the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Maryland Terrapins 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Maryland Terrapins.

Kicker/punter: Brad Craddock, sophomore (Adelaide, Australia / Tabor Christian College)
2012: Following a preseason injury to Nick Ferrara, Craddock served as the place-kicker and handled kickoffs for the first nine games 
Spring Game:  hit field goals of 24 & 40 yards
"I have worked hard on my technique, squaring everything up and coming through my target. I have had the opportunity to work with Matt Stover over the past couple of months, which I have learnt a lot. My goal and plan is to have a good camp, work hard and be the best I can come the first game. I want to have a more consistent year and be relied upon in any situation.”
Kicker: Brendan Magistro, sophomore (Forest Hill, MD / CM Wright HS)
2012: Saw his first collegiate action against Boston College (10/27) … made a 28-yard field goal and two extra point kicks against the Eagles … made an extra point against Georgia Tech (11/3).
Spring Gamemade an extra point; had his attempted game-winning field goal blocked on the final play.
Kicker: Adam Greene, freshman (Arnold, MD / Broadneck HS)
"I was really thinking Maryland gave me a major that suited me best. They just added a cyber security program and I'm leaning toward business and they have a business school that ranks like No. 3 in the nation. The reason for college is about the education and where that can lead me. Football will come and it will go eventually, so really it's about what I can do afterward."

'He started at Broadneck since his freshman year. Last fall for the No. 15 Bruins (7-3), Greene kicked off the ground instead of using a block and he had a rookie holder, but he was 18-for-22 on extra points, and hit 10 of 17 field goals, including everything from 41 yards or closer. He also put 83.7 percent of his kickoffs in the end zone.'
Punter/kicker: Nathan Renfro, sophomore (Brentwood, TN / Brentwood Academy)
2012: Served as the starting punter for all 12 games … averaged 39.7 yards on 75 punts and put 15 of those inside the opponents’ 20-yard line … also had 17 of his punts fair caught
Spring Game:  averaged 41.8 yards on four punts, placing three inside the 20 yard line
Punter/kicker: Michael Tart, junior (Charlotte, NC / Mallard Creek HS)
"Up to this point both the team and myself have had a great offseason and we are excited for the 2013 season to start. This will be my fourth season at Maryland. An advantage of being an upper classman for any position in football, especially specialists is the fact that you are very familiar with the offseason process and have established a routine of how to improve for the next season. All kickers and punters have their own opinions of how to approach the offseason. Mine starts immediately following our final game of the season. First I take some time to evaluate myself and figure out what worked during the past season and what needs improvement by going back and watching film. This time period lasts a few weeks. I have found that during this time I like to take a break from kicking and give my body a chance to rest from the kicking motion. I always try to tell people that kicking is a lot like pitching in baseball. Both the kicking motion and the throwing motion are very violent motions on your body. If pitchers threw all year long and never rested their arms, they would have a very short career. Kicking is no different in my opinion. So this is why I take a few weeks off from kicking following the season.

However, this is still a critical period for improving as a kicker. Although I am not kicking, I am doing my self-evaluations and I am working hard in the weight room to get stronger and more flexible. Starting in late January I begin adding kicking back into my conditioning routine. This is the time period when I make adjustments and add new aspects to my technique that I came up with from evaluating myself from the previous season. For example, I was not satisfied with my kickoff approach from the previous season so I used this time to experiment with new approaches. I am a true believer that a kicker should not try to make major technique adjustments during the season unless you absolutely have to.

During this time period is also when the team goes through winter conditioning. As a kicker if you want to break the stereotypes that specialist don’t do anything, this is the time. Positions are thrown out the door and every player undergoes the same grueling workouts and competitions as every other player on the team. All of the specialists on our team at Maryland take pride in not just surviving the workouts but actually competing and winning competition drills. When your teammates see you grinding right along side them during the winter, it makes your life a lot easier during the season when things are not going your way at times. Next comes spring ball where you have the opportunity to try the adjustments you made during the winter under pressurized situations. Following the spring you can again do an evaluation of yourself on what worked and what needs to still be improved. By June I like to have chosen what technique I will use for the upcoming season and work hard to get ready for preseason camp in August."
Long snapper: Greg Parcher, senior (Hanover, MD / Archbishop Spalding HS)
Returning starter who played in all 12 games last year.
Long snapper: Christian Carpenter, freshman (Brentwood, TN / Brentwood Academy)
2012: Redshirted … served as the team’s backup longsnapper … made the travel roster for every away game
"During spring ball I tore my ACL so this offseason has really been just devoted to rehab and trying to get my knee better. My goal for the upcoming year is just to be 100% as soon as possible."
Long snapper: Joe Marchese, freshman (Vernon Hills, IL /  Stevenson HS)
“There were some opportunities to play at some smaller schools, but not really as a long snapper because I didn’t write down that I was a long snapper. I was mostly a guard/tackle. I looked at the smaller schools, but I wanted to go to a big school, and none of those big Division I programs are looking for 230-pound guards.”

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