the study of the kicking components within sports

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Draft Preview: Sam Martin

Draft update 4/27: Detroit selected Martin in the fifth round of the draft. He joins punter Blake Clingan on the Lions' roster.

Among the punters eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Appalachian State's Sam Martin. He ranks in or near the top ten in several of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Martin's profile page on the Mountaineers' website:

2012 Senior Season
  • FCS National Punter of the Year (CFPA)
  • selected First Team SoCon All-Conference punter
  • Nov 12 SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week: perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts and averaged 50.5 yards on four punts as Appalachian State topped Furman 33-28 to earn a share of the Southern Conference championship
  • Oct 15 SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week: in Appalachian State's 28-25 come-from-behind win at No. 25 Samford, Martin averaged 48.9 yards per punt on seven attempts. He placed two punts inside the Samford 20-yard line and booted a 60-yarder in the first quarter. Martin also handled the kickoff chores for the Mountaineers and placed four of his five kickoffs in the Samford end zone and forced two touchbacks.
  • Sept 2 SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week: at East Carolina, averaged 45.2 yards per punt on six attempts and only allowed one return. Placed two punts inside the ECU 20-yard line and had a long of 53 yards. Also handled the kickoff duties for the Mountaineers and averaged 61.7 yards per kickoff with two touchbacks.
2011 Junior Season
  • Earned second-team all-Southern Conference accolades 
  • finished fourth in the SoCon and 27th nationally in punting average
  • in the season-opening loss at Virginia Tech, averaged 45 yards over eight punts, including two kicks of 50 yards or more and two downed inside the 20 … named SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week
  • punted just once in the home opener against North Carolina A&T but it was a 69-yard bomb, good for his longest of the season and a tie for eighth-longest in school history … also booted a 51-yard field goal, good for a tie for the seventh-longest in program history, in the win over N.C. A&T
  • versus Savannah State, punting five times for a 47.0-yard average with two fair catches, two kicks of 50 yards or more and three downed inside the 20 yard line … was also perfect on two field-goal attempts, including his second 51-yarder in as many weeks … was named national and conference Special Teams Player of the Week for the performance against SSU
2010 Sophomore Season
  • 31 of his 60 punts were fair caught (51.7 percent), 19 were downed inside the opponent’s 20 yard line (31.7 percent) and only nine were able to be returned at all (15 percent)
  • had seven punts of 50 yards or longer ... downed at least one punt inside the 20 yard line in 11-of-13 games
  • was twice named the SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week — after downing 3-of-7 punts inside the 20 yard line in a win at Samford and after averaging 43.7 yards per kick with four fair catches and two downed inside the 20 in a win over Furman
  • handled kickoffs for the first four games of the year and averaged 65.5 yards per kick (with the ball being received on average at the opponent’s four yard line)
2009 Freshman Season
  • Exclusively handled ASU’s punting and kickoff duties as a redshirt freshman
  • named to the Southern Conference all-freshman team by the league’s coaches
  • helped ASU compile a net punting average of 35.5 yards, good for 19th nationally
  • 17 of his 52 punts had to be fair-caught (32.7 percent) and 19-of-52 pinned the opponent inside its 20 yard line (36.5 percent)
  • recorded his first-career 50-yarder in style by booming a 74-yarder in the waning seconds of come-from-behind victory at Wofford ... 74-yarder is tied for the fourth-longest punt in school history and longest since Nate McKinney also launched a 74-yarder at Wofford in 2003
High School
  • A former soccer standout, played just one year of football as a prep
  • averaged 69 yards per kickoff
  • named all-county following only gridiron campaign
  • four-year soccer letterwinner earned all-state recognition as a junior ... also lettered twice in basketball

College Stats:
2012: 60 punts, 45.9 yard average, long of 68 yards
2011: 54 punts, 40.7 yard average, long of 69 yards
2010: 60 punts, 39.2 yard average, long of 63 yards
2009: 52 punts, 40.0 yard average, long of 74 yards

Back in December, Sam contributed to our Advice to Aspiring Punters Q&A series:
"My best piece of advice would be ALWAYS stay positive and be confident in what you do. When I first started punting, like any kicker/punter, I would have bad days, weeks, or even a month of a slump. It is real easy to get down on yourself and have a negative attitude towards kicking, and the sport in general. I have learned, the best way to overcome a bad day/or slump in general, is to stay positive. Keep working hard, analyze and fine tune your technique and always remain confident. Stay positive and always believe in yourself and your capabilities."

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