the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Arizona State Sun Devils 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Arizona State Sun Devils.

9/2/13 punting update:
"Although the fall depth chart listed junior Dom Vizzare as the starter, Lorig said he probably won’t name a starter between Vizarre and freshman Matt Haack until game day. Lorig expects this position battle to carry over into the regular season and didn’t leave out the possibility of having both punters play at some point of Thursday’s game as well. 'It’s ongoing, day to day,' Lorig said. 'It’s not like a quarterback competition or something like that where you have to name somebody or else it will affect the whole offense. We intentionally want to do that, so those guys are competing every single day. We just have to work on consistency right now'."
8/23/13 update:
"As the first kick off on Sept. 5 approaches the battles for kicker and punter have narrowed down. Freshman kicker Zane Gonzalez has taken a strong hold of the starting field goal kicking duties. Freshman punter Matt Haack is still fight for the job with junior college transfer junior punter Dom Vizzare.... Haack is still splitting first team reps with Vizzare and coaches are looking for one of them to take over the competition.... About half way through Camp Tontozona Haack had his best day. Since then he has not looked back and his boots have been way more consistent. The 20-yard slices still occur, but less frequently. Haack knows he has improved but is still not satisfied with his consistency.
'In the beginning I was kind of shifting it to the right,' Gonzalez said. 'But after a while I kind of focused on my steps a little bit more and the follow through going forward and making sure your hips go exactly where you want the ball to go.' After he refocused, Gonzalez started to distance himself from the competition. During Camp Tontozona Gonzalez felt a little heat from junior Jon Mora. Gonzalez was able to stave it off with some good kicks during that week and in the scrimmage. The work Gonzalez has been putting in this week pretty much assured him the job. He has been consistently getting the ball through the uprights every time at distances over 40 yards."
Kicker: Jon Mora, junior (San Jose, Costa Rica / Mountain Pointe / PimaCC)
"In the offseason I've been just training hard in weight room with the team. I also started kicking a lot with my local kicking coach, even going 2 a days for a week to perfect my form and increase my leg power with drills just for us kickers. I'm going to keep this going all the way up 'till I have to report to camp. My goals for this upcoming season are to make all of my field goals, but also obviously to get better kicking mentally - try to take one kick at a time and help my team win games. Also most importantly is to stay healthy as well."
Kicker: Alex Garoutte, grad student (Phoenix, AZ / Brophy Prep)
Mora is listed as the Sun Devils' primary field goal kicker while Garoutte earned kickoff and extra point duties on the [Spring] depth chart. "Extra points are supposed to be expected honestly, so I want to make them all," Garoutte said.... During practices, the specialists are separated from the rest of the team and work inside of the Verde Dickey Dome on perfecting the snap to hold to kick transition. "Kicking is not like every position," Garoutte said. "It's a lot more technical, it's not about how much you sweat, it's about how meticulous you are with every part of the movement."
Kicker: Zane Gonzalez, freshman (Deer Park, TX / Deer Park HS)
Gonzalez was told by the Sun Devil staff that upon his arrival in Tempe he would be running on the first team field goal kicking unit, and that his role could expand.... “I’m not a cocky person at all, but looking at their (ASU’s) kicking situation I knew I had a chance to be the starting field goal kicker there.” Often when a recruit signs nearly two months following National of Letter Intent Day, this is due to lack of interest from potential suitors. Yet, this wasn’t quite the case with Gonzalez who has been on the Sun Devils’ radar for quite some time now. “I had an offer from Nevada before signing day,” Gonzalez recalled. “Arizona State asked me then to walk-on and that based on my performance I could earn a scholarship in the Fall. After signing day Wisconsin offered mw and when Arizona State heard that they decided to offer me too (in early March) because they knew I was really interested in Wisconsin. “I visited Nevada and right after I visited Arizona State I checked out Wisconsin. Arizona State is the place I liked the most and that was going to be the best situation for me.”
Punter: Matt Haack, freshman (West Des Moines Iowa / Dowling)
Expected to compete to replace All-Pac-12 punter Josh Hubner... rated by as the No. 15 kicker in the nation and the state of Iowa's No. 10 overall prospect... chose ASU over a reported scholarship offer from Iowa State.
On moving to ASU and being on his own: "I am actually really excited. I have family in Arizona and I was born in Arizona so I'm pretty comfortable with it."
Why ASU: "It has always been a dream school of mine and again with the family ties in there and the academic side, I got accepted into Barrett's College and Ill probably study Sports Management or Sports Marketing."
On his goals for next season: "I hope we get to the Rose bowl or a National Championship and that I can be an impact player on the team."
Punter: Dominick Vizzare, junior (Tacoma, WA / Stadium / Scottsdale CC)
In eight games at Scottsdale community College last year, Vizzare punted 44 times for a 34.1 yard average. He had a long punt of 53 yards and placed two inside the twenty yard line.
Punter/kicker: Sean Conaway, sophomore (Evergreen, CO / Evergreen HS)
Conaway is listed as a kicker on the team roster, but was listed at punter on the Spring depth chart.
Long snapper: Easton Wahlstrom, sophomore (Scottsdale, AZ / Desert Mountain)
2012: As a true freshman, longsnapped and saw action in all 13 games played on the season.
Long snapper: Donnie Shields, sophomore (Sun City, AZ / Liberty HS)

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