the study of all things kicker related

Monday, August 25, 2014

Virginia Tech Hokies Kicker, Punter & Snapper News


August 25, 2014 - kicker Michael Santamaria named starter
Michael Santamaria, a freshman from Athens, Ga., won the starting job, beating out classmates Joey Slye and Carson Wise. Santamaria was good enough to earn a scholarship straight out of high school. Only Shayne Graham and Cody Journell have done that in recent memory at Tech. A decorated high school kicker, Santamaria said he feels comfortable from 50 and in. If he's reliable from 40 and in, it will be a major improvement for a kicking game that missed 11 field goals last season." - Roanoke Times

August 18, 2014 - kicking competition
With 11 days left before Tech opens its season against William and Mary, Joey Slye and fellow true freshman Michael Santamaria both have a chance to earn Tech's starting field-goal kicker and point-after attempt duties. Even Beamer's hovering hasn't been enough to break the focus of the young players. 'He jokes around and laughs with us, so it's fun to have him there,' said Slye.... 'Now, you just kind of feel comfortable with him and all stuff. He has become less of a distraction when you're kicking.' When Tech released its latest updated depth chart last Wednesday, Slye was No. 1 for the place-kicking duties. Santamaria was fourth, but after Saturday's scrimmage, Beamer said Slye and Santamaria had moved ahead in the kicking competition. Senior Michael Branthover, sophomore Eric Kristensen, junior Remington Hinshaw and Carson Wise, another true freshman, also have been involved in the competition. Slye and Wise are walk-ons, while Santamaria is on scholarship. Last summer, Santamaria came to a recruiting camp at Tech, where he proceeded to catch Beamer's attention....  If a freshman earns the starting kicking job, it'll be the first time a first-year player has won kicking duties for Tech's opening game since 2000, when Newport News native Carter Warley was awarded the role as a redshirt freshman. It would be the first time a true freshman has won the starting kicking job for Tech's season-opener since 1996, when Shayne Graham took over." - Daily Press

June 27, 2014 - kicker Remington Hinshaw
"In Spring Practice, the Hokies’ kickers proved that they had the talent to take Cody Journell’s job in the long run. Ethan Keyserling was solid and his past experience on the field in 2013 was definitely an advantage for him. Michael Branthover was used sometimes on kickoffs and showed a big leg in the Sun Bowl despite having very little experience as a kicker. Branthover proved this spring that he had the potential to be the Hokies’ answer in 2014 at kicker but one player stood out just a little more and is currently at the top of the depth chart. That man is Remington Hinshaw. Remington Hinshaw’s collegiate career started at the University of Richmond.... Now, Remington Hinshaw will get the chance to be the Hokies’ next starting kicking and he is currently at the top of the kicking depth chart largely due to a strong spring where he proved he could compete at the FBS level. However, Hinshaw will have a tough challenge as Branthover and Keyserling will both push hard for the job while two walk-ons will join the competition." - Fighting Gobbler

June 12, 2014 - summer punters
"Projected starter: Junior A.J. Hughes. Backups: Kickoff specialist Mitchell Ludwig is next on the depth chart. Michael Branthover, who is in the kicking competition, has punted most of his career. What we learned this spring: That the Hokies don't have anything to worry about with Hughes. He upped his average by 3.5 yards last year, from 40.6 to 44.1, the latter figure ranking 14th nationally and second in the ACC to Miami's Pat O'Donnell, who's in the NFL now. Hughes got off some booming punts this spring. Sure, there were a few duds in there -- it happens to every punter -- but when he gets into one, he can get it down the field. Beamer wants Hughes to be precise with how he executes the punting plan, particularly with directional kicks. Beamer said if the coverage calls for a 40-yard punt, he needs to punt it only 40 yards. But having someone who can consistently get the ball at least 40 yards out there is a must, and Hughes has shown an ability to do that with almost all of his kicks." -  The News & Advance

June 11, 2014 - summer kickers
"Tech isn't without options here, with senior Michael Branthover, junior Remington Hinshaw (a Richmond transfer), sophomore Eric Kristensen (aka, the Walmart guy), two kickoff specialists in Mitchell Ludwig and R.J. Warfel, plus incoming freshman Michael Santamaria (a scholarship guy) and a pair of walk-ons, Carson Wise and Joey Slye.... Branthover, who finished the season as the starter, began the spring atop the depth chart and appeared to hold that spot for most of practice. Beamer cited his leg strength as the biggest factor. But right near the end, with Branthover listed as injured, Beamer said that Hinshaw was probably the most consistent of the kickers and could stake claim to that top spot. Then, after the spring game concluded, Beamer spoke about the promise of the position based largely on the two walk-ons, who he couldn't identify by name, that would be joining the program this summer. That'd be Wise and Slye, although Santamaria is the one who signed a letter of intent last February (it remains to be seen if he's a grayshirt or not). All that is a long-winded way of saying it doesn't appear the Hokies have any clue who their kicker will be next season, at least not right now." - Roanoke Times

April 26, 2014 - spring game
"It wasn't a big showcase day for the kicking game. Eric Kristensen had the only make of the day, a 28-yarder. Michael Branthover missed a 48-yarder wide right and Remington Hinshaw made an extra point. Beamer has fluctuated with who he's said is the leader at that spot and didn't commit to one player Saturday. 'All of them have had their moments,' Beamer said. 'All of them are good kickers but none of them how have separated themselves. We have two guys coming in here, I can’t talk about them, but we’ll give them a chance to separate themselves.' Those two guys, who Beamer said he couldn't talk about, are preferred walk-ons Joey Slye and Carson Wise. Michael Santamaria, who signed a letter of intent in February, could come in the summer too, although it's possible he could delay his enrollment until January too. Beamer has no qualms about handing the job to a freshman. 'I’m thinking if a guy's got it, he’s got it,' he said. 'It takes a special guy to be a great field goal kicker. I really believe that. Confidence is one thing, but, look forward to the big moment, feel like everything’s… can’t wait to celebrate. Instead of, ‘I hope I make this,’ ‘I can’t wait to celebrate.’ If we have that guy, I think it’ll show up'." - Roanoke Times

April 24, 2014 - kicking competition
“I’ve been pleased with [Remington] Hinshaw,' Beamer said on Wednesday’s ACC teleconference, citing the height on the junior’s kicks and his consistency. That Hinshaw is No. 1 on the depth chart right now shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. He’s been listed there since it was last updated on the Hokies’ website April 15 (although that also lists Branthover as being injured, which hasn’t been the case lately). But it is a fast rise up the kicking totem poll for Hinshaw, a Patrick Henry product who went 15 of 22 on field goals for Richmond in 2012 before transferring to Virginia Tech before last season and sitting out a year. At the start of spring, he wasn’t even one of the four kickers listed as a possibility on field goals (the order was Branthover, Eric Kristensen, Mitchell Ludwig and R.J. Warfel). Even now, he doesn’t have a website bio.... 'We had a situation in our last scrimmage where [Hinshaw’s] kick was going to determine whether his team won or lost,' Beamer said. 'And he nailed it right through there. So coming out of the spring, he’s the guy that I would look to, but I’m very interested in getting a couple other guys in here and competing.' It doesn’t sound like Branthover, who has done punts, kickoffs and field goals in his dotted Hokies career, is out of the competition. He handled long field goals after Journell’s dismissal last year (even though Tech didn’t try any), then passed Kristensen, aka the 'Walmart guy', for all field goal duties in the Sun Bowl.... Like the wide open quarterback battle, there are still new contenders in the kicking competition who will arrive this summer. Michael Santamaria from Athens, Ga., a rare kicker who signed a letter of intent for a scholarship right away, could arrive this summer, although there’s a chance he could be a grayshirt candidate and delay his enrollment if Tech feels the position is solid. A pair of preferred walk-ons — North Stafford’s Joey Slye and Blacksburg’s Carson Wise — will be in the mix as well." - Roanoke Times

April 19, 2014 - third scrimmage
"Place kicker Michael Branthover hit a nice 52 yard field goal but also had a 22 yard attempt blocked. Mitchell Ludwig connected from 22 yards out. Remington (great name) Hinshaw made a 32 yard attempt while Eric Kristensen missed a 19 yard attempt. Meanwhile, punter A.J. Hughes punted five times with an average of 38.8 yards per punt and a long of 46." - Gobbler Country

April 12, 2014 - second spring scrimmage kicking
"Kicker Michael Branthover made his attempts from 33, 37, and 42 yards out and is said to be the early leader for the starting job. His projected back-up Eric Kristensen made both of his attempts from 37 and 33 yards." - Gobbler Country

February 3, 2014 - kicker Carson Wise commits as preferred walk-on
According to Andy Bitter the Blacksburg High kicker committed to Tech as a preferred walk-on....'Carson Wise, the Blacksburg High kicker who committed to the #Hokies, kicked 55-yard FG in September. In VHSL top 10 with 32 career FGs'." - The Key Play

January 26, 2014 - kicker Joey Slye commits
"Slye, the five-foot 11-inch kick off specialist, turned down a full scholarship opportunity at James Madison University to walk on at Virginia Tech. He discussed his opportunity and commitment with VTScoop.com earlier tonight. 'I was like 90% sure and the visit sealed it,' Slye said about his commitment to Virginia Tech. With his mind almost made up, Slye took an official visit to Blacksburg over the weekend and fell in love with Virginia Tech, and he knew he was ready to accept the opportunity....Slye, who is also a linebacker for North Stafford, may get an opportunity down the road to try his hand at linebacker for the Hokies but he will report to Blacksburg over the summer as a kick off specialist and is eager to compete for a chance to see the field as a freshman." - VT Scoop

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