the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Texas A&M Aggies 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Texas A&M Aggies.

9/24/13 kicking update:
"Josh Lambo, a sophomore walk-on, is now in what coach Kevin Sumlin called Tuesday an 'ongoing competition,' for placekicking duties with former starter Taylor Bertolet. The transition took place on Saturday when the Aggies struggled on extra points. Bertolet missed consecutive attempts in the first half, reminiscent of his struggles in 2012 when he was 67-of-74 on PATs and 13-of-22 on field goal attempts. He is 23-of-26 this season on PATs and 2-of-3 on field goal attempts, with his lone miss being a 31-yarder against Sam Houston State. After an inconsistent season in 2012 and some early struggles in the Aggies' first four games, the coaching staff decided to try someone new in Lambo, who competed with Kyle Serres during training camp. 'What we're doing is based on competition,' Sumlin said Tuesday. 'The ability to play in games and based on how you compete during practice and your success rate during practice, so that's where we are. That will continue to be the case. It won't change this week or next week. That's a work in progress. I think there's some things that both guys do that are positive, but in this business, life pays off on results, so that's where it is'."
 Kicker: Taylor Bertolet, sophomore (Reading, PA / Exeter Township HS)
2012:  scored 106 points including 13 field goals and a school record 67 extra points ... connected on 13 of 22 field-goal attempts (59.1 percent) with a long of 54 vs. Louisiana Tech … averaged 63.1 yard on 103 kickoffs ... his 65 touchbacks ranked No. 3 nationally
Spring Game:  hit field goals of 41, 34 & 34 yards
"One thing Bertolet has in his corner, and is taking advantage of this spring, is that A&M’s former Lou Groza award winner and Houston Texans kicker Randy Bullock is in town finishing up his college degree. 'Randy’s been out there the last couple of weeks, he’s been practicing. He’s on break right now. We’ve had some short conversations. I’ve kicked a couple of times with him and he’s taught me a lot this past break,' he said. 'We’ve gone over things. We had the same tactical errors and how to handle certain situations. He’s called me throughout the season and gave a lot of really good advice. We’re close friends'.”
Kicker: Josh Lambo, sophomore (Middleton, WI / Collin County / Edison Academic Center)
"Josh Lambo was last seen around FC Dallas Stadium in 2011, his final year with the club after being drafted eighth overall in the 2008 MLS Super Draft by then FCD head coach Steve Morrow. Lambo’s career in MLS never really panned out and in 2010, current Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman loaned him out to Tampa Bay of the NASL. He appeared in six games for the Rowdies but by 2011, he was no longer with the club as FCD waived him after the conclusion of the ’11 campaign. The Wisconsin native was on trial with D.C. United during preseason in 2012 but unable to catch on as a goalkeeper, he enrolled at Texas A&M last fall and joined the football team as a kicker. Lambo kicked a PAT in a win over South Carolina last September and is currently listed as the Aggies’ No. 2 kicker on the A&M depth chart heading into the start of two-a-days."
Kicker: Kyle Serres, senior (Spring, TX / Northland Christian HS)
High school: a first-team TAPPS Division II all-state selection as a senior (2008) at both kicker and wide receiver ... was an all-district free safety as well
8/12/13: "Taylor Bertolet was among the players to miss practice time last week because of injuries. Sumlin didn't expand on why Bertolet wasn't participating or when he'll be ready and most of the placekicking repetitions were taken by sophomore Josh Lambo and senior Kyle Serres."
Kicker: Cody Wicker, freshman (Dallas, TX / Jesuit HS)
"This summer the specialists have been working really hard doing the team workouts, and on top of that we have our own personal kicker and punter workouts. My goals for this upcoming season is kicking the best I ever have and competing for the starting spot."
Punter: Drew Kaser, sophomore (Strongsville, OH / Walsh Jesuit HS)
Frontrunner to take over punting following graduation of Ryan Epperson. he was redshirted last year. In 2011:  Saw action in one game … had two punts against Idaho for a 45.5 average … boomed a season-high 68 yarder against the Vandals.
Spring Game: averaged 44.1 yards on seven punts
"This past offseason I have been working on my get off time, hang time, and becoming a more consistent punter. The way I've been able to do so is by working on shortening my steps. This has allowed me to get the ball off quicker and have me keep my legs underneath my body more which has led to me being a more consistent and having more hang time. The goal for the season is to be the best special teams team in the SEC. So my job is to help my team reach out goal."
Punter: Shane Tripucka, freshman (Allen, TX / Allen HS)
"Tripucka has some impressive stats from Allen. He averaged 40 yards a kick in his two seasons as the starting punter and didn’t give up a single return yard. 'I had a few preferred walk-on offers from other schools to, but something about A&M, I just felt more comfortable about it,' he said. 'The coaches, the atmosphere of the school, the football program. The coaches at A&M, something about them stuck with me'.”
Offseason and summer: "It's pretty simple for me. Morning workouts and a lot of drill work. Not so much kicking a lot of balls but getting form and drill work down."
Long snapper: Alex Freeman, junior (Austin, TX / Westwood HS)
"This summer I worked hard at conditioning and lifting to become a better all-around football player. I also made strides in improving my craft of snapping, working with the punters and other snappers to try and increase velocity while maintaining accuracy. Other than that, I took a microbiology class over the summer. My goals for this season are to have 100% snaps. Also, as Rubio always told me, I need to always be trying to snap "faster, faster, faster" so another goal is for us to have less than 2.0 operations all season. Thanks and Gig 'Em!"
Long snapper: Daniel Havens, freshman (College Station, TX / A&M Consolidated)

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