Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the San Diego State Aztecs.
8/22/13 punting update:
"With Seamus McMorrow nursing a quadriceps strain, Joel Alesi, a junior walkon, has seized the opportunity to show what he can do. So far, he’s aired some pretty good stuff. Alesi punted 11 times in the Aztecs Fall Scrimmage on Saturday, and averaged about 40.9 yards per punt. He followed up with a stellar performance in practice the Monday after. “Joel was on fire,” special teams coach Kevin McGarry said. 'He was kicking the ball exactly where we wanted, and we were getting 4.5-seconds hang time. He just had a great night.' Alesi has also improved on rugby-style roll out punts. 'Last year, he really struggled with it. This year he seems to be able to handle it,' said Aztecs coach Rocky Long. 'He’s always been able to hit a big one, but it seems like he’s a lot more consistent now. He’s by far the best punter out there.'
But even as camp winds down, the lively kicking competition continues. The ideal situation would be for McMorrow to punt, placekick and kickoff, and when healthy, McGarry said he has sometimes been the best at all three. Still, 'Joel is matching him all the way through camp,' McGarry said. 'Seamus clearly has the stronger leg. But there’s more to it.' Placement and hang time are just as important. McGarry said McMorrow averages about 4.0 seconds or better on his kicks, while Alesi can go anywhere from 3.6 to 4.8 seconds. 'That’s the one area of Joel’s game that he needs to improve – be more consistent with the hang time,' McGarry said."Kicker/punter: Wes Feer, senior (Chino Hills, CA / Riverside CC)
Joined the Aztecs in the spring of 2012 ... Played in two games for SDSU in 2012 ... Is listed atop the depth chart at kicker and kickoff following the spring season.
Red & Black Spring Game: kicked a 49 yard field goal and an extra pointKicker/punter: Seamus McMorrow, sophomore (San Diego, CA / St.Augustine HS)
Earned the team's Outstanding Freshman Award ... Punted 41 times for an average of 41.7 yards to rank seventh in the Mountain West and 48th nationally ... His 33 touchbacks led the league ... Despite playing home games at sea level, nearly half of his kickoffs went for touchbacks (33 of 68) ... He averaged 46.0 yards per punt in San Diego State's five road games ... Eight of his 14 punts on the road went for 50 or more yards.Punter: Joel Alesi, junior (El Cajon, CA / Christian HS)
2012: Saw action at the punter position in two games for the Aztecs ... Posted a 43.5 punt average, which would have ranked 19th in the country if he had enough attempts to qualify ... Four of his six punts were fair caught, none of the six were returned.
"I've been working out with the team everyday as well as kicking as often as possible. Sometime I kick 6 days a week but generally 3-4 times per week. My goals for this up coming season is to continue building on my consistency and help my team win games."Punter: Johnny McGrory, freshman (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA / Rancho Santa Margarita HS)
Walk-on, who joined the Aztecs for 2013 spring drills ... Originally enrolled at SDSU in the fall of 2012 ... Will compete for playing time in the kicking game.
"I have been working hard in the weight room and on the field to become the best player I can be for the Aztecs. I need to be both physically and mentally prepared for when the team needs me, and putting in the work is the only way to get that done."Long snapper: Jeff Overbaugh, sophomore (Anchorage, AK/ Service HS)
Saw action in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2012 ... Is listed as the starting long snapper once again after spring drills
"This offseason, I've worked with my instructor Chris Rubio to fine tune my accuracy and speed. I've also been to two college camps to compete against other snappers from across the country. Along with the rest of the Aztecs I've been running and weight training since January to prepare for the upcoming season. In addition to team conditioning, I've been working with our punters and kickers to improve our time and efficiency. Most recently, I've been back home in Alaska working on my blocking and coverage abilities.Long snapper: Hunter Christensen, freshman (Carlsbad, CA / La Costa Canyon HS)
My goals for this season are:
1. Perfect laces on all PAT/Field Goal snaps
2. Hit the right hip on all punt snaps
3. All punt snaps below .70 seconds
4. I'd also like to replicate the coverage skills of my predecessors Aaron Brewer of the Denver Broncos and Ty Schmitt who was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks.
A walk-on who will compete for the long snapper position this season. Redshirted last year.
High School: A two-year letter winner a ... Also played lacrosse and was a starting defenseman.