the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, August 29, 2013

West Virginia Mountaineers 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Kicker/punter: Josh Lambert, freshman (Garland, TX / Gardland HS)
High school:  Two-year starter... Named All-District 10-5A first team kicker as a senior in 2011... made 9-of-16 field goals, including conversions from 47 yards, 48 yards and 51 yards... Kicked 49-of-52 extra points and had 15 touchbacks on kickoffs ... Made 6-of-10 field goals in 2010, including the longest field goal in school history with a 53 yarder against Duncanville ... Was 18-for-18 on extra points... Split time as a punter, averaging 36 yards per punt on 11 punts for 391 yards
"West Virginia hasn't had to look for a place-kicker in four years while Tyler Bitancurt handled the job. Yes, they brought in Corey Smith for the last two seasons, but he never displaced Bitancurt. Now, though, the slate is clean. There's not a kicker on the roster who has ever scored a college point or even attempted to do so. But that the weight of the responsibilities now rests squarely and solely with Lambert doesn't seem to bother him at all. 'I'm confident that I can handle it,' Lambert said. 'Kicking is the same in a game as I do every single day in practice. The only difference is there's 80,000 people around you, 60,000 people around you. Same kicks'.... Lambert says his range is just over 50 yards and he wouldn't hesitate to try something longer, although at about 59-60 he reaches his max. Hopefully, the need for a 50-plus-yard kick won't arise until he gets settled into the job after a kick or two or even a game or two, because he admits he might be just a tad nervous. 'I've never had to go a year without actually playing, so yeah, I'm excited,' said Lambert, who hasn't kicked in a game since high school in 2011. 'Everyone's going to be a little nervous. It'll be my first game in front of a lot of people, a lot of eyes on me and a lot of weight on my shoulders'."
Kicker/punter: Michael Molinari, junior (Parkersburg, WV / Parkersburg South HS)
First on the depth chart for handling kickoffs this year.

2012: Served as the team’s holder for field goals and extra points. Added depth at punter.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen: "Michael Molinari has done a great job punting and has also been doing a lot of kickoff stuff."
Kicker/punter: Alex Louthan, freshman (Grayson, GA / Grayson HS)
"This offseason I have been working out with the WVU strength and conditioning staff and kicking anywhere between 3 and 4 times a week. My mental game has skyrocketed since I have been here at WVU. My goal this season is contribute to the team in any way I can, make the team better in order to win championships, and to fill my role as a player."
Kicker: Scott Levine, freshman (Clarksburg, WV / Robert C. Byrd HS)

Kicker: Mike Molina, freshman (Hurricane, WV / Hurricane HS)

Punter: Nick O'Toole, sophomore (Corona, CA / Mater Dei HS / Fullerton College)
Played one season at Fullerton College … ranked third in the California Community College Athletic Association with an average of 41.8 yards per punt … punted 49 times for 2,050 yards with 15 punts downed inside the 20-yard line … registered a long of 62 yards … named to the 2012 Southern California Football Association All-Conference First Team
"During the offseason we've been working on our technique and trying different styles to see what works better. we have been doing a lot of strength training with our strength staff and staying as flexible as possible. our team goal is the same as every team in our conference, we want to win a Big 12 championship, the specialists goal is to lead the nation in punting avg. and field goal percentage. we want to do the best we can to benefit the team as much as possible. we all believe we have the ability to be the best in the nation and that is what we will strive for this season."
"Special teams coordinator Joe DeForest, however, feels O’Toole is the leader in the race as camp ends and the regular season countdown begins. 'He’s had a good camp,' DeForest said. 'He’s never kicked this much in his life. Obviously he has a great leg, he just has to be more consistent. He can’t hit three 50’s in a row and then hit a 29-yarder off the side of his foot'.”
 Punter: Houston Syvertson, freshman (Shady Spring, WV / Shady Spring HS)

Long snapper: John DePalma, sophomore (Cumming, GA / Pinecrest Academy)
2012: Played in all 13 games... Handled the field goal, punting and extra point snapping duties
Head coach Dana Holgorsen: "John DePalma is light years ahead of where he was last year. That's a very under-appreciated position until they're not very good, but he looks very good."
Long snapper: Nick Meadows, freshman (Williamstown, WV / Williamstown HS)

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