the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Buffalo Bulls 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Buffalo Bulls.

Kicker: Patrick Clarke, junior
(New Castle, DE / Hargrave Military Academy)
"Over two seasons Clarke is 17 out of 21 in field goal kicking and has hit 38 of 39 extra points, the one miss a block by Georgia. Last season Buffalo's wins over Miami and Western Michigan are both owed in large part to Clake's foot. These are good numbers but what makes Clarke one of the MAC's top 68 players this season is his mental toughness. His few misses have been quite close, close enough to stress out some kickers who might over correct the next time out. Clarke shakes off a miss with ease showing no hesitation on his next attempt. Clarke has never missed two field goals in a game, something that bodes well for a UB team with a knack for finding themselves in tight contests."
Punter: Tyler Grassman, sophomore (Columbus, OH / Gahanna Lincoln)
Was the Bulls starting punter as a true freshman and is expected to be the starter in 2013.
2012: Continued to develop as the team’s punter, recording 80 punts for the season... averaged 35.4 yards per kick, with a 32.8 net average... made four punts of 50 or more yards, including a season high of 58 at Northern Illinois (10/13)... pinned 19 kicks inside the opponent’s 20 yard line and had only three touchbacks... forced 28 fair catches.
"We have been working extremely hard with a lot of motivation up here in Buffalo. In fact, our whole team has. As specialists we have been preparing more so for this season than any season before. Neither Pat Clarke or myself had the season we wished for last year and that has provided us with motivation and drive in each lift we do and each time we take the field. We have been punting and kicking a lot, lifting, working out, and training extremely hard with the same drive and goals of having a strong upcoming season and seeing our names recognized for what we have done on the field and in the classroom."
“Coach Duval and all of our strength coaches really took us specialists aside this year and really focused on different muscles that we never really worked before. They took us in and worked on our hips and it just seems like we got stronger legs and it seems like we’ve all been hitting the ball a lot better from it. I owe that all to the coaches. I have been getting a little better explosion off the ball off my foot. Like everyone says, hard work pays off and I really feel like the strength coaches pushed us to put in that hard work.”
Punter: Brian Orzechowski, junior (Lockport, NY / Lockport)
2012: Redshirted in his first season at Buffalo.
High School: Served as the punter and placekicker for the Lockport Lions... had a net average punt of 40 yards over his senior season... named to first team all Section VI as a kicker/punter... also played soccer and baseball.
Long Snapper: Corbin Grassman, freshman (Alexandria, OH / Johnstown-Monroe HS)
"Grassman has a name Bulls fans might recognize, as he is the cousin of punter Tyler Grassman. The two will be seeing quite a bit of one another at UB, because Corbin projects to be the team's long snapper and special teams ace.  Coming out of Johnstown-Monroe High School in Alexandria, OH, Grassman had a tremendous career as the team's star linebacker. He led the team with 136 tackles (18 for loss) in his senior season, after breaking the school record with 156 tackles as a junior. He was a first team All-State honoree as a senior."
WR & backup long snapper: Marcus McGill, sophomore (Rochester, NY / Gates Chili)
"[Last year coach Jeff] Quinn asked McGill to fill in at long snapper for a reason: He had experience. McGill started long snapping on the modified level at Gates Chili Middle School, near Rochester. 'I just tried it one day and the coaches said, ‘You’re pretty good at it',’ McGill said. 'I stuck with it all the way from modified through varsity football.' Quinn was aware of McGill’s background but was grooming him to play wideout when he noticed McGill was the only player who didn’t send the ball all over the place. It was time for McGill to take one for the team. Quinn told McGill the position was a valuable one and that not only would he not be redshirted but that he would receive some receiver reps...

[This year] to free McGill from the responsibility, Quinn signed long-snapper Corbin Grassman. 'We want Marcus to focus 100 percent at wide receiver but give us the backup we need at the position because we know he can do it,' Quinn said. 'It’s a physical presence with Marcus. He’s done a real nice job with his blocking and we’re getting other special teams value with him. That’s why we recruited him here, we brought him here to play'.”
Spring Game:
Patrick Clarke connected on 2 of 3 field goals. After missing a 41-yarder in the second quarter, he was good from 20 and 28 yards in the fourth. Tyler Grassman, who punted for both teams, averaged 42.6 yards on 14 punts, including a game-long 60-yarder. Brian Orzechowski punted three times for an average of 39.5 yards.

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