the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, May 22, 2014

When I Became a Punter

Some started in high school, some in junior high school and some in elementary school.

Some kicked and punted during their primary education.

Some started on the other side of the world in a different sport that also uses a pointy ball.

Following are the stories of six punters' beginnings.

Ben Graham, AFL 1993-2004, NFL 2005-2012
"Darren Bennett paved the way for me and the rest of the Australian punters. I first kicked an NFL ball at a workout with the NY Jets in 1997 and then traveled to the US in 2004 after I retired from the AFL to embark on my NFL journey. It took 6 months of intense punting training which helped me win the job at the NY Jets in 2005."

Adam Podlesh, Pittsburgh Steelers
“I think I was about five or six years old, at a YMCA soccer league. I kept kicking the ball over the goal. From then on I kinda knew that I had a big leg from a soccer standpoint, before I made the transition to football.”

Ryan Donahue, Detroit Lions 2011
"I wasn't a kicker. I was a little wash up who never played on my freshman high school team. I played backup kicker as a toe basher. I had put football behind me and chose to play a different sport instead when I was approached one month before the season opener. I was asked to work with a guy for a week to try to learn to kick properly because the Varsity did not have a kicker. Naturally I said ok. One week later I had a one man tryout in front of the head coach and the entire team. I guess I was good enough. Not one month later I'm playing in my first varsity game as a sophomore. I have never wavered on gratitude whenever someone asks me how I learned to kick. His name is JJ Standring. Punter for Northwestern from '97-01. He had just joined the coaching staff after college. He helped me to become the conference offensive MVP in the #1 conference in the state. Not to mention All State and All American."

Chris Husby, Special teams Football Academy
"I started kicking footballs on my middle school team mainly because I has a soccer background.  I didn't start punting until my freshman year of college, when after the first day of "two a days," 4 kickers stepped up to compete for the 2nd and 3rd string spot.  The coaches had a shortage of punters and they felt that I had the strongest leg out of the group of kickers, and asked me to try punting as well.  From then on, I was a punter and a kicking specialist second.  I pursued the NFL with a focus on punting.  If it weren't for my college coaches thinking I had a chance to be a good punter, I would never have had the opportunities that I did after college."

Louie Aguiar, NFL punter 1991-2000
“When I was a senior in high school, I punted really well. Then I was getting recruited by some junior colleges in California to punt, so I said, ‘maybe this can be my meal ticket’. I just wanted to get into college and get my education paid for. Having three older brothers in college at the same time, I wanted to help my mom and dad out. That’s how I got into punting. I really enjoyed it. Punting and kicking."

Brian Stahovich, Buffalo Bills camp 2013
"I started out in 5th grade. I wanted to kick because my dad kicked in high school and he was working with the kicker on our Pop Warner team. So I started to kick, but knew I didn’t have the leg strength then, I could barely get the ball to roll. It was BAD. But I knew if I kept kicking I would get better. I kicked for three years in Pop Warner, four years in high school, where I also started at cornerback, and four years in college [at San Diego State University]."

No comments:

Post a Comment