the study of the kicking components within sports

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Auburn Tigers 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Auburn Tigers.

Kicker: Cody Parkey, senior
(Jupiter, FL / Jupiter HS)
"Think kickers fall outside the parameters of Gus Malzahn's fast-paced practices? Think again. Auburn works its special teams units hard and often in the first 30 minutes of practice. A field-goal drill, which features returning starter Cody Parkey firing off a kick every 10 to 30 seconds, has caught some eyes -- and some criticism from Malzahn. 'The first day he told me I was holding up the whole drill,' Parkey said. Kicking field goals 'isn't really a pacing situation,' but in Malzahn's world it's just as important as his hurry-up, no-huddle offense sprinting to the line of scrimmage and running a play before the defense can get set. The whole point of the fast-paced drill is to maintain the tempo, and provide Parkey and others plenty of kicking opportunities. 'You kind of go out there and I take my time, but he wants me to get faster at it,' Parkey said. 'I'm just trying to go as fast as possible'."
Kicker: Alex Kviklys, sophomore (Marietta, GA / Pope HS)
2012: Dressed for every game as the Tigers' backup placekicker
"That workout was no joke this morning. My body feels like a big pile of jello."
Kicker: Duncan McKinney, sophomore (Florence, AL / Florence HS)
2012: Did not see varsity action for Auburn
High School: holds Florence High kicking records for points in a game, season and career
Kicker: Taylor Yancey, freshman (Castle Rock, CO / Valor Christian)
Valor Christian won Colorado Class 4A state title his sophomore, junior and senior seasons ... twice first team all-state ... also lettered in lacrosse and track
Punter:  Steven Clark, senior (Kansas City, MO / Park Hill HS)
"I've just been working to get stronger in the weight room. Been punting a lot too, getting to where I can do what I know I'm capable of consistently. I've continued to grow a lot in my faith most importantly. Really has helped me mentally be able to improve. I have been too blessed to not give Him my all in return. Really has taken my summer preparation to another level and I am expecting a special season for not only me, but our team as a whole."
"At times, Clark worried about his average, a practice the punter says resulted in a few more missed opportunities. So he spent his summer focusing on technique. A lower drop, a clear spiral and good contact all result in longer punts, and Clark has looked good so far despite several practices moved inside due to heavy rains. 'He can place the football,' Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. 'He has really worked hard and gotten better at length, and believe it or not, height also'."
Punter: Jimmy Hutchinson, freshman (Kennesaw, GA / Harrison HS)
"Hutchinson originally committed to Auburn in February of 2012 and was set to sign with the Tigers in February of 2013, but things changed. Head coach Gus Malzahn arrived in December and quickly evaluated the scholarship numbers and formulated new plans to complete the Tigers' 2013 class. Hutchinson was given the opportunity to grayshirt and arrive at Auburn in January after the fall semester, instead of being a part of the 2013 class and enrolling this summer. But things changed again for Hutchinson earlier this summer when numbers opened up and Hutchinson was given an opportunity to enroll and arrive in Auburn in August.... 'My goals are to compete and learn from Steven (Clark) and come in my sophomore year and start, maybe compete during my freshman season,' Hutchinson said."
Punter: Alex Locker, freshman (Westford, MA / Westford Academy)
2012: Did not see varsity action for Auburn
High School: No. 2-ranked kicker in state of Massachusetts ... 38-45 on PAT and 3-3 on field goals as a a senior ... played soccer as a freshman, sophomore and junior
Punter: Tyler Stovall, freshman (Hokes Bluff, AL / Hokes Bluff HS / Atlanta Braves)
"Stovall graduated from Hokes Bluff in 2008 and was drafted as a pitcher by the Atlanta Braves. After five seasons in the minors, Stovall has decided to go back to football and begin his college education — as a 23-year-old freshman. 'I'm excited about what (Auburn) coach (Gus) Malzahn has going on down there,' Stovall said. 'It's going to be a good fit.' Auburn, Alabama and South Carolina were interested in Stovall and he took trips to each school. He let Malzahn know Monday he would be attending Auburn. As part of his original contract with the Braves, the organization must pay for eight semesters of Stovall's time in college. 'Baseball was starting to kind of come to a close,' he said. 'I knew with my contract with the Braves, I have to (go to) school within so many years. Auburn, Alabama and South Carolina were all interested in me coming to punt. Auburn just seemed like they had the best situation for me and could use me even more ways than punting and holding because they knew I was a quarterback in high school'."
Holders: CB Ryan White & QB Jonathan Wallace
"Jonathan Wallace has worked with the kickers at times during preseason camp, but is not expected to be the primary holder. Senior cornerback Ryan White has served as Parkey's holder for the last three seasons and there are no plans to mess with the duo's chemistry. 'He's doing good,' Parkey said of Wallace. 'He's a work in progress I would say. I'm teaching him as much as I can. He's got potential and that's the most important thing. Ryan (White) has been doing it for three years for me. To have a solid guy behind him and watching him like Jonathan Wallace, who is willing to learn, is good. I would say he's doing well'."
Long snapper: Jake Lembke, senior (New Lenox, IL / Providence Catholic)
2012: Served as the long snapper on field goals and PAT for the Tigers ... former walk-on who was placed on scholarship during preseason camp ... saw first collegiate action vs. Clemson ... SEC Honor Roll
Long snapper: Forrest Hill, junior (Jonesboro, GA / Morrow HS)
2012: Played in every game as the long snapper on punts for the Tigers ... saw first collegiate action vs. Clemson
Long Snapper: C.T. Moorman, sophomore (Durham, NC / Woodberry Forest HS)
"During the offseason I lift and snap every day and run every other day. My goal is to put on more size, get faster, and become more consistent in my snaps so I can perform at a higher level this fall."
Long snapper: Michael Sulka, freshman (Bluffton, SC / Bluffton HS)
"Even though he was sitting out his redshirt year, Sulka admits it was difficult to get through Auburn’s 3-9 season. 'It was definitely different coming from Bluffton. It was a weird feeling,' Sulka said. 'Every game, we had that feeling that we can turn this around.' But Sulka, who joined the Tigers as a preferred walk-on long snapper, said there is a new attitude at Auburn under new head coach Gus Malzahn. The offensive coordinator during Auburn’s 2010 national title run under former coach Gene Chizik, Malzahn returned to the school in December after a season as Arkansas State’s head coach. 'There’s this new feeling of, ‘We don’t want to be 3-9 anymore,’ ” Sulka said. “We just need to keep grinding. We can’t let this happen again.' Sulka is spending the summer at the school, taking classes and working out with his fellow special teamers about three times a week. He has four years of eligibility with the Tigers and is competing with a pair of returning starters."

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