the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, April 8, 2013

Draft Preview: Taylor Accardi

Among the punters eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Colorado School of Mine's Taylor Accardi. He is not ranked in the majority of the various draft rankings, but that is probably because most prognosticators ignore small schools.

Excerpts from Accardi's profile page on the Orediggers' website:

2012 Senior Season
  • Set NCAA Division II Career Record with 46.1 punting average
  • New NCAA Division II single season record holder on minimum of 30 punts with 51.1 punting average in 2012 (broke record set by Steve Ecker of Shippensburg that was set in 1965 (49.1)
  • First team AP (Associated Press) Little All-Americans
  • BSN (Beyond Sports Network) 1st Team All-American
  • First team Daktronics All-American
  • 26 punts of 50 or more yards, 15 punts inside opponent 20 yard line in 2012
  • 74 career punts of 50 or more yards
2011 Junior Season
  • Led nation in punting average
  • NFFCC Special Teams Player of the Year
  • Second Team AP Little All-American
  • First Team Daktronics All-American
  • Beyond Sports Network First Team All-American
  • First Team All-American
  • Recorded 12 touchbacks… Induced two fair catches… 15 punts downed inside opponent’s 20-yard line
  • Posted at-least one 50-plus-yard punt in each game he appeared in.
2010 Sophomore Season
  • Led the RMAC, finished second in the nation and established a new CSM single-season record for gross punting average
  • Second Team All-RMAC selection
  • Named to the Daktronics Super Region #3 Second Team Defense
  • Had 19 punts of 50-or-more yards...Induced eight fair catches...Landed 14 punts inside of the opponents' 20-yard line...Had 14 touchbacks
  • Recipient of CSM's Scott Hahn Special Teams Player of the Year award.
2009 Freshman Season
  • Finished sixth in the RMAC in gross punting average
  • Landed 14 of his 46 punts (30.4%) inside the opponents' 20-yard line
  • Averaged 53.0 yards on two kickoffs (both following safeties)
High School
  • Garnered First Team All-Conference, First Team All-State and All-Colorado honors following his senior year
  • First Team All-Conference selection as a junior
  • Selected as team's Defensive MVP as a senior
  • Led his team to the semifinals of the 2008 State playoffs
  • Four-year letterman on the track & field team

College Stats:
2012: 49 punts, 51.1 yard average, long of 81 yards
2011: 51 punts, 48.5 yard average, long of 88 yards
2010: 57 punts, 45.4 yard average, long of 75 yards
2009: 46 punts, 39.3 yard average, long of 57 yards

Taylor gave us the following synopsis of his punting career to date:
"Going in to college, punting was just something I did on the side. Once becoming focused just on punting, my improvement grew exponentially. I never expected to accomplish what I have, or be as big a part of the team as I was. I owe everything to the guys around me and my family that has supported me.

The last four months or so I have gone through a complete form change after receiving help from a kicking coach for the first time. I have become more consistent and more fundamentally sound then I have ever been, but I still have a long way to go. A lot can happen in the upcoming months and I am going to take advantage of every opportunity that arises.

Professional football is a huge stage and being from a small school, I have never encountered an experience of such magnitude. I am working hard for the chance to perform successfully at the highest level."

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