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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Colorado Buffaloes Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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September 19, 2015 - Diego Gonzalez kicks OT game winner over Colorado State
"Almost as soon as Diego Gonzalez missed a field goal at the end of regulation that would have won Saturday night’s Colorado-Colorado State game, his CU teammates had a message for him: 'They just told me not to worry about it,' Gonzalez said. 'They told me I’d get another chance and they knew I’d hit it.' The native of Mexico didn’t let his teammates down. Given a chance at redemption in overtime, Gonzalez calmly booted a 32-yard game winner to lift Colorado to a 27-24 victory. '“I just had to trust myself,' said Gonzalez, whose parents were in the stands for the game. 'My teammates trusted me, my coaches trusted me and I just had to do what I’d been doing for years.' Gonzalez, who played high school football in Mexico and also college ball for a year at the University of Monterrey, said it was the first game winner in his career. 'I thought it was good when I hit it,' he said. 'I looked up and saw it was good. It was an amazing feeling, and it felt good that I didn’t let my teammates down. They trusted me'." - Buffaloes

May 25, 2015 - kicking competition
"Sophomore Chris Graham, junior Diego Gonzalez and true freshman Alex Kinney will compete to be the starting place-kicker in fall camp in August. Kinney is also expected to be the punter....  Coach MacIntyre said he isn't worried about the kicking situation because he saw positive signs from Graham and Gonzalez in the spring and he likes the talent that Kinney brings to the competition." - Daily Camera

April 1, 2015 - long snapper J.T. Bale to walk-on
"J.T. Bale played high school football for a program coached by a former Colorado Buffalo. Now he will get to wear the same college logo his coach did. Bale, a senior at La Mirada High School in La Mirada, Calif., has accepted an offer from coach Mike MacIntyre to join the CU program as a preferred walk-on at long snapper this summer, reported. Bale played for former CU coach Mike Moschetti in high school. Bale will likely redshirt in 2015 while senior Wyatt Tucker Smith handles the long-snapping duties and then Bale can take over in 2016 with a chance to become another four-year starter at longsnapper. Greg Pace, Justin Drescher and Ryan Iverson all have filled the role for four consecutive years in Boulder in the recent past. Bale is 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds and played linebacker and tight end in high school in addition to long snapping. " - BuffZone

March 15, 2015 - kicker Diego Gonzalez currently atop the depth chart 
"Diego Gonzalez is leading the competition at both place-kicker and punter, but freshman Alex Kinney is expected to be the punter when he arrives this summer. The fact that Gonzalez is ahead of Chris Graham at place-kicker is somewhat curious because Graham had made five of his seven field goal attempts in the three scrimmages before Sunday while Gonzalez had made four of seven." - Broomfield Enterprise 

February 21, 2015 - spring specialists 
The competition for Colorado's vacant place-kicking and punting jobs is just getting started with one week of spring ball completed and there is no clear-cut favorite among the current group of players.That could change — at least in regard to the punting job - when highly regarded recruit Alex Kinney joins the roster this summer. He is widely considered the favorite to earn that job with all the major recruiting services rating him among the best punters in the nation. Right now walk-on junior Cameron Silzer is the only punter listed on the roster. The departure of punter Darragh O'Neill and place-kicker Will Oliver, both of whom graduated, creates opportunity for sophomore Chris Graham and junior Diego Gonzalez to claim the field goal kicking duties and the kickoff responsibility and opens up the punting job as well. It's possible one of them could earn both place-kicking jobs, but it seems more likely they might end up splitting them.... Gonzalez, a product of Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has been on the roster the past two seasons. He is a left-footed kicker who has had to learn to improve the height of his kicks and the speed of his get-off times.... Graham met CU coaches when they were still coaching at San Jose State in 2012. When they were hired in Boulder, they offered him a preferred walk-on opportunity he chose to take because it was a chance to kick at the Pac-12 level." - Buff Zone 

February 4, 2015 - punter Alex Kinney signs
"He earned All-Colorado and first-team All-State honors from the Denver Post, Mile High Sports Magazine and Six Zero Strength & Fitness as a senior, when he also garnered All-USA Colorado (USA Today/American Family Insurance) and first-team All-Front Range League recognition at both kicker and punter. He made the prestigious Western 100 list compiled by the Tacoma News-Tribune (one of four specialists on the paper’s 2014 squad), and some services had him ranked as the No.3 prep punter nationally. He was a second-team All-State selection as a junior (kicker), when he was the league’s first-team kicker and second-team punter. As a senior, he averaged 41.6 yards for 47 punts, with a long of 66 and nine inside-the-20; he scored 58 points as he made all 34 of his extra point kicks and 8-of-12 field goals, including a 57-yard boot that tied the eighth-longest in state history. In addition, 51 of his 54 kickoffs went for touchbacks." - Buffaloes

September 30, 2014 - kicker Will Oliver
"Senior placement specialist Will Oliver entered the Cal game having made four of five field goal attempts this season. He left Berkeley a .500 kicker (4 of 8) after uncharacteristically missing three field goal attempts of 39, 39 and 45 yards. Said special teams coach Toby Neinas: 'He doesn’t miss three in practice.' Oliver entered his senior season having made 11 of 15 attempts from 30-39 yards and 8 of 13 from 40-49 yards. He’s 1 of 3 from those distances this season. Noticeably shaken after his three misses at Cal, Oliver nonetheless consented to appear in the postgame interview room, saying that he felt responsible for the 59-56 double-OT loss and wanted to show accountability. In truth, he showed much more than that. When his teammates offered their postgame support, Oliver undoubtedly was appreciative but said it only intensified his pain: 'It just hurts more . . . this is a real first where you feel completely responsible. It’s the beauty and the terrible part about being a kicker.' Oliver also said he was given 'the option not to come in here (interview room), but I think it’s important to be responsible'." - Buffaloes

July 9, 2014 - punter/kicker Alex Kinney commits
"Rocky Mountain High School senior punter and kicker Alex Kinney on Tuesday committed to play college football at the University of Colorado, Kinney confirmed via text Wednesday morning. Kinney said he made up his mind Tuesday night, and he talked on the phone with CU coach Mike MacIntyre and CU special teams coach Toby Neinas. 'We talked for a while, and I told (coach MacIntyre) I wanted to be a Buff,' Kinney said. CU was the first and only school to offer Kinney a scholarship, he said. But many schools — purportedly including Colorado State University — were interested in the state’s top kicker and punter. Kinney played with CSU coach Jim McElwain’s son, Jerrett, last year at Rocky Mountain. Kinney, who is ranked in the top five nationally as a punter by several scouting services, will likely focus on punting and kickoffs at the collegiate level. He boasts a best punt hang time of more than 5 seconds." - Coloradoan

March 25, 2014 - kicker Diego Gonzalez could challenge
"Diego Gonzalez came to Colorado last summer on the strength of a reputation that now spans two countries. He hails from Monterrey, Mexico, and down there the locals saw him as a kicker whose otherworldly potential eventually became so transparent that he made for the perfect representative to bridge a gap between Monterrey and NCAA Division I college football that has rarely been crossed. Coaches don’t often venture into those waters for talent but it didn’t take long before word of Gonzalez’s renowned kicking prowess had gotten their full attention....
After last year’s mandatory redshirt year (per NCAA transfer rules), one he spent avidly learning MacIntyre’s system and the intricacies of big-time college football, Gonzalez and his talents will become officially eligible to take center stage this fall. He came into the spring as the team’s second-string kicker behind incumbent Will Oliver but, he has already made it clear that he will not be content with secondary status. He fully expects to battle Oliver for the top spot at both placekicker and kickoff specialist this fall.... Special teams coach Toby Neinas knows that as talented as Gonzalez is, he may not yet be in Oliver’s class as a placekicker. But for all of Oliver’s deadly accuracy, he can’t offer the same kind of versatility and power as Gonzalez. When pressed, Neinas acknowleged that he will not subscribe himself to that old Wally Pipp school of reasoning. 'It’s Will’s job to lose in my mind,' said Neinas. 'But Diego has been kicking very, very well in camp. I would love for those two guys to just fight it out because they’re both extremely talented'.” - Colorado Buffaloes

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