the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, August 10, 2015

Arkansas Razorbacks Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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August 9, 2015 - kicking competition
"Coach Bielema hasn’t named a primary field goal kicker, extra-point taker or kickoff specialist. He likely won’t until toward the end of camp. Cole Hedlund missed his first kick of the fall Saturday, Bielema said. Lane Sailing has kicked at about 85 percent, too. Adam McFain, a Greenwood native, pulled a leg muscle in the offseason playing a different sport. Bielema, as he’s wont to do with all his players, was quick to bust McFain’s chops. It was a joke, but still could hurt McFain’s chances in such a close competition. 'Adam, probably a month out from camp was doing something on a Saturday or Sunday, Frisbee Golf or something like that that specialists play. Had to get out of the way and tweaked his hammy a little bit or his quad, so we banned Frisbee golf and he should get healthy'." - Times Record

April 25, 2015 -  spring game
"The Field Goal Shootouts that occurred after the first and third quarters were a unique twist to the spring game. Kickers Adam McFain (Red team and returning starter) made six of his eight total field goals between the two shootouts, while backup Lane Saling made seven of his eight tries for the White team. The two kickers alternated field goal tries four times in each shootout, kicking from a further distance each time.
Adam McFain: 5-8, makes from 27, 30, 31, 42, 43 yards, misses from 32, 38, 52 yards
Lane Saling: 6-8, makes from 27, 32, 32, 38, 42, 43 yards, misses from 27, 37 yards" - Saturday Down South

April 15, 2015 - kicking competition
"The long-distance kicking battle that culminated in Cole Hedlund's 59-yard field goal on the final play of Arkansas' scrimmage last Saturday was no aberration. The team's kickers have pushed themselves into a new performance level this spring. Returning starter Adam McFain made a 55-yard try moments before Hedlund, a redshirt freshman, matched him from that distance. McFain's 59-yard kick fell just short of the crossbar, and when Hedlund connected to cap the practice, a group of teammates lifted him on their shoulders as if he'd just made a game-winning kick. 'Yeah, that was pretty awesome,' Hedlund said. 'That was probably the best moment ever, making the kick, just being lifted up by my teammates knowing they were supportive of me.' Assistant coach Rory Segrest, who oversees the kickers, is ecstatic about the competition taking place between McFain, Hedlund and sophomore Lane Saling. 'A high percentage for kickers is usually about 80 percent, if you look at college or even at the NFL for that matter,' Segrest said. 'Heck, all of our guys right now are 85 to 86 percent, and that includes those longer kicks. We've got some great competition. It's a good position to be in and I'm excited about those guys continuing to battle it out this spring'." - Arkansas Online

April 11, 2015 - second spring scrimmage
"The 120-plus play scrimmage was capped-off by redshirt-freshman kicker Cole Hedlund’s 59-yard field goal. Hedlund went 4-for-4 on the day with field goals from 29-, 47-, 55- and 59-yards out." - Razorbacks

April 4, 2015 - first spring scrimmage
"Adam McFain appears to be the leading candidate at place kicker after making a pair of field goals from 32 and 26 yards. Lane Saling made a 31-yard field goal and Cole Hedlund was successful on an extra-point attempt." - Whole Hog Sports

February 6, 2015 - long snapper George Madden IV added
Blanchard, Okla. (Blanchard HS) - four year varsity football letterman as starting defensive end, right guard and long snapper… Selected as team captain for the Lions… Named a finalist for the 2015 Army All American Game at long snapper... Aided the Lions to the 2013 Oklahoma 3A State Football Championships as a junior… Made all but one punt snaps without a miss or blocked punt and was named the Overall Player of the Game in game six and Defensive Player of the Game in game seven during junior campaign… Helped Blanchard HS to the 2012 Oklahoma 3A State Championship as a sophomore, while being named the Offensive Player of the Game in the semi-final contest… Made all punt snaps without a miss or blocked punt as a sophomore… Coached at Blanchard HS by Jeff Craig… Also earned varsity letters in wrestling, power lifting and track and field… Placed fifth at the 2014 Oklahoma Power Lifting State Championship." - Razorbacks

February 4, 2015 - punter Blake Johnson signs
"Long Beach, Calif. - Earned three stars from Rivals, Scout and ESPN… Ranked the No. 2 punter nationally… Rivals ranks him the third-best specialist in the country... 247Sports ranks him as the No. 6 punter/kicker nationally… Selected as one of just two punters to play in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas… Named All-CIF Southern Section First Team at punter… Earned California Division I All-State First Team honors from MaxPreps… Named Punter of the Year by… Earned Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team first team honors as both a junior and senior… Two-time first team All-Sunset League linebacker and earned his team’s defensive player of the year award as both a junior and senior… Helped Los Alamitos finish 9-2 with a 5-0 mark in league play and the Sunset League championship… Punted 28 times for 1,039 yards (37.1 avg.) with a long of 63 in 2014… Landed punts inside the 20 (42.9 percent) as a senior… Booted 52 punts for 1,889 yards (36.3 avg.) with 15 landing inside the 20 and a long of 54 in 2013… As a sophomore, punted 42 times for 1,617 yards (38.5) including a career long 70 yarder." - Razorbacks

October 28, 2014 - holder Matt Emrich discusses kicker Adam McFain
"El Dorado's Matt Emrich has a hold on the Arkansas place-kicking situation that he can't foresee the Razorbacks' letting go any time soon. After senior John Henson suffered two blocked PAT's on successive weeks of 14-13 and 45-32 SEC losses to Alabama and Georgia — and missed on 43- and 40-yard field goal attempts — third-year sophomore walk-on Adam McFain boomed a 49-yard field goal and kicked 6 of 6 PATs during Arkansas' 45-17, nonconference, homecoming victory over Alabama-Birmingham last Saturday. McFain remains the kicker heading into Saturday night's SEC West clash with the No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville, Miss. 'He's hot and we are going to ride him,' Emrich said after Tuesday's practice. 'He's always had a strong leg. But, he is really pulling it together now. He's kicking the ball as well as I have seen it kicked.' That's saying something since Emrich — also a walk-on third-year sophomore — was here for Zach Hocker's last two Arkansas seasons and netted his first letter holding for Hocker's kicks last season." - Baxter Bulletin

October 20, 2014 - kicker & punter changes
"Sam Irwin-Hill punted so well as a junior college transfer last season that he began this season on the Ray Guy Award watch list. The Australian senior punted well at season's outset both for distance or pooch punt inside the 20, but in last Saturday's 45-32 loss to Georgia he averaged only 33 yards punting three line drives with little hang time. So, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Monday he leans toward sophomore walk-on backup punter Toby Baker going into Saturday's 11 a.m. game televised by the SEC Network. 'Toby Baker is going to be our punter on Saturday unless I see something change on Sam,' Bielema said. 'Sam is a tremendous kid that I love to be around on a daily basis. But I'm also a bottom-line results guy. And he's capable of hitting the ball better. So he will or Toby Baker will definitely have his shot come Saturday.' Bielema changed place-kickers during the Georgia game.  Sophomore walk-on Adam McFain of Greenwood kicked Arkansas' last two PAT's against Georgia. Senior kicker John Henson suffered a blocked PAT during the 14-13 SEC loss to Alabama on Oct. 11 and his lone PAT against Georgia was blocked after Arkansas took a 6-0 lead. 'We obviously had a little penetration on that first one,' Bielema said of Georgia blocking Henson's PAT. 'But Adam McFain gets the kick up so quickly that he's going to handle the kicking duties until I see something different to take him out of that role.' McFain has done most of Arkansas kick-offs since Irwin-Hill was replaced as the early-season kickoff man. McFain had replaced Henson for long field goals but his lone attempt against Alabama never materialized because the wet-ball snap in the rain went awry." - Hootens 

September 30, 2014 - kicking competition
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said the Razorbacks will open the place-kicking competition during the bye week after senior John Henson missed a 44-yard field goal in the 35-28 loss to Texas A&M last Saturday. Bielema said he met with special teams coordinator Rory Segrest and the Razorbacks plan to evaluate their options. Henson, who won the kicking job over freshman Cole Hedlund in preseason camp, is 2-for-4. But his two field goals are from 21 and 22 yards. 'If it was even close, normally you tend to go with the younger player,' Bielema said of the competition. 'But John was stroking the ball just extremely well. I want to say in the first three weeks he had one miss. Every day at the beginning of practice we kick four field goals with our ones and twos. We machine-gun fire them and we do them up front to try to create a little bit of a stressor. I’m yelling at them, everybody’s yelling at them. He had been fairly solid. But obviously last week and then this week causes us to make a further evaluation of what the situation is'.... Bielema said Arkansas will open the competition to Henson, Hedlund, freshman Lane Saling and sophomore Adam McFain. Saling made an extra point in the Nicholls State win, while McFain has handled kickoff duties the past two games. Bielema said Arkansas had considered McFain as an option on field goals of 40 yards or more. But he wasn’t comfortable going with the sophomore last week." - Pine Bluff Commercial

August 22, 2104 - final summer scrimmage
"Senior specialist Sam Irwin-Hill showed his strong leg, booting kickoffs deep into the end zone and unleashing some long punts … Senior kicker John Henson nailed a 56-yard field goal with room to spare." - Nashville Sports Mix

August 18, 2014 - kicking competition
“I got a lot of good perspectives on all sorts of lessons.' John Henson is finally ready to apply them on the field, though, as he competes with freshman Cole Hedlund for the starting position in preseason camp. The Razorbacks are in search of someone they can count on after Zach Hocker was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. So far, Henson looks like he’s the favorite to win the position. He has made every field goal attempt in practices open to the media this preseason and has shown range solid range. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said before last Saturday’s scrimmage Henson had a 'bit of an edge' in the competition against Hedlund because he has been 'absolutely fantastic' on field goals. But Arkansas holder Matt Emrich — who is preparing for his second year at the position — said both have made the competition intriguing this month. 'It’s completely different this year because last year it was obviously Zach and it was him the whole way,' Emrich said. 'They’re battling right now. John’s doing a great job and Cole’s doing a good job too, for a freshman. We’ll see where it ends up'.” - Times Record

August 16, 2014 - summer scrimmage
"Kickers John Henson and Cole Hedlund each missed one field goal Saturday. Henson's miss was wide left from 47 yards away. Hedlund had a 30-yard kick bounce off the left upright. It appears Henson would be the team's starting place-kicker and kickoff man if the season began today." - Whole Hog Sports

August 13, 2014 - coach discusses kicking
"To open the Razorbacks’ second practice of the day, Arkansas’ kicking team squared off in a field goal competition. Senior John Henson was perfect and closed the competition with a 50-yard field goal. Coach Bielema on the kicking game: "The kickers have been a highlight, including the punters. Each kicker has been either 3-for-4 or 4-for-4 almost every single day we’ve been practicing. I always like to put them a bit out of their comfort range and they’ve responded. John Henson has been absolutely fantastic in the field goal department and Sam Irwin-Hill has looked good in the kick-off department, which has been a nice surprise for us." - Arkansas Fight

August 10, 2014 - kicker John Henson awarded scholarship
"Kicker John Henson, who is a senior, was awarded a scholarship today by Bret Bielema, who has said he wants to build a strong walk-on program at Arkansas. Henson was 1-of-1 on PAT attempts in Arkansas' season-opening victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. He also had one kickoff that went 65 yards in that game. In 2012, he made two appearances playing in games against South Carolina and LSU. Against LSU he scored all seven of his points kicking one PAT as well as field goals of 25 and 17 yards." - 247 Sports

July 26, 2014 - punter Blake Johnson commits
"He and his family visited Fayetteville on Thursday before leaving for a visit to LSU. Johnson, 6-1, 190, of Los Alamitos, Calif., is rated the No. 1 punter in the nation by Chris Sailer Kicking and had scholarship offers from Oregon State, Duke and Colorado. LSU asked him to walk-on because of limited scholarships. Johnson said the coaching staff and the people of Fayetteville helped sway him." - Whole Hog Sports 

May 30, 2014 - the specialists
"Australian Sam Irwin-Hill’s introduction to major-college football was action-packed. The ambidextrous punter ranked 13th in the nation with a 44.3-yard average, and he triggered several fourth-down gambles, running and throwing, with mixed results. The Razorbacks gave a scholarship to Texas legend Cole Hedlund, hoping he can follow Zach Hocker as the next four-year kicker in the program." - Athlon Sports

February 5, 2014 - kicker Cole Hedlund signs
"Hedlund went 24/26 on field goal attempts as a senior. Coming up one short of his own national single season record he set as a sophomore. If that's not impressive enough, he also set the national record for field goals in a career with 51, a week after missing his only two of the season. His efforts earned him a first team selection on the USA Today's All-USA team. Hedlund is rated a three star prospect on most major recruiting services, he chose Arkansas over Texas A&M, among other schools.With the kicker spot vacated by Zach Hocker, who is no stranger to breaking records himself, Hedlund should definitely be in the running for the open job." - Arkansas Fight

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Watching the Liberty Bowl it appeared we were afraid to kick off...why can't we get a kicker that can put it in the end zone on kick-offs? Or, why can't our special team play better? It doesn't look good when we kick off to the other teams 40 yard line just to be safe.....

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