the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wisconsin Badgers 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Wisconsin Badgers.

9/9/13 kicking update:
"On Wisconsin's Week 3 depth chart released Monday, the starting field goal and kickoff lines are listed as French "OR" Russell for the first time this season. French had been the starter through the first two weeks. 'We're going to move through practice this week and we'll create a competition,' coach Gary Andersen said Monday during his weekly news conference. 'We'll see where it goes. It's unsettled and hasn’t gone the way we want it to be. I'm going to look at myself and try to fix it, put them in positions to be successful and try to create a game-like environment. Because it's not practice that is the issue. It's just the game where we're not executing at as high a level as we want to'."
8/29/13 kicking update:
“Both Jack and I hope it’s one (kicker), at least for the game, so we can kind of go into the game feeling, ‘I’m the starting kicker today. This is my job today,’ French said. 'From experience, Jack and I being pulled and not knowing if you’re going to start, or ‘if you miss this kick, you’re going to get pulled’ type of mentality was just not where either of us wanted to be at.' French will handle both the field goal and kickoff jobs in the season opener Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium against UMass, holding off a late push from Russell, who also battled a knee injury. While there are no guarantees changes won’t be made, the kickers hope it won’t happen in the middle of a game. Jeff Genyk, the special teams coordinator who handles the kickers and punters, seems to be in agreement, French said. 'Talking to coach Genyk, he believes in that mentality,' French said. 'We’ll see what happens'.”
Kicker: Kyle French, junior (Menomonee Falls, WI /Menomonee Falls HS)
2012: hit 10 of 16 field goals and 38 of 40 PATs... Kicked kickoffs against Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 ... Converted on six of six extra points and kicked nine of ten kickoffs for touchbacks in the Big Ten Championship game against Nebraska on Dec. 1 ... recorded a career-long 46 yard field goal and four PAT against Illinois on Oct. 6 
"Admitting his shortcomings are part of the reason French has been able to pick himself up following a disappointing sophomore season. Understanding how to correct those mistakes is why he believes he's in line for a much better junior campaign. And French credits his radical mental turnaround to the teachings of first-year special teams coordinator Jeff Genyk, who has instilled the value of focusing on the process of kicking and not the result. 'It's helped me tremendously,' French said. 'It literally clears your mind of what the situation is. If it's a game-winning kick, obviously you know you're in the game-winning kick situation. Stuff like that, it kind of clears your mind, just to really focus on that kick and not worry about the external environment around you. I think that's where I've made the most improvement'."
Kicker: Jack Russell, sophomore (Waunakee, WI / Waunakee HS)
2012: Connected on two of two extra points against Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 ... converted on four of four extra points in the Big Ten Championship game against Nebraska on Dec. 1 ... recorded kickoffs in five regular season games
"As far as training I tried to implement speed squats into our weekly squats to work on my fast twitch muscles, as well as kettle bells and box jumps on our days off to help my kicking. Other then that I just stuck to the workout program of the rest of the team as far as basic lifts. With conditioning I ran with the skill position players to push myself to help develop not only my fast twitch muscles, but also my mental toughness as they go at a faster pace than the rest of the team and usually longer distances. On too of that, I'm an avid golfer and like to get out on the golf course as often as I can throughout the summer because kicking and golfing can relate so closely to each other. Not just with the swing, but also with the mentality you have to have through each swing....
As far as my goals/plans for the season, I hope to contribute to the team/group of specialists as much as I can to bring back another big ten championship. I want to do this by going as unnoticed as possible because as specialists, people know more of who you are when you make mistakes. My goal is to go through the season being as consistent/dependable as I can. Even if this is just with the scout team, I want to give the team as good of a look as possible and compete every day to make both Kyle and me better throughout the season."
Kicker: Andrew Endicott, freshman (Roseville, CA / Jesuit HS)
High school: Named Delta River League Special Teams Player of the Year as a senior ... first-team All-Metro by Sacramento Bee ... averaged 36.8 yards per punt for career ... as a senior, 38 of 45 kickoffs were touchbacks ... went 33-for-35 on PATs and 2-for-2 on field goals as a senior
"This summer I worked a lot in the weight room, getting stronger and working on leg speed and flexibility. I tried to pick the brains of the older specialists to see how they handle pressure situations. My goal for the upcoming season is to contribute to the team anyway I can and hopefully handle the kickoff duties."
Punter: Drew Meyer, sophomore (Hartland, WI / Arrowhead HS)
Returning starter from last year.

2012: Punted seven times for an average of 44.6 yards per punt, including three punts inside the 20 against Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 ... punted three times for an average of 47.0 yards, including a career-long 61 yard punt, in the Big Ten Championship game against Nebraska on Dec. 1 
"At punter, Wisconsin appears set with Drew Meyer, who turned out to be one of the most reliable players on the Badgers' entire team last season. Meyer punted 80 times for an average of 41.5 yards per kick. Consider that Brad Nortman, one of the best punters to come through Wisconsin's program, averaged 42.2 yards per kick as a senior in 2011. Nortman also only needed to punt 46 times because Wisconsin's offense was so explosive, which means Meyer was more valuable in many respects. "
Punter/kicker: Stephen Salata, sophomore (Buffalo Grove, IL / Stevenson HS)
2012: Saw action against Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, in the Big Ten Championship Game against Nebraska on Dec. 1 ... made Badgers debut holding two extra points at Indiana

High school: named all-conference and all-area as a wide receiver ... played in the 2011 ICA Shrine All-Star game
Punter: Brett Nethery, freshman (Greendale, WI / Greendale HS)
High school: captain senior year ... as a senior, averaged 46 yards per punt ... scored five touchdowns on 575 yards receiving ... named unanimous first team all-conference punter, all-area punter, honorable mention all-region punter and honorable mention all-conference receiver ... named special teams MVP and Pride of the Panther award winner senior season ... also a member of the track and field team
Long snapper: James McGuire, junior (St. Paul, MN / Cretin-Derham Hall HS)
2012: played in all 14 games ... tallied two tackles
2011: Redshirt season
2010: Earned first letter ... snapped on punt unit in six of last seven games (team did not punt against Indiana)
Long snapper: Connor Udelhoven, freshman (St. Paul, MN / Cretin-Derham Hall HS)
High school: three-year letterwinner
Long snapper: Brady Kelliher, freshman (Sussex, WI / Arrowhead HS)
High school: honorable mention all-state, first-team all-region and first-team All-Classic 8 Conference as a senior ... team captain senior year

"I've been working out with the team this summer and my goal is just to get into the swing of school and everything. And the plans for the upcoming season are to try to impress the coaches."

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