the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

8/10/13 kicking update:
Head coach Bobby Petrino: “Schwettman has come back in better condition and is stronger. Occhipinti has been very impressive…he gets the ball up high and right away which really helps to make sure you don’t get it blocked inside. It’ll be a good battle, but it’s just gotten started.”
Kicker/punter: Joseph Occhipinti, freshman (Nashville, TN / Hillsboro HS)
High school: senior year was 7 of 12 on field goals, with long of 39 yards... 30 of 32 PATs... averaged 56.0 yards on 47 kickoffs with 36 touchbacks... averaged 38.9 yards on 50 punts, with a long of 67 yards, paced 13 inside the 20 yard line
"I'm also a combo player, so being able to bring punting to the special teams is a triple-threat, really. I can hit really long field goals and I know that's been a struggle that they've had lately, being able to hit 40-yard field goals. In the Central Michigan game (the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl), they could've hit the field goal to tie but they decided to go for it. I believe that I'll be able to hit long field goals for them."
Kicker: Garrett Schwettman, sophomore (Murray, KY / Calloway County HS)
2012: became a reliable force in the kicking game during his true freshman season, connecting on 10-of-13 field goal attempts and 42-of-43 extra points in 12 games played. He posted four multi-field goal performances in his rookie season while hitting a perfect 8-of-8 field goals inside of 30 yards. Schwettman booted a career-long 42-yard field goal at Louisiana-Lafayette (11/17), where he also added a 25-yard three-pointer.
Kicker: Mike Mugler, junior (Virginia Beach, VA / First Colonial HS)
High school: listed as one of the best kickers in the Beach District by the Virginian-Pilot following his 2009-10 senior season... has a career-long field goal of 36 yards.
Punter: Hendrix Brakefield, senior (Nashville, TN / Hillsboro Comprehensive)
2012: started every game at punter for the third-straight year, leading the Sun Belt Conference in yards per punt at 42.1. He booted 45 punts for a total of 1,896 yards, nine of which traveled 50 or more yards. Brakefield blasted a career-long 74 yard punt in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Central Michigan (12/26), ending the game with a season-best 52 yards per punt average
Long snapper: Nolan Dowling, freshman (Belleville, IL / Belleville East HS)
2012: did not play in his first season on the Hill
Special teams coach Ricky Brumfield on Dowling’s tackling: “It’s coming along very well. He’s gotten a lot better, he’s getting better as far as open-field tackling. He’s not just trying to lay shots, he’s trying to wrap the guy up and bring him down. In the last scrimmage he’s come miles away from where he was – not that he was bad. He’s gotten better. The No. 1 thing is just open-field tackling and I think he’s gotten a lot better. He’s bringing guys down, he’s doing good on sideline tackle, on the angles – he’s gotten a whole lot better.”

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