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Friday, February 6, 2015

Syracuse Orange Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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February 4, 2015 - kicker Sterling Hofrichter & long snapper Matt Keller sign
"Sterling Hofrichter: Valrico, Fla., Armwood HS, 2014 Florida All-State Class 6A First Team ... Ranked as the sixth-best kicker and ninth-best punter by Kohl’s Kicking Camp ... In 2014, helped lead the Hawks to a 15-1 record and the Class 6A state championship game ... As a senior, hit eight field goals and 61 PATs, and averaged 40.1 yards per punt ... In 2013, team played in Class 6A state championship game ... Career stats: 17 field goals, 131 PATs
Matt Keller:  Willow Street, Pa., Penn Manor HS, Enrolled in January and will participate in Spring practice ... High school: 2014 Under Armour All-American and played in the 2015 Under Armour All-American game ... 2014 Eastern Pennsylvania Football Big School First Team ... 2014 Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1 at center and honorable mention at defensive end ... As a senior captain, had 26 tackles, including three for a loss and 1.5 sacks, and one fumble recovery ... 2013 Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1 Honorable Mention at center ... 2013 Kohl’s Kicking All-America First Team." - Orange

December 7, 2014 - long snapper Matt Keller commits
"Penn Manor (Millersville, Pa.) High School senior long snapper Matt Keller has verbally committed to Syracuse after taking an official visit this weekend. Mike McAllister of first reported the news. Keller, who stands at 6 feet and weighs 225 pounds, becomes the Orange's 25th verbal commitment in the Class of 2015, counting 2014 holdover cornerbacks Lamar Dawson and Treevon Prater. Coming into the visit, his only offer was from the Orange, Penn Manor head coach Todd Mealy said on Thursday, though North Carolina, Louisville and Texas Tech were all showing interest.Keller is ranked the No. 1 long snapper in the country by Kohl's Kicking.... With SU senior long snapper Sam Rodgers set to graduate, the Orange will also return walk-on redshirt sophomore Keith Mitsuuchi and walk-on true freshman Nathan Hines at the position." -

October 30, 2014 - punter Riley Dixon
"The seniors 43.5 yards per punt rank him just 0.9 yards off the Atlantic Coast Conference lead. His 1,869 punting yards are fourth in the conference. More than one-third of his punts have pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line. And while his seasons been defined by his punting, its been highlighted by his offensive capabilities. When Syracuse faced Villanova on Aug. 29, Dixon threw a game-winning touchdown on a fake field goal in double overtime to help SU capture a 27-26 win. Against Notre Dame on Sept. 27, he faked a punt and ran 42 yards, becoming SUs leading rusher for the game in the process." - Daily Orange

October 19, 2014 - kicker Cole Murphy
"Cole Murphy has stabilized the field goal kicker position. Murphy was 3-for-3 on field goals against Wake Forest and has made 8-of-9 since taking over the job." -

September 30, 2014 - kicker Cole Murphy
"In the Oranges 34-20 loss to Maryland on Sept. 20, he came on for starter Ryan Norton and booted a 49-yard field goal during the first quarter. In Saturdays game against Notre Dame at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, he started and made a 38-yard field goal on his first try before hitting the right upright and missing from 37 later in the game. His powerful leg had him taking kickoffs in the Oranges season opener against Villanova. But junior starting kicker Ryan Norton went 4-for-7 in SUs first two games and Murphy pushed into a starting role against the Fighting Irish. 'Every weeks a competition,' Murphy said before the Notre Dame game. 'Every week were trying to get the exact same spot. Im trying to get Nortons, hes trying to get mine'." - Daily Orange

September 23, 2014 - kicking competition
"After junior kicker Ryan Norton missed a 25-yard field goal and freshman walk-on kicker Cole Murphy hit a 49-yarder in Syracuse's 34-20 loss to Maryland on Saturday, the two are splitting reps in practice this week. Special teams coach Tim Daoust said the two will continue to see even kicks in practice Wednesday and Thursday before a decision is made heading into the Orange's matchup with No. 8 Notre Dame on Saturday at 8 p.m. in MetLife Stadium. 'We'll sit around and talk as coaches, and the best guy wins,' Daoust said." - The Post-Standard

September 12, 2014 - punter/QB Riley Dixon
"Many of the people watching Syracuse University’s 27-26 overtime victory against Villanova in the Aug. 29 season opener were shocked to see SU punter/holder Riley Dixon throw the game-winning touchdown pass on a fake field goal.... Dixon, a senior who became just the 11th non-quarterback to throw a touchdown for SU since 1980, said he played under center all through youth football until he was a junior in high school.... Dixon is one of 25 punters in the nation on the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, presented annually to the best player in the nation at the position. 'To be honest, nothing has changed since that play,' Dixon said. 'I’m a punter. I’m a punter that holds field goals, but my main focus is on getting better at my craft and preparing for that next game'." - Watertown Daily Times

August 17, 2014 - punter Evan Jakubowski leaves team
"Freshman walk-on punter Evan Jakubowski left the team. learned of the news Sunday evening and it was confirmed by Syracuse Athletics. No reason was immediately given. Jakubowski came to Syracuse as a walk-on and announced his intentions in April." - Scout

August 2, 2014 - hip injury ends Ross Krautman's kicking career
"Syracuse kicker Ross Krautman has decided to end his career because of a chronic hip injury that he's been battling the last few years. Head coach Scott Shafer announced the decision on Saturday afternoon.... Shafer said the decision on Krautman was made "a short while back" and that Krautman was 'crushed'. 'It breaks my heart,' Shafer said. 'The kid was beside himself. But he'll do well with that SU degree.' Krautman's return to the field had been anticipated since he received a medical waiver for a fifth season. He underwent hip surgery last year and missed the final 11 games of the 2013 season. 'We were really hopeful he was going to make it back,' Shafer said. 'It's continued to be a bother to him. He's had a lot of pain with it. Ross is a great kid, one of my favorite kids on the team, and I really appreciate the effort he put into his time here at Syracuse and he'll be missed, he really will'." -

July 10, 2014 - kicker Cole Murphy
"He'll be thrown into an intriguing position group that includes injury-plagued fifth-year senior Ross Krautman, twice-suspended junior Ryan Norton and senior walk-on Alex Hodgkinson, the British kicker who was added to the SU roster after Norton's first suspension....Murphy, one of four preferred walk-ons in the class (punter Evan Jakubowski, center Donnie Foster and long snapper Nathan Hines are the others) said he hopes to earn a scholarship by his sophomore year. His strength is power, nailing a 50-yarder and recording 57 touchbacks for Valencia last season. His accuracy — Murphy made 6-of-9 field goals as a senior and 10-of-15 in his high school career — is his main focus for improvement." - The Post-Standard

June 27, 2014 - kicker/punter Sterling Hofrichter commits
Armwood (Seffner, Fla.) High School kicker/punter Sterling Hofrichter verbally committed to Syracuse on Friday, he confirmed in a phone interview. 'I was just waiting out to see if I had any offers, any other choices I had,' Hofrichter said. 'But Syracuse, once I went up there, I fell in love with it. I love the coaches. That's why I committed to Syracuse.' Hofrichter, ranked the No. 6 kicker and No. 13 punter in the nation by, becomes the 18th member in the Orange's Class of 2015 and 16th announced verbal commitment.... Hofrichter said he was told by the coaching staff that they expect him to start right away. 'The kicking coach (Christopher Gould) there told me that they want me to come in and start as a freshman, Hofrichter said. They've already told me that they want me to do field goals, kickoffs and punting. If Hofrichter keeps his verbal pledge and signs his letter of intent in February, he'll join an Orange team with turnover coming in the kicking unit. Kicker Ross Krautman, who was granted a fifth year of eligibility, will be gone, while kicker Ryan Norton and punter Riley Dixon will be entering their final seasons." - The Post-Standard

May 30, 2014 - kicker/punter Sterling Hofrichter visits
Syracuse hosted its No. 1 target on special teams on Friday when Florida kicker/punter Sterling Hofrichter visited the school. As far as visits go, it was pretty routine. He toured campus, checked out the Carrier Dome, weight room, cafeteria, locker room and dorm rooms he'd be staying in as a freshman. He also tried on the new uniforms, a moment he captured and posted on Instagram during the visit. But there was also the business end of things. He met with several members of the staff, including head coach Scott Shafer, and left with the same impression he had before flying up to Syracuse. It wants Hofrichter to be its specialist of the future. 'He told me I'm their man and they're not going to offer anybody, but if it gets too late later on and they don't know if I'm going to commit to them, they might offer another kicker,' Hofrichter said Friday night. 'But he said he'll let me know if they're going to offer another kicker.' A lot will hinge in the coming weeks as Hofrichter attends kicking camps at Tennessee and Auburn." -

April 23, 2014 - kicker Ryan Norton currently suspended
"Norton did not play in Saturday's spring game because he was serving a suspension for a violation of team rules. Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer revealed the news on Wednesday's ACC coaches' teleconference. He did not say what team rule Norton broke, but the junior kicker will re-join the team this summer. 'He violated some team rules, and he's done a nice job taking ownership,' Shafer said. 'It's between Ryan and I, but he'll be back with us shortly and we look forward to that.' It's the second time in five months Norton was suspended. He was suspended for the Nov. 2 game against Wake Forest after police arrested and charged him with resisting arrest and underage drinking. He returned the following week and converted both field goal attempts in a victory at Maryland." -

April 21, 2014 - kicker Evan Jakubowski competing
"Riley Dixon was offered a scholarship by the Orange at the end of last season and seems to have solidified his spot as the team’s starting punter. But with rising senior Ross Krautman missing much of last season with a hip injury and rising junior Ryan Norton sidelined this spring, Jakubowski is ready to contend for kickoffs and field goals in the fall. 'My high school needed a kicker senior year, so I went in and did all three kicks and loved every minute of it,' Jakubowski said. 'I always thought it would be great to compete in college and now I have that opportunity. I obviously want to try and get on the field right away'.” - Daily Orange

April 19, 2014 - spring game
"Senior kicker Alex Hodgkinson converted both of his field goal attempts, covering 23 and 28 yards, respectively." - Cuse

April 10, 2014 - long snapper Nathan Hines switches
"Nathan Hines, a walk-on long snapper from Catonsville High, was originally going to go to his hometown Maryland Terrapins. Subsequent to what appeared to be his final decision, he took a trip to Syracuse to visit the Orange.... 'They gave me an opportunity to play,' Hines said. 'Where at Maryland I was going to be a backup. The coaches at Syracuse were real nice. Not hating on the Maryland coaches, they were nice too. I just felt more at home at Syracuse.' Hines is a 6-foot-3, 250 pound athlete who played long snapper, defensive end and tight end in high school. He will join Syracuse this summer and be on the roster for the 2014 season." - Scout

April 9, 2014 - kicker/punter Evan Jakubowski commits
"Syracuse picked up some depth in special teams when kicker/punter Evan Jakubowski announced his commitment to the Orange via his Twitter account late Wednesday afternoon. He becomes the 26th player in SU’s Class of 2014. 'Incredibly blessed to say I am now officially committed to play football at Syracuse University! #GoOrange,' Jakubowski tweeted. Listed at 6 feet and 175 pounds on his Hudl profile, Jakubowski can join the Orange for practice in August after he ends his career at Wheaton-Warrenville South High School in Wheaton, Ill." - Daily Orange

April 2, 2014 - looking to add another punter
"There is little from putting Syracuse in a challenging situation should the Orange lose Riley Dixon, and that is enough of a reason for the staff to bring in another punter before the start of the season. 'We're hoping, if it's the right guy,' head coach Scott Shafer said following Tuesday's practice. 'We'll have some good people in mind, but it hasn't been solidified yet. But we'll have someone in camp.' Syracuse is in the market for an additional punter after Jonathan Fisher left the team this offseason to focus on graduating in December.... 
Alex Hodgkinson, an ex-rugby player from London, walked onto the football team last season and has started punting in practice as well. Shafer said 'it wasn't the prettiest thing in the world, but he got it down the field. He has a pretty good leg but was inconsistent with getting it off on time,' Shafer said. 'But now he's been under the 1.3s and that's pretty good'."-

March 5, 2014 - first to offer kicker Sterling Hofrichter
"Syracuse has left little doubt who the top kicking specialist is on its recruiting board for 2015. Head coach Scott Shafer watched the kid hit a 55-yard field goal during a December practice in Florida, and his mind was made up. This is who he envisioned taking over the position in the near future. Sterling Hofrichter is the only kicker Syracuse has offered, according to recruiting services. What makes him even more appealing is that his punting might equal his field goal kicking ability.... He said he's planning on taking an unofficial visit to campus this summer, around the time he is traveling north to attend a kicking camp in Wisconsin. That Syracuse was his first offer was meaningful, he said, but a mix of good football with a strong academic curriculum for physical therapy are early factors he values. Miami (Fla.) and Penn State are two schools that have showed interest, but no other school has yet offered." - The Post-Standard

February 24, 2014 - kicker Ryan Norton sentenced to community service
"A Syracuse City Court judge ruled on Monday that a kicker on the Syracuse University football team who was arrested in October for resisting arrest and unlawful possession of alcohol complete 30 hours of community service. If Ryan Norton completes the community service and stays out of additional legal trouble, the case will be dismissed after six months." - Daily Orange 

February 20, 2014 - punter Jonathan Fisher leaves team
"Fisher has left the team to focus on getting his degree in December, SU Athletics spokeswoman Sue Edson confirmed on Thursday. Fisher, a junior, still had one season left of eligibility, but lost his starting job to Riley Dixon after the Orange’s loss to then-No. 19 Northwestern in early September. He appeared in three games in 2013, punting eight times for an average of 39.1 yards.... He was the Orange’s starter for the entirety of the 2012 season and averaged 38.4 yards per punt. He was one of 10 true freshmen to appear in a game during 2011. He punted 43 times in nine games for an average of 39.3 yards per kick. Fisher finishes his SU career with 104 punts with an average 38.3 yards per kick. He leaves Dixon, a kicker/punter, as the only punter on Syracuse’s roster for 2014." - Daily Orange

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