the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Minnesota Golden Gophers 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Special teams coach Jay Sawvel on this year's competitions:
“In the special teams part of it, we feel good that we’ve got talent. We feel good that we’ve got competition. But I couldn’t tell you who they are right now. That’s a big evaluation that’s going to have to take place in the fall. We’ll be good. We’ll be better than what we were in all the phases, because, in large part, I think we’ll be better kicking it and punting it."
Kicker: Chris Hawthorne, senior (Raleigh, NC / North Carolina State)
One of the candidates to take over kicking duties following the graduation of Jordan Wettstein.
"I have been training hard all offseason. Through competing with some of my peers at others schools at combined and camps, I have learned a lot and grown as a kicker and a person. I feel blessed to be in the situation that I am in, with an opportunity to play and an opportunity to lead. My faith has strengthened immensely over the last year or two, which has helped me so much on the field and in the classroom. My goals are simply to be a leader for my teammates, a reliable student-athlete on and off the field, and to try and help continue the progress our program has started to generate."
Kicker/punter: Ryan Santoso, freshman (Pace, FL / Pace HS)
High school: Rivals lists him as a two-star recruit and the 15th best kicker in the nation • ESPN ranks him as the seventh best kicker in the nation • won the National Scholarship Camp's kick off competition • beat out Harrison Butker in the final round sudden death field goal contest for the last spot in the recent Under Armour All-American game
"I have been in Pensacola, Florida with 50 of the best kickers and punter in the nation from pro to high school, training with Mike McCabe and One on One Kicking. We have been training with the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of West Florida and have been kicking and punting to get better before the season. My goals for this year is to just be the best teammate I can be, whether it be on the field or on the sidelines. Everybody has a role on the team and I am willing to accept anything to be part of this great group of guys at Minnesota."
Kicker: Kyle Fodness, freshman (Bemidji, MN / Bemidji HS)
2012: Redshirted
High school: converted all 26 extra point attempts and 3 of 4 field goal attempts during his only year of high school football competition
Kicker: Justin Juenemann, freshman (Phillipsburg, KS / Phillipsburg HS)
High school:  earned All-State First Team honors in 2012 • as a senior, made 42 of 45 PATs and six of nine field goals, with a long of 45 yards • led the state of Kansas in touchbacks (17), kickoff yards and points during the regular season • 42-of-47 on PATs and 6-of-9 on FGs with a long of 46 yards as a junior
Kicker: Andrew Harte, freshman (Downers Grove, IL / Montini Catholic HS)
High school: set the nation's second-longest streak ever of made PATs with 112 in a row • 2012 All-State, All-Area, All-County, All-City and All-Suburban Christian Conference selection • as a senior, made 54 of 56 PATs and 13 of 18 FGs, with a long of 54 yards • also had a kickoff average of 65 yards • 77-of-81 on PATs and 7-of-9 on FGs, with a long of 41 yards, as a junior
Punter: Christian Eldred, junior (Melbourne, Australia / Monash University)
2012: Played in 13 games after joining the team in the fall of 2012 • executed 67 of Minnesota's 69 punts during the season • did not have any punts blocked and did not mishandle any snaps • seven of his punts were greater than 50 yards • placed 22 punts inside the 20-yard line, while another 22 punts were fair caught
"I've been working out with the team all summer up until the 11th, im back in Australia now doing a bit of work with my coach before fall camp starts."
Punter: Dan Orseske, senior (Chicago, IL / Brother Rice HS)
Will challenge Eldred to regain the starting role.
2011: Played in all 12 games • punted 57 times for an average of 37.0 yards • hit a career-long 68-yard punt vs. Iowa • tallied six punts of 50 yards or more • placed 12 kicks inside the opponents' 20-yard line
Punter: Peter Mortell, sophomore (Green Bay, WI / Notre Dame Academy)
"The other specialists and I meet up at least three times a week to punt,snap, and kick. A lot of the summer is meant to help the incoming freshman have a smooth transition to playing division one football. We also spend time at TCF Bank Stadium to try and replicate game situations as much as possible. Our goals are to establish ourselves as one of the best specialist units in every category in the Big Ten."
Long snapper: Jake Filkins, senior (Prescott, WI / Prescott HS)
Returning starter who snapped on both placekicks and punts during his sophomore and junior seasons, and who snapped on punts in nine games as a freshman.
Long snapper: Dave Ramlet, junior (Appleton, WI / Xavier HS)
High school: First-team all-conference and all-area as an offensive lineman as a senior in 2009 • also a standout baseball player (third-team all-conference)
Long snapper: Jared Hartman, sophomore (Falcon Heights, MN / Cretin-Derham Hall HS)
High school: Was a standout long-snapper during his prep career.

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