the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Scouting Combine 2011: Kicker News & Notes

Below is a collection of snippets from online articles the past few days covering the NFL Scouting Combine.

As a reminder, the specialist invitees were...
Dan Bailey (Oklahoma State)
Kai Forbath (UCLA)
Alex Henery (Nebraska)
Josh Jasper (LSU)
Jake Rogers (Cincinnati)
Matt Bosher (Miami FL)
Ryan Donahue (Iowa)
Reid Forrest (Washington State)
Chas Henry (Florida). 
Danny Aiken (Virginia)

Florida punter Chas Henry, asked to describe the spectrum of inquiries, said teams asked him to divulge any off-the-field problems, failed tests of any kind, family problems, his favorite color, “pretty much anything that you can think of.” The most difficult question he faced: what’s the dumbest thing you’ve done in your four years of college?
From the Palm Beach Post
After punting, placekicking and handling kickoffs for the University of Miami the past three seasons, Jupiter's Matt Bosher won't mind becoming a specialist. "I'm looking forward to honing it down to one, but I've been training to do all three here," Bosher said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I feel like that gives me the best chance to make a team. I don't want to cut my chances by getting rid of one." Bosher demonstrated his skills at Lucas Oil Stadium in front of NFL personnel from every team. Before the demonstration, he said he wasn't nervous, even though he had never kicked in a dome. "It's just another day. You practice for this day for years and years. I've gone through high school, through five years at Miami, all the off-season work I've done, and it comes to this. So it's just a matter of practicing and keeping your head down and working through everything."
Nebraska's all-time leading scorer didn't step to a podium today. Rather, kicker Alex Henery sat quietly at a table, answering questions from a handful of gathered reporters. Henery was voted a captain by his teammates for two consecutive years, and called it an honor. The next honor on his checklist would be getting drafted by an NFL team. His ability to make clutch kicks throughout his career -- he made a school-record 57-yarder against Colorado his sophomore year -- could help that goal. "I just make sure I'm extra focused," Henery said of his mindset late in games. "I'm a low-key guy and I don't build up a situation over others. Whether it's a 57-yarder or an extra point, I have the same approach." One of the top kicking prospects in the draft, he said he anticipates maintaining consistency in his game as he heads to the professional ranks. "It's still kicking, whether it's a high school field or the NFL."
From the Sporting News
Matt Bosher: Bosher showed a strong leg and the ability to turn the ball over and drive it with no trouble. One issue was that he showed only adequate quickness catching the ball and getting off the punt.
Ryan Donahue: Donahue showed a strong leg and drove the ball with ease. He displayed the elite leg strength that NFL teams want, and showed good hands in catching the ball and getting rid of the punt quickly.
Kai Forbath: Forbath, an accurate placekicker at UCLA, needed to show scouts that he could kick off, something he struggled with in school. On Friday, he drove the ball well, likely easing those concerns.
Former UC kicker Jake Rogers was all set to do punting, kickoffs and field goals at the combine before discussions with special teams coaches around the league caused him to reconsider. Now Rogers will just do kickoffs and field goals. “I’m trying to show my leg strength and that I have the strongest leg in this year’s draft class,” Rogers said. “Kickoffs are very important to me and it’s where I want to stand out the most.”
From the New York Times
No prospect is too obscure to attract attention at the combine. At one conference table, seven reporters interviewed Virginia long snapper Danny Aiken, who did not know he was an N.F.L. prospect until midway through last season. “I like being anonymous,” he said. Too late.
From the Seattle Times
When you've got more than 300 college football players entering a room with as many media remembers, the players denoted only by number and names, there's bound to be some hilarious mix-ups. Take, for instance, WSU punter Reid Forrest. As a specialist, his number begins with "PK," same as the kickers. It makes for an amusing mix-up:
Q: During this whole evaluation process, do you kind of sit down with your agent and see that, 'This is team is set at kicker.' Like the St. Louis Rams, they're kind of set with Josh Brown. Do you guys look to see which teams might need a kicker?
Forrest: Well, I'm a punter.

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