the top of the World Cup scoring charts with the goal which took Germany through to the last 16. The Bayern Munich midfielder scored his ninth goal in as many World Cup appearances 10 minutes into the second half to earn Germany a 1-0 win over the United States, who joined the group winners in the knockout stages on goal difference ahead of Portugal.... The Germans shifted up the gears to increase the pressure on the USA and, 10 minutes into the second half, they got their reward. Per Mertesacker's header was pushed out instinctively by Howard, but the ball fell out to Muller, who picked his spot in the bottom right-hand corner of the goal from the edge of the penalty area for his fourth goal of the tournament." - Irish Examiner

June 21, 2014 - Miroslav Klose goal salvages draw with Ghana
"When Miroslav Klose took to the field on 70 minutes, things looked bleak for Germany. Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan had put the Africans ahead 2-1 in Fortaleza, a lead that was by no means undeserved. And yet moments after Klose came on - along with Bastian Schweinsteiger - Germany's record international goalscorer netted his 70th goal for his country and his 15th in World Cup games. Those 15 match Brazilian striker Ronaldo's record tally, and the 36-year-old could hope to bag a 16th before leaving Ronaldo's homeland. 'Twenty [World Cup] games and 15 goals isn't bad, but we've got to play well against the US,' Klose told ARD television after the final whistle." - Deutsche Welle

June 16, 2014 - Thomas Muller scores hat trick in 4-0 win over Portugal
"Joao Pereira grappled with Mario Gotze in the penalty area, sending the Bayern Munich man tumbling to the deck, and Thomas Muller, the 2010 World Cup’s golden boot winner, stepped up to knock the ball past Rui Patricio from the spot.... Just after the half-hour mark it was 2-0 to the Germans as a corner from the right, taken by Toni Kroos, found Borussia Dortmund stopper Mats Hummels and the 25-year-old thumped his header into the back of the net.... The German star then added a third moments before the break as the ball fell kindly to him inside the penalty and from 13 yards he slipped the ball home.... Muller had been having an uneventful second half, but the joy of the 24-year-old is his ability to pop up in the right place at the right time and, when Patricio parried a Schurrle ball into the box, he was on hand to knock the ball across the line for his third goal of the evening." - talkSPORT

June 8, 2014 - Reus out, Mustafi in
"When disaster struck in Mainz and Marco Reus’ ankle decided to give the Borussia Dortmund star a summer break, some Germany players from the preliminary squad who had been discarded saw their World Cup dream revive. Kevin Volland must have thought his chance had come while Shkodran Mustafi was probably planning which club to hit first in Ibiza. Not many would have bet on Joachim Löw calling up a centre-back to replace the former Borussia Mönchengladbach winger but that’s exactly what he did and Mustafi is now in Brazil." - Bundesliga Fanatic

June 6, 2014 - Klose sets record, Reus injured in win over Armenia
"Miroslav Klose became Germany's all-time record goalscorer in a 6-1 demolition of Armenia on Friday night but the win was marred by an injury to Marco Reus. The Lazio forward came off the bench midway through the second half of the game in Mainz and headed home a Lukas Podolski cross in the 76th minute to take his international tally to 69, one ahead of the iconic Gerd Muller. However, of greater concern to coach Joachim Low will no doubt be the suspected ankle injury that forced Marco Reus off just before half-time that has put the Borussia Dortmund's World Cup hopes in doubt." - Goal

June 2, 2014 - World Cup roster named
Goalkeepers : 
  • Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
  • Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund)
  • Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover)    
Defenders: 
  • Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)
  • Erik Durm
  • Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund)
  • Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04)
  • Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
  • Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)
  • Per Mertesacker (Arsenal)
Midfielders: 
  • Julian Draxler (Schalke 04)
  • Matthias Ginter (Freiburg)
  • Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich)
  • Christoph Kramer (Borussia Monchengladbach)
  • Sami Khedira (Real Madrid)
  • Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich)
  • Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
  • Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
  • Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Forwards:
  • Miroslav Klose (Lazio)
  • Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
  • Lukas Podolski (Arsenal)
June 1, 2014 - Thomas Muller & Andre Schurrle score in draw with Cameroon
"Germany were held to a 2-2 draw by Cameroon in a match that caught fire in the closing 30 minutes after a dull opening hour. Samuel Eto'o's strike kick started the game after a rather tepid beginning, though when Thomas Muller and Andre Schurrle replied for the hosts it seemed they would claim victory. However, Mainz's Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting found a leveller for the African side. Coach Joachim Low named a strong XI that included the likes of Marco Reus, Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze but saw his side struggle to find top gear at Borussia Park.... The hosts made a lively start and Ozil should have scored within the first minute but could only slip Sami Khedira's pass wide of Charles Itandje's right-hand post." - Goal

Spain Men's National Soccer Team News


September 1, 2014 - injured Andres Iniesta to miss next two matches
"Andres Iniesta has been withdrawn from Spain's squad for the matches against France and Macedonia after suffering a knee injury. The Barcelona midfielder missed Sunday's La Liga match at Villarreal, with club coach Luis Enrique confirming that the 30-year-old was experiencing 'some knee discomfort'. And the experienced playmaker has now been ruled out of Thursday's friendly in Paris and the visit of Macedonia for a Euro 2016 qualifier next Monday." - Sportal

August 27, 2014 - Xabi Alonso retires
"Xabi Alonso has announced his retirement from international football. The official Twitter account of the Spanish national side announced the news on Wednesday afternoon. The Real Madrid midfielder, 32, amassed 114 international caps and contributed 16 goals. He won two European Championships and a World Cup, providing unforgettable memories such as his two goals that helped Spain beat France in the Euro 2012 semi-final on his 100th international appearance. His debut came on April 30, 2003 under manager Iñaki Sáez and his final game came against Australia in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. 'The hardest thing is knowing when to say goodbye, and after thinking about it, my time with the national squad has come to an end'." - as

August 5, 2014 - Xavi retires
"Midfielder Xavi has announced his retirement from international football. The Barcelona player, 34, was part of the teams that won successive major tournaments at Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and Euro 2012. 'I have decided to retire from international football,' Xavi told a press conference on Tuesday. 'I’m grateful for all those years. It has been a fantastic time. From now on I’m another fan of the Spain team. I’m grateful to everybody at the Federation (RFEF), it’s been a marvellous time for me to be there for so many years and have so much success. I’m leaving very proud and I wish them all the best.' Xavi made his international debut in 2000, the same year as he helped Spain win an Olympic silver medal in Australia." - The Guardian

June 23, 2014 - Villa, Torres & Mata score in win over Australia
"Dethroned champions Spain bowed out of the World Cup with a 3-0 win over Australia thanks to goals from David Villa, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata in Curitiba on Monday. Villa, who is next set for a three-month spell in Australia with Melbourne City, became the fourth Spanish player to score in three World Cups when he backheeled home Juanfran's cross for his 59th international goal in his 97th and final appearance for La Roja nine minutes before half-time....Andres Iniesta then marked his 100th cap for his country with a lovely through ball for Torres to double Spain's advantage on 69 minutes before Mata slotted home a third eight minutes from time. Victory means Spain finished third in Group B behind Chile and group winners the Netherlands, whilst Australia slipped to a third consecutive defeat." - Yahoo

June 23, 2014 - Xabi Alonso not ready to discuss retirement
"Midfielder Xabi Alonso has refused to confirm whether he will retire from international football following la Roja’s dismal World Cup campaign. The holders became the first team to be eliminated in the group stage of this year’s tournament – and only the fifth defending champions to fall at this hurdle – following back-to-back defeats against Holland (5-1) and Chile (2-0). Alonso was criticised in his homeland after he said his team-mates lacked the hunger to want to retain their title in Brazil – a comment that reportedly did not go down well with his compatriots. The Real Madrid defensive midfielder dismissed the rumours but refused to talk about his future with Spain, after reports suggested that the 32-year-old would retire following the tournament – a decision he supposedly made prior to the competition. 'I'm still not at that stage where I want to decide. What I want is, unfortunately, to finish this World Cup, go on vacation, disconnect a bit and then do one thing at a time,' Alonso told Onda Cero." - Goal

June 7, 2014 - David Villa scores twice in win over El Salvador
"After a goalless first period in Maryland where Fabregas squandered an early chance from the penalty spot, Villa secured a 2-0 victory for the World Cup holders with his first goal just after the hour mark, before wrapping up the win late on. Villa headed in from close range from a Sergio Ramos knock-down just after the hour mark. And after Spain squandered several chances to put the result out of sight, Villa sealed the win with a strike from the middle of the penalty area three minutes from the end. Striker Diego Costa, who was forced off the pitch during the Champions League final between Atletico Madrid and Spanish rivals Real Madrid with a hamstring problem, started the match up front." - Sky Sports

June 4, 2014 - David Villa to retire from international play
"Striker David Villa has announced he plans to retire from international football after the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The 32-year-old, a UEFA EURO 2008 and South Africa 2010 winner with La Roja, is his country's all-time leading scorer with 56 goals. 'I don't like to say farewell, but obviously this World Cup will be my last games for Spain,' he said on Spanish television channel Cuatro. 'Given my age, my level of performance, and everything I have given the team, it is time. Now I want to enjoy it from the first day, have a great World Cup, and why not try to get another title?' Villa was announced as newly formed Major League Soccer club New York City FC's first signing on Monday, joining on a three-year deal from Atletico Madrid." - FIFA

May 31, 2014 - World Cup roster named
Goalkeepers:
  • Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
  • Pepe Reina (Napoli)
  • David De Gea (Manchester United)
Defenders: 
  • Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
  • Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (Barcelona)
  • Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
  • Juanfran (Atletico Madrid)
  • Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich)
  • Raul Albiol (Napoli)
Midfielders: 
  • Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
  • Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona)
  • Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
  • Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona)
  • Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)
  • David Silva (Manchester City)
  • Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
  • Koke (Atletico Madrid)
  • Juan Mata (Manchester United)
Forwards: 
  • Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
  • David Villa (Atletico Madrid)
  • Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona)
  • Fernando Torres (Chelsea)
May 30, 2014 - Torrers & Iniesta score in win over Bolivia
"Goals from Fernando Torrers and Andres Iniesta gave Spain a 2-0 victory over Bolivia in Sevilla on Friday night.... Spain hit the front six minutes into the second half, Torres calmly sending his spot-kick down the middle after Luis Gutierrez was adjudged to have pushed Martinez inside the area....Apzilicueta also side-footed a deep cross from Alberto Moreno into the side netting, but Spain's win was wrapped up thanks to Iniesta's curling strike before Sergio Busquets hit the bar with a minute remaining. Iniesta, on as a half-time substitute for Juan Mata, sealed victory six minutes from time, driving forward into space and bending a precise effort in off the right-hand upright." - Goal

May 27, 2014 - Diego Costa injury update
"A doctor treating Diego Costa for a hamstring injury said the striker has a muscle tear that needs to be reassessed in 15 days, raising doubts about his chances of making Spain's World Cup squad. Pedro Guillen of the Cemtro clinic told the Cadena Cope radio station on Tuesday that the 25-year-old Brazil-born player had a 'grade one tear to the femoral biceps of his right leg,' and would need 15 days convalescence before his injury could be re-evaluated. 'Costa is still carrying the injury, a micro-tear,' said Guillen, who examined the forward. Spain's opener in Brazil is June 13 against the Netherlands. The injury rules Costa out of Spain's pre-World Cup friendly matches against Bolivia and El Salvador." - Sports Illustrated

Delta State Statesmen Kicker, Punter & Snapper News


September 1, 2014 - the specialists
"A year removed from nailing 10-of-17 field goal attempts and 50-of-51 extra points, sophomore kicker Vince Sciorrotta is ready to improve on a tremendous freshman campaign. His 80 points scored last year were the most ever by a Statesman freshman. The 5-foot-8 left-footed kicker made an immediate impact on the team, booting a 31-yard game-winning field goal with nine seconds remaining in the contest to boost Delta State past North Alabama 37-34 at Braly Municpal Stadium. Sciorrotta repeated the feat four weeks later, as the Atlanta, Georgia native knocked home a 33-yard game winner with seven seconds left against No. 14 Tarleton State in a 38-36 DSU victory at Parker Field-McCool Stadium.... Senior Justin Holt returns to handle the punting chores for the Statesmen this season. As a junior, Holt punted 42 times for 1,691 yards. His 40.3 yards per punt average finished second in the GSC. Holt downed 20 punts inside the 20-yard line and six kicks topping 50+ yards.... Mark Moore, a 5-foot-10 junior from Hattiesburg, has joined the Statesmen this season and will handle kickoff duties. The left-footed kicker transferred to DSU from Pearl River Community College." - Statesmen

Detroit Lions Kicker, Punter & Snapper News


September 1, 2014 - depth chart
"Punter Sam Martin, as expected, will handle kickoff duties instead of field-goal kicker Nate Freese." - The Detroit News

August 25, 2014 - kicker Giorgio Tavecchio waived, Nate Freese wins job
"Tavecchio's release means that the Lions have picked Nate Freese to be their kicker. Freese and Tavecchio were quite even throughout the preseason, and by all accounts Tavecchio had actually been more consistent during training camp. In the end, though, the Lions opted to hang on to Freese, their seventh-round pick this year." - Pride of Detroit

August 22, 2014 - third preseason game
Kickers Nate Freese and Giorgio Tavecchio didn’t get a lot of action in this one. In fact, Tavecchio had the only field goal attempt of the night. He missed it from 51 yards in the waning moments of the game. Caldwell has said all along this competition is a marathon, not a sprint, but missing a 51-yarder indoors didn’t look so good after Freese hit one from 55 yards outdoors from the dirt of O.Co Stadium in Oakland last week. The edge might be tipping in Freese’s favor. 'It’s one of those things we’ve been constantly evaluating, this is not the first opportunity to evaluate,' Caldwell said after the game. 'We’ve been doing that all along. It’s been a close race but we’ll see how that goes'.” - Lions

August 19, 2014 - kicking switch-up
"The Detroit Lions will look a little different this week when their kickers step on the field. For the first time this preseason, punter Sam Martin will likely handle some of the kickoff duties as he competes to hold on to that job along with his already-secure status as the team’s punter. Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Tuesday he has liked how both field goal kicking candidates – Giorgio Tavecchio and Nate Freese – have handled that spot as well. The bigger wrinkle is how he’s going to handle Tavecchio and Freese during the game. In the first two games, Freese has been the kicker for the first half and Tavecchio the second half. Now, he is going to a rotational system for Friday’s game against Jacksonville. One player will take one kick. The next player will take the next kick and so on and so forth." - ESPN

August 15, 2014 - second preseason game
"In the kicking competition, rookie Nate Freese made a 55-yard field goal off the stadium’s infield dirt, but missed a 33-yard extra point off the right upright. Giorgio Tavecchio, who’s competing with Freese for the kicking job, made his only field goal of the night from 25 yards." - Detroit Free Press

August 13, 2014 - kicking competition
"Kickers Nate Freese and Giorgio Tavecchio were put in such a spot during Wednesday's practice. The schedule called for a “kicking competition” at practice, but neither Freese nor Tavecchio knew exactly what that meant. It turns out they’d be kicking with the entire team surrounding them while yelling and taunting them.... Freese and Tavecchio rotated kicks from 36, 45, 54, 62 and 67 yards. Freese made his attempts from 45 and 54 and missed from 36, 62 and 67. Tavecchio made his kicks from 36, 45 and 54 and missed the last two from 62 and 67, though the 67-yard attempt looked to be only a yard or two short." - Lions

August 9, 2014 - first preseason game
"Nate Freese made both of his field goals in the first half, although both were somewhat chip shots -- 33 and 37 yards. Meanwhile, Giorgio Tavecchio made the game-winning extra point. Freese and Tavecchio also handled kickoffs as the Lions try to keep Sam Martin's leg as fresh as possible for the season." - ESPN

August 4, 2014 - kicking competition
"Nate Freese missed two more kicks on Monday, badly shanking a 39-yard attempt and pushing a 48-yard effort with plenty of distance wide right. Freese's primary competition, Giorgio Tavecchio, was perfect once again, and hasn't missed since the first day of camp. 'It's never one of those situations where we strictly look at because a guy was drafted or not drafted is how you judge him,' coach Jim Caldwell said. 'What we're going to try to do is get the best player out there playing for us to give us the best chance to win. And we don't care where he came from, who he is. We're just looking for results and that's what counts.' Freese has taken all the first-team reps at this stage, but Tavecchio has clearly outperformed the seventh-round draft choice. While practice success will carry plenty of weight in the final decision, Caldwell reminded reporters it's not the only factor in the competition. 'You like data, you like hard, firm data,' Caldwell said. 'You like to try and challenge them in a number of different situations, so you really get a good feel of what he's capable of doing. But we're looking at results, more so than anything else'." -  MLive

August 2, 2014 - scrimmage
"The first-team offense scored on two of its four drives.... The other score was a 47-yard field goal by rookie kicker Nate Freese. In addition to Freese’s field goal, Giorgio Tavecchio hit a 50-yarder." - The Detroit News

August 1, 2014 - kicking competition
"The field goal kickers rebounded in a big way. Both Nate Freese and Giorgio Tavecchio converted all on five of their attempts, including a pair of blasts easily clearing the cross bar from 53 yards out. " - MLive 

July 31, 2014 - punter Sam Martin an option on long field goals
"Nate Freese nor Giorgio Tavecchio has separated himself from the other so far in camp. That wouldn’t be a problem if it was because both have been impressive, but that hasn’t been the case. Both have suffered from inconsistency and though Freese likely has the advantage due to being drafted in the seventh round last May, concerns about his leg strength appear well-founded. If Freese can at least show the high level of consistency that helped make him a Lions draft pick – he didn’t miss a kick as a senior at Boston College – then the Lions may be able to live with the limited range. Why? Because they have another option. Punter Sam Martin. Via the Detroit Free Press: 'Martin also said there’s a possibility he could be used on longer field-goal attempts. He lacks consistency as a placekicker, but he has plenty of power.' Martin showed plenty of power in winning kickoff duties last season, a role he’s expected to keep no matter who ends up as the kicker on the final roster." - Side Lion Report

July 25, 2014 - punter Drew Butler signed
"Butler played for the Steelers in 2012, averaging 43.8 yards per punt. Last season, he broke camp with the Steelers, but was cut before the first game in favor of former Michigan punter Zoltan Mesko. He signed an future/reserve contract with the Bears at the end of December, but was released in May." - Detroit Free Press

June 27, 2014 - kicking competition
"Nate Freese, a seventh-round pick from Boston College, remains the favorite over Giorgio Tavecchio, who went undrafted out of Cal in 2012, but the competition will likely continue through training camp and into the exhibition games.... 'It’s good so far,' Freese said Tuesday at the NFL Rookie Symposium in Berea, Ohio. 'I’m glad that there’s some competition. Competition makes everyone better.' But Freese also said he’s not approaching the competition as a simple head-to-head with Tavecchio. 'I have more of a competition with myself,' he said. 'I see it in that sense, but if I go out there and do what I need to do every day, I should be OK.' Freese said he and Tavecchio have gotten along well in their nearly two months together in Detroit. They’re the only specialists competing for a job, with punter Sam Martin and long snapper Don Muhlbach cemented in their roles." - Detroit News

June 17, 2014 - minicamp kicking update
"Nate Freese's kicks were more difficult to judge last week during minicamp, when the team moved to its outdoor practice field, but he said he kicked much better. He attributed his successes to establishing a more comfortable pace with long-snapper Don Muhlbach and holder Sam Martin. 'Just getting used to everything,' Freese said. 'Not really technique. Just getting used to their rhythm on the snap and hold, and when I should leave my approach and whatnot.' Giorgio Tavecchio, meanwhile, trended the other way. The Italian appeared to be Detroit's best kicker during OTAs, including nailing a 56-yarder -- with room to spare -- during that special teams session. But he was more erratic during minicamp. 'I'm furious, because that was probably my worst day in my professional life,' Tavecchio told ESPN.com after Day 1 of minicamp. 'But the show must go on. Keep working and keep moving forward'." - MLive

June 12, 2014 - punter Sam Martin working on consistency
"But when Martin went back and looked at the film after the season, there were some things that concerned him. 'I noticed lots of times, no matter what the result of the punt was, good punt or bad punt, my technique oftentimes would deviate between punts,' he said. 'Even if I hit a good ball sometimes I wouldn’t like my follow through. So the big focus was just getting more technically sound and repeating the same thing over and over.' That’s been the main focus in practice through the offseason training program, OTAs and minicamp, and Martin says he’s seeing results. 'It’s resulted, at least from what I’ve seen so far, in a lot more control of my directional punts,' he said. 'I’m putting punts a lot closer to the sideline consistently and I’m just more comfortable'.” - Lions

May 29, 2014 - OTA's kicking update
"The battle to be the Lions starting kicker continues. Rookie Nate Freese missed from 46 and 48-yards out. Meanwhile, kicker Giorgio Tavecchio was four-for-four, including a 56-yarder." - Detroit Sports 1051

May 27, 2014 - punter Sam Martin prepares for long season
"Martin, a fifth-round pick last year, rewarded the Lions' faith in him. He was among the five best punters in the league for much of last season. But all that work also took a toll. He became more inconsistent during the second half of last season. He battled a groin injury, which was known, and also back pain, which was not.... Martin says he's better prepared for the rigors of the NFL as he enters his sophomore season with the Lions. That starts with technique. He has modified his punt and kickoff motions to make them less violent. That should diminish the toll on his body over the long haul. 'I'm just a little more technically sound now,' he said. 'I've sacrificed a little torque -- violent movement -- but the ball is still going as far, and it's not as hard on my body.' Martin also has emphasized rest this offseason, which has helped to rejuvenate his leg strength. While he wasn't punting, he was maintaining his body through yoga, massages and a functional core/mobility routine that is designed to stabilize his back. 'Stuff that will be able to help me kick late into December, January -- even February -- without breaking down,' Martin said." - MLive

May 19, 2014 - kickoff competition
"[Nate Freese]'s expected to challenge Sam Martin for kickoff duties as well. 'I think it's a competition right now,' Freese said Sunday after wrapping up rookie camp in Allen Park. 'Obviously it's Sam's job, but whoever is hitting them best in camp I think they might go with'. Martin was in a similar position last year, after the Lions took him in the fifth round out of Appalachian State. He was immediately slotted as the starting punter, but also expected to challenge veteran David Akers for kickoff duties. He won that job and had some success early in the season. He finished seventh in the league with an average of 69.7 yards per attempt, according to ProFootballFocus, and didn't allow a return 58.6 percent of the time. That ranked 16th. Martin ceded those duties to Akers late in the season, as his leg tired from the long draft process and season. Though he's the favorite to reclaim the job this year, there's another challenger he will have to beat out. 'I want it just as much as he does, you know?' Freese said. 'But it's a competition. We'll see what happens'. Freese generated touchbacks 69.9 percent of the time last year with Boston college, which ranked fourth in the country, and averaged 64.2 yards per kickoff. That was sixth -- and he thinks there's still some untapped juice in that big right leg." - MLive

May 18, 2014 - Nate Freese consults Jason Hanson
"Speaking of Jason Hanson, he's been helping the Lions kickers at times this offseason, and was at this weekend’s rookie minicamp helping out Freese for the first time. 'I just kind of picked his brain,' Freese said of working with Hanson. 'What did you do your first minicamp? How did you handle yourself? What’s your routine? Just little things like that.' Freese said Hanson told him he did a good job, which is a good start to his NFL career.... 'Now, in terms of going with a young kicker, I’ve been there before,' head coach Jim Caldwell said. 'A couple years ago with Baltimore we had a young guy that kicked pretty well as a first-year kicker.' Caldwell was referring to Justin Tucker, who was undrafted in 2012 and made the Pro Bowl last year. 'We anticipate that Nate’s (Freese) going to just continue to develop and be very, very good at what he’s doing,' Caldwell said." - Lions

May 13, 2014 - kicker John Potter released
"Potter, 24, suggested his departure from the Detroit organization was a result of the Lions not wanting to have more than two kickers on its expanded 90-man roster and that Tavecchio, who spent time in the Green Bay Packers training camp in 2013, and seventh round draft pick Nate Freese were the two choices. 'I think they wanted to stick with two kickers,' Potter said. 'Giorgio kicked better than me in the first couple weeks, so I’m not surprised with the decision. I would have liked to have a few more weeks, because my field goals had been getting better'.... Just hours after his release, Potter already had a plan in place for moving forward. He said he will continue to train in the Detroit area for the time being and had a kicking coach lined up in Chicago he would be working with." - Mlive

May 13, 2014 - punter Nick Liste invited to minicamp
“I thought I was done, to be honest,' said Liste, a Niles High graduate who was first team all-conference punter at Youngstown State last season. 'But I was holding out hope. I do understand teams are not necessarily going after kickers and punters first when it comes to free agency. I thought maybe I could still get a shot down the line.' Then, on Monday morning, Liste got a call from his agent. The Detroit Lions were inviting him to Friday’s rookie minicamp. True, the Lions already had a good ex-FCS punter in Sam Martin, who Detroit selected in the fifth round of last year’s draft out of Appalachian State, but it was an opportunity.
That’s all Liste wanted. 'Obviously I’m looking to do the best I can,' he said. 'No matter what happens, I’ll get my foot in the door and that’s really what I’m hoping to do. If I can get on film, maybe other teams will get it too'.” - The Vindicator

May 12, 2014 - kicker Nate Freese inside & out
"The past four years I've been in Boston under not ideal situations,' Freese said. 'The stadium is really windy and cold, so I'm really excited to be playing indoors.' The conditions in Boston should prepare Freese for the blustery, inclement, and sometimes downright frigid conditions he'll face during annual road games in Chicago and Green Bay. Last season, the Lions drafted punter Sam Martin, another under-the-radar special teams talent. After a couple months working with Detroit special teams coordinator John Bonamego, Martin was able to improve his distance and consistency. General manager Martin Mayhew is confident Bonamego will be able to do the same for Freese. 'Bono (John Bonamego) will get working on his technique and stuff, so we'll see how he does,' Mayhew said. 'He's been very consistent and very accurate. He has not been a guy that's booming 58-yard field goals, but these guys develop over time and mature. We'll see how strong his leg gets when he gets here.' Freese will take the field as a member of the Lions for the first time during the team's rookie minicamp, which gets underway on Friday." - MLive

May 10, 2014 - kicker Nate Freese drafted
With the 14th pick of the 7th round in the NFL Draft, the Lions selected Boston College kicker Nate Freese. See his profile here.
"When Day 3 of the NFL draft kicked off around lunchtime today, Nate Freese had no expectation of being drafted. By dinner, he was a Detroit Lion. The Lions used their final pick of the draft, No. 229 overall, to take Freese, a kicker from Boston College. 'Going into it, not really,' Freese said when asked if he expected to be drafted. 'I had heard some teams were interested, but I was expecting whatever. But I think it’s pretty awesome that it happened.' Freese is the first kicker the Lions have drafted since they traded up to take Jason Hanson in the second round of the 1992 draft.... General manager Martin Mayhew said the Lions thought about taking Freese with their sixth-round pick, and were pleasantly surprised when he was still on the board at pick No. 229. 'He kicked outside his whole career,' Mayhew said. 'I think he’ll be great in our division. Didn’t miss a field goal last year. I think he missed two in 2012, I think. But very accurate guy. Very consistent'.” - Detroit Free Press

April 24, 2014 - 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 15, 2014 - 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 15, 2014 - 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 27, 2014 - 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 21, 2014 - 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

Auburn Tigers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News


September 1, 2014 - Daniel Carlson named SEC freshman of the week
"Playing in his first collegiate game, Auburn freshman kicker and punter Daniel Carlson did more than enough to impress. Carlson was named the SEC's Freshman of the Week when the conference's weekly awards were announced Monday evening live on the SEC Network. As Auburn's first two-way kicker/punter since Damon Duvall (1999-02), Carlson wowed onlookers his booming punts and kickoffs in the season opener against Arkansas on Saturday. Carlson averaged 53.3 yards on three punts, including a long of 62 yards (the longest since 2006), and seven touchbacks on eight kickoffs. He also went 1-for-2 on field goals, with a made-kick of 45 yards after missing a 42-yard attempt as time expired in the first half. Carlson was also six-of-six on extra-points." - Opelika-Auburn News

August 16, 2014 - Daniel Carlson named starting punter
"Daniel Carlson will be a one-man band this fall. The redshirt freshman won Auburn's four-way competition at punter, coach Gus Malzahn announced Saturday. In addition to his punting duties, Carlson will also handle the placekicking and kickoff duties. "Daniel Carlson is going to punt for us. He's also going to place-kick for us. We do know that," Malzahn said. "As far as the No. 2 punter is concerned, we're still in a battle for that. We'll hopefully know something in the near future." - Ledger-Enquirer

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/08/16/3251702/auburn-football-daniel-carlson.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1#storylink=cp

August 12, 2014 - kicker Daniel Carlson might punt
"Daniel Carlson's strong leg is difficult to ignore, and coaches are wondering aloud if the kicker might prove to be a two-way player for Auburn. The redshirt freshman is now competing at punter, where coaches do not quite yet feel comfortable with Jimmy Hutchinson following spring practices and two weeks of preseason camp. Whether Carlson, who will handle field goals and kickoffs, will win the job at punter and take on another strenuous and sometimes thankless responsibility remains to be seen. 'I've done really well, so I think there should be a decision pretty soon,' Carlson said Tuesday. 'We'll see what the coaches decided and what they need me for. I'm excited if I end up doing all three'.... 'You worry about a young guy with their leg,' coach Gus Malzahn said. 'Cody Parkey, I believe when he was a freshman, pulled something. (Special teams) coach (Scott) Fountain has done a really good job with him (Carlson). I think he's done a solid job managing his own body. But he has been kicking a lot because he's trying to win the jobs.' Coaches hinted last week a by-committee approach could be used at punter, where stronger kickers such as Carlson could be used for the booming punts, while others such as Hutchinson and newcomer Matthew Shiel work to carve out other roles." - AL.com

August 6, 2014 - punting competition 
"The expectation after spring was that redshirt freshmen heirs apparent in kicker Daniel Carlson and punter Jimmy Hutchinson had taken hold of the jobs. Only, that might not necessarily be the case. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn indicated there’s a wide-open battle to be the starting punter during his post-scrimmage press conference Wednesday afternoon. 'We got four guys and we’re letting them all get an opportunity,' Malzahn said. 'Hopefully we’ll figure that out sooner rather than later but we’re just trying to give people opportunities — and it’s not just there, it’s some other positions too.' Hutchinson is still in the running, though he’s got serious competition from last year’s backup, redshirt freshman Tyler Stovall, and Australian rugby player-turned-punter Matthew Shiel, a freshman as well. Carlson is also believed to be getting a look at punting in addition to his work at kicker." -  Opelike-Auburn News 

May 1, 2014 - kicker Daniel Carlson and punter Jimmy Hutchinson
"Daniel Carlson and Jimmy Hutchinson have always been the obvious heirs to Cody Parkey and Steven Clark at Auburn. Being the only kicker and punter on scholarship gave both kickers an obvious edge. But Carlson and Hutchinson earned the right to be the clear front-runners at kicker and punter, respectively, with the way the pair of redshirt freshmen performed in the spring. 'They're in position to be the guys,' Malzahn said at his Tiger Trek appearance in Dothan Wednesday night. 'We'll see once we get to fall camp, but we tried to give those guys a lot of reps, to show what they could do.' Carlson and Hutchinson did have some competition in the spring in the forms of walk-on kicker Alex Kviklys and walk-on punter Tyler Stovall, but Auburn's A-Day game was a clear indicator that Carlson and Hutchinson had taken charge. Carlson took all three field goal attempts, converting on a 27-yard chip shot and an impressive 50-yarder, then missing on a 51-yarder. Kviklys did get a chance on the final two extra points. Carlson did miss one extra point, but the coaching staff attributes that miss to a poor hold by Jonathan Wallace, who's learning a new role to replace Ryan White.... Auburn also tweaked its A-Day format to give Hutchinson some chances. Hutchinson averaged 40.6 yards on five punts in the spring game. Stovall, the backup, held on extra points three times, but he didn't get a chance to punt. 'Even in the spring game, we punted some,' Malzahn said. 'We didn't do that last year. Well, that was by design, to get them out there, give Jimmy a chance to show what he could do'." - AL.com

April 21, 2014 - Tyler Stovall playing football
"Tyler Stovall figures he's a lucky guy. He signed a scholarship to play baseball at Auburn way back when, and now he's on the Tigers' football team vying for playing time. In between those two events, some six years apart, was a stint as a professional baseball player, first in the Atlanta Braves organization. Today, he's a backup punter and holder, and has proof that he can do it after playing in the A-Day Game on Saturday." - Tigers

April 19, 2014 - A-day game
"Even its only score was no gimme, as redshirt freshman kicker Daniel Carlson had to convert on a 50-yard field goal to get the White squad on the board with 2:17 remaining in the first quarter." - Ledger-Enquirer

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/04/19/3064299/gabe-wright-three-points-allowed.html?sp=/99/767/682/#storylink=cpy

April 12, 2014 - practice pressure
During both the middle and end of Saturday’s session at Jordan-Hare Stadium, coach Gus Malzahn said the kickers became live targets. 'We put the kickers in some situations as game-like as possible with the pressure on,' he said. 'I think they’ve responded fairly well with that.' Though there are a multiple players vying for the starting job — including walk-ons Alex Kviklis and Duncan McKinney — the man at the top of the depth chart is Daniel Carlson. It’s the same story at punter. Like Carlson, Jimmy Hutchinson sat out last year but now finds himself as the presumed starter heading into next season. Another redshirt freshman duo — Tyler Stovall and Jack Bjork — are also competing to become the Tigers’ newest punter. Whether any of the specialists will take the field in next Saturday’s A-Day game is uncertain. Malzahn said the same format as last year will be used; in that contest, Parkey kicked two field goals while no punts were attempted." - Ledger-Enquirer
Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/04/12/3053246/auburn-football-tigers-put-the.html#storylink=cpy

March 25, 2014 - freshman specialists go live
"We’re trying to put them through as many game-like situations as we can with the pressure on and all that during the spring," Malzahn said of the expected successors, a freshmen duo comprised of kicker Daniel Carlson and punter Jimmy Hutchinson. "But both of them ... are talented. It’s just a matter of getting experience." - Ledger-Enquirer

March 22, 2014 - freshman specialists about to go live
"Daniel Carlson and Jimmy Hutchinson patiently waited their turn last year as Cody Parkey and Steven Clark finished up their illustrious careers at kicker and punter, respectively. In their first week as successors, Malzahn said Carlson and Hutchinson didn't face any live pressure, as their only opponent was the weather. That will change soon enough. 'We're going to do a little bit more live stuff next week,' he said. It's a lot of instruction right now as far as that goes. When the bullets start flying live, you'll be able to evaluate those guys a little bit more than you can when they're just versus air'." - Ledger-Enquirer

February 5, 2014 - long snapper Ike Powell signs as preferred walk-on
"Powell, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound long snapper from Tift County High School in Chula, Ga., will be a preferred walk-on at the position, learning from long snapper Forrest Hill. In a direct message on Twitter, Powell told AL.com that he was offered the opportunity to grayshirt but decided to walk on instead. Powell, who was rated the No. 6 long snapper in the country by 247Sports, was named the top snapper by Kohl's Kicking Camp.... Auburn may also be getting another walk-on snapper in Zach Wade, from Bremen, Ga., who tweeted that he'd be a part of the class. 'It's official now. I'm an Auburn Tiger,' Wade tweeted. 'I am blessed to have this chance and I want to thank everyone who's helped me along the way'." - AL.com

Monday, September 1, 2014

Arizona Wildcats Kicker, Punter & Snapper News


August 30, 2014 - kicker Casey Skowron ties team record
"Skowron, a redshirt junior playing in his first game as a Wildcat, converted 3-of-4 field goal tries, with makes from 28, 49 and 39 yards. Skowron also made all seven of his extra point tries to finish with 16 points by kicking and tying the school record set last season by Jake Smith. Interestingly, both kickers set the record against the UNLV Rebels. Skowron also handled kickoffs for Arizona last Friday, successfully booting seven of his 11 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks." - 247 Sports

August 24, 2014 - kicker Casey Skowron
"The junior from Phoenix came to the UA as a soccer player and played on the Wildcats’ club team as a freshman. He then joined the women’s program as a practice player and student manager. Three weeks into the women’s season, he chased a hunch — Skowron thought he had a strong enough leg to be a college football kicker. He aced his tryout and was a Division I football player days later. The Phoenix Brophy Prep product redshirted in 2012 and served as a backup last season while battling hip and groin injuries. This year, Skowron is in contention to be one of the UA’s primary kickers. He battled freshman Josh Pollack and Virginia Tech transfer Ethan Keyserling throughout training camp. Coach Rich Rodriguez hasn’t said who will handle the main responsibilities this season, but Skowron will undoubtedly get a look at some point." - Arizona Daily Star

August 8, 2014 - kicking mix
"This year, special teams coach Charlie Ragle and the Wildcats may spread the duties out over multiple kickers. The three main candidates right now are junior Casey Skowron, freshman Josh Pollack and Virginia Tech graduate transfer Ethan Keyserling. 'You could easily see where we could have a short guy, who is pretty accurate from 40 in, and a longer guy that might have a bigger leg and could handle kickoffs,' Ragle said. 'Whatever gives us the best chance to win, we’re going to try to find that. I can see something like that developing for sure.' Skowron may be the most consistent of the group, but has battled various minor injuries the past two years, which have slowed his development. Ragle said Keyserling, perhaps the leading candidate for kickoff duty, may have the strongest leg of all the kickers but needs to be more consistent.
Pollack, a true freshman, is still learning to trust his leg and not overthink things — something Ragle said most freshmen deal with. 'I’ve told Josh, ‘You’ve worked on this for so long and you’re naturally good at it. Just do your thing,’ Ragle said.'I’m excited for Casey. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be in this thing for sure. Ethan has a super strong leg. He might have the strongest leg overall. He’s going to be in the mix'.” - Arizona Daily Star

June 28, 2014 - summer specialists
"Special teams will also need to find their starting kicker after losing Jake Smith who handled the field goals a season ago. Junior Casey Skowron may begin the season as the starting kicker. Punter junior Drew Riggleman averaged 40.1 yards per punt as a sophomore." - College Football Universe

April 4, 2014 - kicker & punter competitions
"The competition for the starting kicker spot is down to two men — for now. Bret Miller, who redshirted last season and was expected to be in the kicker and punter competition, is no longer on the team. The San Clemente, Calif., native was taken off the roster earlier this week. That means the competition this spring is down to Casey Skowron and Jack Flatau. Skowron seemed to be the favorite coming into the spring, but he has been dealing with a hip flexor injury all spring and it has hurt his consistency. Special teams coordinator Charlie Ragle said Skowron should be fully healthy soon and it's not a long-term problem. Flatau is a walk-on, who redshirted last season and has gotten most of the work this spring with Skowron hurt. Returning punter Drew Riggleman has gotten most of the work at that spot. However, that could all change in the fall when Josh Pollack arrives. Pollack, out of Highland Park, Ill., is expected to compete for time at both kicker and punter. He will be a preferred walk-on to start, but should be put on scholarship in the future." - Arizona Daily Star