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Friday, August 28, 2015

North Carolina Tarheels Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

August 27, 2015 - kicking & punting competitions
"According to Coach Larry Fedora, junior Nick Weiler is guaranteed to handle some kicking duties this season. Kickoff duty, to be more specific. But that’s where promises end for the specialists. Redshirt freshman Corbin Daly is expected to start at punter, but junior Joey Mangili is also vying for the spot. At place-kicker, Weiler and redshirt freshman Freeman Jones remain in serious contention. But Fedora does not plan on making, or at least announcing, any final decision until the opening game versus South Carolina on Sept. 3." - Daily Tar Heel

November 10, 2014 - kicking competition
"Nick Weiler and Thomas Moore spent the bye week battling for the starting placekicker role after struggles by both throughout the season. That competition will continue through Thursday’s practice, according to UNC head coach Larry Fedora. 'They’re out there in front of the whole team competing,' Fedora told reporters during his weekly press conference on Monday. 'They’re going head-to-head, one after another in live situations. We’ve had quite a few kicks in front of the team and it’s been good competition.' Placekicker woes have plagued the Tar Heels ever since Casey Barth graduated in 2012. Barth connected on a school-record 66 field goals during his career, including a solid 15-of-21 from 40-yards or more. UNC has made one field goal of 40 yards or more in the 22 games since Barth’s departure. Moore was responsible for that kick, a 40-yarder in the final minutes of UNC’s 39-17 win over Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl last December. Moore started the season at placekicker while Weiler handled kickoff duties, but Weiler soon took over. Both kickers have struggled to establish any level of consistency. Weiler is 5-of-8 on field goals (all three misses from 30+) and 35-of-37 on PATs. Moore has missed both of his field goal attempts (both from 40+) and is 5-of-5 on PATs. UNC’s longest made field goal in 2014 is a 23-yarder against San Diego State." - Scout

August 19, 2014 - summer specialists
"A familiar face will continue the place-kicking duties for Carolina as senior Thomas Moore,  who has made 96 of 98 extra points and 22 of 32 field goals over his career, returns as the starter. This will be his third season as the starting kicker since being forced into service full-time after Casey Barth's career-ending injury in late 2012. Moore is a solid, if not spectacular, kicker who has somewhat limited range. He has only kicked one field goal longer than 40 yards, and that was his freshman year. Moore gives you a chance for points inside 40 yards, but that's about all. Handling the kickoff duties and perhaps taking a few swats at field goals will be sophomore Nick Weiler, who took over kickoffs later last season as well. Meanwhile, senior punter Tommy Hibbard has flown somewhat under the radar on his way to becoming one of the premier punters in the ACC and a key weapon in the Tar Heel attack. Hibbard has once again been named to the preseason watch list for the Ray Guy Award for the nation's best punter, and his precision, especially inside the 20, is a big reason why. In 2013, 25 of his 65 punts were downed inside the 20 and had just six touchbacks. The ability to pin teams deep will certainly help the Carolina defense." - Tar Heel Blog

February 11, 2014 - kicker Thomas Blakely to walk-on
"Reynolds has a good track record of sending walk-on football players to the University of North Carolina in recent years.Thomas Blakey has kept that pipeline open, accepting a roster spot to kick for the Tar Heels.... Blakey, he earned All-Mountain Athletic Conference and All-WNC honors in 2013 after breaking or tying 14 school kicking records. He was also the only placekicker selected to The Associated Press all-state team. Blakey made 72 of 74 extra-point attempts and nine field goals, including a season-best kick from 47 yards. Blakey’s 30-yard field goal in the third overtime gave the Rockets a win at Statesville in the second round of the NCHSAA 3-AA playoffs. Blakey did not discover his gift for kicking a football until high school. He had primarily been a soccer player up to that point." - Citizen-Times

February 5, 2014 - kicker Freeman Jones signs
"The Barth Era will be hard to forget and replace at North Carolina, but Freeman Jones has great potential to be just as good if not better. The 8th ranked kicker in the country, Freeman Jones signed his National Letter of Intent this morning and is officially a North Carolina Tar Heels.... Jones has been a key to the success of Bunn’s special teams and is now on his way to build a name for himself at UNC. The 6-1 place kicker participated in the US Army All-American Bowl and was an Associated Press All-State selection. The 8th ranked kicker also played for North Carolina in the annual Shrine Bowl against South Carolina. Coming in off of a scholarship, Jones is expected to compete with Thomas Moore for the job, but more than likely should be the starter." - Keeping It Heel

January 26, 2014 - punter Corbin Daly commits
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