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Friday, June 19, 2015

West Virginia Mountaineers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

June 18, 2015 - kicker/punter Jonn Young commits
"Rated as the number 30 placekicker in the nation by the prestigious Kohl Kicking Camp, Jonn Young jumped on an offer from West Virginia, becoming the 12th commitment in the class of 2016. A rising senior at Davie High School, Young earned 4.5 out of five stars as both a kicker and a punter from Kohl." - Scout

April 25, 2015 - spring game
"Kicker Josh Lambert went 1-for-3 on field goal attempts, missing from 46 yards and 44 yards, respectively. Lambert converted on the final kick, which was for 45 yards." - West Virginia Illustrated

December 29, 2014 - kicker Josh Lambert sets records during Liberty Bowl
"kicker Josh Lambert etched his name in NCAA record books twice in a 45-37 loss Monday night to Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl. Lambert, a redshirt sophomore, made all three field-goal tries to tie a Division I record for most multiple-field goal games (10) and most field-goal attempts (39) in a season. His 30 made field goals was one short of the NCAA record Georgia’s Billy Bennett set in 2003. Lambert accounted for 134 points this season, 48 more than in 2013, and his 10.3 points-per-game average ranked eighth in Division I-A." - Post-Gazette

October 18, 2014 - kicker Josh Lambert 
"Those in attendance at Milan Puskar Stadium may have noticed WVU kicker Josh Lambert leaving the sidelines several times during the game to use the public restroom behind the south end zone. He left twice in the first half and once in the second. Lambert was not nauseous or experiencing bladder problems. He has type 2 diabetes and was administering insulin to himself to control the glucose level in his blood. 'I was able to bring it down,' Lambert said. Despite his disease and some leg cramping, Lambert tied a school record with his 54-yard field goal in the second quarter. The kick gave him five field goals of 50 yards or longer, tying Paul Woodside (1981-84). Lambert’s 16 field goals so far this season are tied for seventh-most in a single season in school history. He is 4-of-4 on field goals of 50 yards or more, including a career-best 55-yarder to beat Texas Tech last week." - Exponent Telegram 

October 11, 2014 - Josh Lambert kicks 55 yard game winner over Texas Tech
"I think you either have it or you don't,' WVU redshirt sophomore kicker Josh Lambert said following West Virginia's 37-34 win at Texas Tech on Saturday. 'You have to be able to push mistakes out really fast. You can't let it bother you'.... Lambert gave the Mountaineers the win on Saturday in a football game that featured just about everything you could ask for. His 55-yard game-winner tied a WVU in-game record set by former Mountaineer kicker Paul Woodside in 1984. A 47-yard miss preceded that kick, just inches past the right upright. But in typical Josh Lambert form, it was on to the next one. '“I missed one before that, so I just had to concentrate on doing my job and hitting a good ball. As soon as I hit it, I knew it was a good ball. Whether I had the distance or not, I wasn't sure. It was a pretty long field goal. But after I watched it for a couple of seconds, I knew it was going to go in. It felt good,' Lambert noted. Prior to knocking down 3-of-4 field goals against Texas Tech on Saturday, Lambert has given the Mountaineers a solid kicking game, going 11-of-15 through the first five games." - West Virginia Illustrated

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September 13, 2014 - Josh Lambert kicks game winner over Maryland
Josh Lambert's 47-yard field goal as time expired gave West Virginia a 40-37 win over Maryland at Byrd Stadium. WVU let a 28-6 second quarter lead get away before Lambert broke the tie.... And then the game was tied when Likely returned Nick O'Toole's punt 69 yards for a touchdown. It was time to start all over again, 37-37, with 9:43 remaining. Lambert tried to give WVU a three-point lead, but Maryland blocked his 43-yard field goal attempt and took over on its 27. The Mountaineers stuff a run on third-and-1, forcing a punt. Nathan Renfro boomed one to the WVU 5." - Tribune-Review

August 16, 2014 - final summer scrimmage
"Then there were those special teams. The only one really on display was the field goal unit at the end of those two stalled offensive drives. But sophomore kicker Josh Lambert missed both. One was a 50-yarder with plenty of length, but wide right. The other was a shanked chip shot. 'He’s got to be more consistent,' said special teams coach Joe DeForest. 'It’s disappointing and I let him know that'." - WV Gazette

August 6, 2014 - kicker Josh Lambert
"Special teams coordinator JoeDeForest said WVU has to be careful Lambert doesn’t get too big or too tight and risk pulling or straining anything. He was assigned yoga during the summer to work on core strength and flexibility. When the kickers are inactive during practice, Lambert is with the strength and conditioning coaches working on stretches and staying loose. DeForest said he has to do some things differently, too. 'Josh has a habit of really overworking,' DeForest said. 'You love for guys to do that, but not at that position. He warms up too much and it’s hard to control him. Just stop. Get loose by stretching, running, riding a bike. Don’t get loose banging a ball and hurt yourself. We have a much better warmup routine now than last year, and that was me getting to know him and him getting to know his body.' DeForest said Lambert is free to try 60-yard field goals in practice and that he makes them consistently. 'I don’t want to say with ease,' DeForest said, 'but they’re clearing by four or five yards'.” - Charleston Daily Mail

August 3, 2014 - summer specialists
"So this August, the emphasis is on preserving Lambert’s leg. 'What we’ve tried to do this camp and throughout the fall, we’re going to pare down his reps,' special teams coordinator Joe DeForest said. 'He loves to kick. He loves to warm up. Well, that tears his body down.' DeForest said that within the first couple of days of preseason camp, Lambert hit one field goal close to 60 yards. 'His leg strength is the best it’s ever been,' DeForest said. 'I think that comes with strength and conditioning and it comes with not kicking as much.' Lambert and O’Toole aren’t the only returnees to the kicking game. Snapper John DePalma is now in his third season and has been so perfect in his snaps that he’s seldom noticed. The holder, Mike Molinari, doesn’t botch handling snaps, either, and can also serve as the backup punter and kicker. 'As a group, I think it’s the best I’ve ever had,' said DeForest, who coordinated the special teams at Oklahoma State before coming to WVU. 'The snapper, the holder, the punter and the kicker, as a group, is as solid a group as anybody in the country.' If there is a weak spot it would be kickoffs. 'I’d like to have the ball kicked into the end zone a little bit more than we do,' DeForest said. 'That’s probably our weakest link.' All three of the kickers can handle kickoff duties. Molinari did it most of last season and O’Toole tried it a few times. Lambert didn’t kick off in an effort to save his leg. Freshman walk-on Billy Kinney from University High is also in camp and any of the four could win the kickoff job. 'It’s an open competition,' DeForest said." - Charleston Gazette

July 26, 2014 - punter Nick O'Toole works on mental strength
"O’Toole wants to perfect his craft, and he can point to individual kicks and entire games when he wasn’t at his best. 'Mentally, I don’t think I was at full strength. Coming in from California, it’s great weather. There’s no wind and no weather conditions I have to worry about. Then coming to West Virginia, it’s cold, it’s rainy and going to Kansas it’s windy and Texas is windy. Everywhere is windy, and it’s awful for a punter,' O’Toole said with a laugh. He’s been working on remaining in the moment, regardless of the circumstances he faces. 'It’s more of getting in the good habits and breaking the bad habits you have and knowing this is a good kick, how did that look and how do I build off that?' O’Toole said." - The DPost

June 30, 2014 - kicker Josh Lambert healthy
"Lambert was battling two torn muscles in his groin and in his foot. But he’s healthy now. 'I’ve had a really, really solid offseason (of workouts),' he said. 'I’ve been working hard, lifting weights. When we’re not too sore to kick some, we do.' Lambert has added 15 pounds to his body since last season, and he believes that will help, too. 'But I think the biggest thing is that I stay healthy,' he said." - Times West Virginian

April 24, 2014 - kicker Josh Lambert
"In the annual Gold-Blue Spring Game, West Virginia redshirt sophomore kicker Josh Lambert made his presence known. Capped off by a 53-yard field goal, Lambert continued his consistent play after a strong spring. The Garland, Texas, native, said his range can go even further than what everyone saw April 12. 'I’ve gotten a lot stronger, and I’ve been doing a lot of yoga in the offseason, which has helped a lot,' Lambert said. 'It’s made me more flexible. During pregame today, I hit a 60-yarder. On from that point it’s hit or miss, but given the right conditions, I can hit 60.' Besides doing yoga, which was recommended by Mike Joseph, the director of strength and conditioning, Lambert said not much has changed since the 2013-14 season until now. 'Nothing has changed. Everyone is still the same. My job is still the same. I don’t get nervous anymore, so that’s different,' Lambert said." - TheDAOnline

April 2, 2014 - punter Nick O'Toole spring practice
Through nine practices O'Toole has tried to perfect his craft by working on more situational kicking. Everyday he kicks directionally or works on his pooch kicking. O'Toole wants to prepare for some of those clutch punts DeForest referenced, that he may have to convert. 'We've been up at the indoor lately because of the cold and it has helped a bit because I've been able to work more on directional kicking,' said O'Toole. 'We play a game in there where I choose a quadrant of the field to punt the ball into. So I've been focused a lot on the little things especially the directional part of the game.'...  O'Toole continues to work on the basic drop from his hands to the blast of the punt. Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeForest also has O'Toole practicing kickoffs to become a viable candidate to compete with Mike Molinari for the kickoff specialist job." - Rivals

 February 23, 2014 - Michael Molinari competing for several roles
"Head football coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff played host to media members who cover the Mountaineer program. One of those receiving praise was Parkersburg South graduate Michael Molinari. 'He (Molinari) is a workout warrior,' Holgorsen said. 'He's already our holder for PATs and field goals and he added the kickoff duties last season. But, now he has his sights on doing everything - placekicking, punting and kicking off.' Molinari, who came to Morgantown as an invited walk-on in 2010, spent his first season with the team as a redshirt, but quickly began to climb the depth chart at several positions.... His work ethic is well documented, but his leadership qualities have grown along with his responsibilities with the Mountaineers. Which, apparently, could grow even more despite the return of placekicker Josh Lambert and punter Nick O'Toole." - Parkersburg News and Sentinel

January 9, 2014 - kicker Billy Kinney commits as preferred walk-on
"The opportunity to work with WVU special-teams coordinator Joe DeForest ultimately convinced University High’s Billy Kinney to verbally commit to the Mountaineers as a preferred walk-on. 'He’s put a lot of guys into the NFL,' Kinney said. 'That’s one of my goals, to make it there. I think I would enjoy my time with him and he would be able to help me get better. I’m really looking forward to that.' The senior punter/kicker averaged 42 yards per punt this season, while playing limited time due to a partially torn deltoid ligament in his ankle. Kinney, who will enroll in summer classes but is undecided on his major, said his ankle should be fully healed by the time he begins at WVU next season." - The DPost

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