the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vanderbilt Commodores 2013 Specialists


Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Kicker: Carey Spear, senior (Mayfield Village, OH / Mayfield HS)
Spear was named as one of 30 players on the Preseason Watch List for the 2013 Lou Groza College Place-Kicker Award. He posted Vanderbilt's best-ever season by a kicker in 2012, connecting on 20-of-24 field goal attempts, which was good for 83.3 percent, a clip that topped all SEC kickers in 2012 with at least 12 attempts.  His 20 made field goals set a new single-season team record, and he was perfect inside 44 yards on the season, hitting 15-of-15 field goals. He was also a perfect 27-for-27 on extra points, while handling a majority of the kickoff duties. Spear kicked a career-long 52-yard field goal in a regular season finale victory at Wake Forest to become the first Commodore to kick a 50-plus yard field goal since Bryant Hahnfeldt in 2006, and then added a 50-yard field goal later in the game to give him the Vanderbilt single-season scoring record for a kicker with 81 points.  Spear was twice named as a SEC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts in 2012.
Head coach James Franklin: “He’s a football player who happens to kick, and I’m talking everywhere. You ought to see him on testing day in the weight room. You’d think he was a D-tackle with his approach down there with all the chalk flying and everything. He echoes everything we’re trying to do here.”
Kicker/punter: Tommy Openshaw, freshman (Jacksonville, FL / Creekside HS)
"We've been working out as a team 5 days a week, and as a group of specialists we would kick/snap about 2 days a week after workouts as well as some extra wok on weekends. Goals this season are to learn as much as I can from Carey Spear in his senior year and fight for a starting spot in either punting/kicking."
Kicker: Xavier Morse, junior (Cambridge, MA / Buckingham HS)

Kicker: David Holtgrave, freshman (Louisville, KY / Country Day)
"Personally, I arrived here at Vanderbilt in July. The main focus of our progress kicking is breaking down a lot of film. Especially during camp, we emphasize capitalizing on a limited amount of reps in order to not over kick. I have really been placing emphasis on improving not only in the film room, but also in the weight room. That strength, along with mastering my approach, is what I believe will propel me to improve immensely. As for my goals, they really are to work on perfecting my mechanics and compete every day to prove myself."
Punter: Taylor Hudson, sophomore (Powell, OH / Olentangy Liberty HS)
2012: Hudson did not see action as a walk-on punter during the season.

High school: Senior captain as quarterback and punter... Earned All-Ohio Capital Conference First Team honors, and received the Ernie Godfrey Award... Named to Columbus Dispatch All-Metro team, as well as All-Central District second team... Also lettered four years in varsity lacrosse.
"Two candidates looking to earn the team's punting role, junior walk-on Taylor Hudson and redshirt freshman Colby Cooke, impressed during the closing minutes of 8/3/13 practice. Both contributed efforts that surpassed Franklin's expectations for hang time and distance, and saved their teammates from running extra conditioning drills. Hudson, Cooke and freshman Tommy Openshaw are competing to replace Richard Kent, a 2012 All-Southeastern Conference performer."
Punter/kicker: Colby Cooke, freshman (Goochland, VA / Goochland HS)
High school: Senior captain... Named Parade All-American PK as senior... Three-year starting placekicker for middle Virginia public school... As senior, converted 17 of 21 field goals... 17 field goals is second highest single-season total by Virginia prep kicker... Helped Bulldogs to 14-1 record and Division 2 state finals where he made field goals of 48 and playoff-record 51 yards... 40 of 54 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks... Earned All-State and All-Region honors... On National Signing Day, played for USA team in International Bowl, held in Austin, Texas... Earned two soccer letters.
"Working on my craft. If there's anything a kicker/punter does in the offseason it should always be about form. My goals are to become the most consistent punter/kicker in the SEC for direction, distance, and hang time."
Long snapper: Andrew East, junior (Indianapolis, IN / North Central HS)
2012: East continued to perform in superb fashion as the Commodores' primary snapper for the second consecutive season... Saw important action in all 13 games... Earned credit for two tackles covering punts
Long snapper: Connor Morrison, sophomore (Edmond, OK / Casady School)
2012: Morrison did not receive playing time as a second-year walk-on long snapper

High school: Three-year letterwinner... Started at center and defensive end for private school near Oklahoma City... Also played basketball and baseball.
Long snapper: Gaither Barker, freshman (Dunlap, TN / Sequatichie County HS)

Long snapper: Wilson Johnson, freshman (Nashville, TN / Montgomery Bell Academy)

Long snapper: Mack Prioleau, freshman (Forth Worth, TX / All Saint's Episcopal)

Long snapper: Jacob Schultz, Freshman (Murfreesboro, TN / Siegel HS)

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