the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Marshall Thundering Herd Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

September 28, 2015 - punter Tyler Williams named CUSA Special Teams Player of the Week
"Williams punted a career-high 12 times in Marshall's 36-29 double overtime win at Kent State, averaging 46.8 per kick, while downing seven inside the 20-yard line, a figure that broke Kase Whitehead's single-game school record of five vs. Southern Miss in 2011. His 562 punt yards also broke a Marshall single-game record set by Bob Eschbaugh, who had 513 yards on 14 punts in 1972. This is Williams's second career C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week honor and the First since Sept. 24, 2012."  - Thundering Herd

April 17, 2015 - kicking competition
One of the blooming position battles that will be interesting to watch as Marshall University spring football practice wraps up is the kicking competition between Nick Smith and Amoreto Curraj....  battle appears to be brewing with Smith and Curraj, the Herd's kickoff specialist who was red-shirted last year because of bulging disc in his back. Coming into the spring, it was expected that Smith would be the No. 1 and Curraj would be the backup, as evidenced by the Herd putting Smith on scholarship. However, Curraj has looked stronger than ever after missing a year and Holliday has taken notice. It is a stark contrast to the first day of spring practice when Curraj was trying to find his way back into a routine. 'He couldn't even kick a field goal in the first spring practice, let alone make one,' coach Holliday said of Curraj. 'There's no doubt he's a lot more consistent (now). He's always had the leg strength. You saw the leg strength on his kickoffs his freshman year. I'm a little bit surprised he's as consistent as he has been. Right now, he's kicking the ball pretty well'." - The Herld-Dispatch

March 23, 2015 - spring specialists
"The kicking game will get switched around a bit. Nick Smith and Amareto Curraj will not only battle to take kickoffs, but will duel for the field-goal/extra-point duties. Kaare Vedvik will be groomed exclusively as a punter, backing up the well-established Tyler Williams." - Charleston Gazette

December 6, 2014 - Justin Haig kicks four field goals over Louisiana Tech for CUSA title
"The MVP in the Conference USA championship game was clear, and it wasn’t Rakeem Cato, Neville Hewitt or any other well-known name on the Thundering Herd’s roster. 
Instead it was kicker Justin Haig, who made 4-of-4 field goal attempts in critical junctures as Marshall came from behind to beat Louisiana Tech 26-23 on Saturday. 'I told Haig that I had never heard of a kicker getting MVP,' joked coach Doc Holliday. 'I’m glad he did. He is special. He hadn’t done that all year but he did it when it mattered. He is just another example of a senior on the football team who is playing his best football right now. That is the best game he has had since he has been here and to do it during a championship means a lot.' Haig hit field goals from 24, 40, 40 and 46 yards on day when the rain and wind were whipping around Joan C. Edwards Stadium. 'Conditions today were very challenging. Its definitely not an ideal situation when its raining, 40 degrees and windy,' said Haig. 'Matt Cincotta and Tyler Williams did a great job putting the ball down and the o-line did a great job as well'." - MetroNews

October 28, 2014 - punter Tyler Williams
"Williams has the second-best average in the Football Bowl Subdivision, but it’s nowhere to be found on the NCAA leaderboard. The junior averages a gaudy 47.6 yards per punt for the Thundering Herd football team. That should put him just behind national leader Austin Rehkow of Idaho’s 48-yard average, but Williams’ name is missing. It’s the number at the bottom of the page that is the cause of that. To qualify among the NCAA’s leaders, a punter must average 3.6 punts per game. Williams has punted just 24 times for the Herd (8-0, 4-0 Conference USA) this year, an average of three punts per game. That can be the case when your offense ranks eighth in the FBS in converting 50 percent of its first downs. Williams, though, has no problem being left with little to do on game day. 'If I punt eight times a game, that’s no good for our team,' Williams said. 'Me not playing is a great thing'." - Charleston Daily Mail

August 12, 2014 - kicking competition
Despite Marshall kicker Justin Haig’s status as a fifth-year senior and two-year starter, he isn’t taking his spot on the team for granted. Not with redshirt freshman Nick Smith having a solid preseason of booting field goals, that is. Both Haig and Smith have enjoyed a good first few practices. On Tuesday, both were good from 47 yards. Haig said they’re both trying to keep it business as usual. 'We both just try to focus on making field goals,' Haig said. 'That’s what our job is. It is what it is, as far as competition goes, but I’m out here trying to make kicks'.... Marshall coach Doc Holliday has seen the strides both have made in these first few practices, and said that’s what competition can bring out of players. 'They’ve gotten better, and it’s a good competition right now,' he said. 'The kickers are no different than anyone else when they’re competing for a job. You find out what they’re all about'.” - Charleston Daily Mail

August 9, 2014 - summer pseudo-scrimmage
"It was a good day for field-goal kickers, as Justin Haig tries to fend off the challenge of Nick Smith. Haig had the only miss in a combined 11 attempts, a boot from 40 yards that went just wide right. Both then hit from 44, 46 and 49 yards. 'Both kickers, I thought they were tremendous today,' coach Doc Holliday said. 'They’ve gotten better and there’s good competition right now'.” - Charleston Gazette

August 6, 2014 - punter Tyler Williams' summer
“Summer’s where you get the majority of your work in, because we have all that time off. We lift and we have so much free time, that’s where I work on my drops and my get-offs. So when camp comes around, I’m hopefully in my best shape so I can hopefully kick the ball almost every day and be in condition enough to put my drops, steps and quick get-offs into camp,' he continued. 'So by day three, things should really start coming together and, honestly, that’s when I really start seeing my best'.... Williams worked diligently on a few specific things through the summer break. He tried to limit the distance he stepped into a punt to between 2½ and three yards. Most importantly, he said, was to get the ball into the air quickly. He wants it off his foot within two seconds. 'Getting a quick get-off, getting quick feet to get the ball off faster and working on stretching to get the follow-through on the drops all come into play,' he said. 'It’s just getting the ball of quick, fast, consistently and with great hang-time'.” - Charleston Daily Mail

April 24, 2014 - kicking competition
Justin Haig is used to being challenged as Marshall’s top field-goal kicker. That daily battle has long since gone global, what with an Albanian and a Norwegian getting their boots in. But Haig is getting perhaps his sternest challenge from a good old-fashioned Ohioan, Nick Smith. The redshirt freshman has a couple inches on Haig (5-foot-10 to 5-8) and a probably a few yards. And if Smith keeps up his performance he is enjoying this spring, he’ll force the coaching staff to make a decision. He has Doc Holliday’s attention, for sure. 'I like what I see out of Nick,' said Holliday, the Thundering Herd’s fifth-year coach. 'He’s got a strong leg, he’s been more consistent, had a great day Friday, 8 for 8 I think. Had a good day Tuesday. I think he missed one or maybe two today, but he’s got a strong leg and he’s getting better. That’s a big battle and it probably will go into August.' And then it will become a kick-by-kick battle, not that either candidate will feel the pressure. Like many kickers, they’re wired to almost be oblivious to high stakes. 'I just go out and kick the football,' Haig said. 'I just worry about my technique'.” - Charleston Gazette

April 17, 2014 - punter Tyler Williams multi-tasking
Whether there's been extreme cold with snow blowing around or sunny, 80-degree weather this spring, he has been hitting the ball true in practices. 'I always think of spring ball as a good opportunity to get back into the groove,' Williams said. 'We've been out of it for a while and have been lifting and now we get back into the season drift. There isn't too much of a break from what the season feels like because we can get more reps and get some live stuff going.' In 2014, Williams is also adding another important duty to his repertoire -- placeholder.... Holding duties are normally reserved for a backup quarterback, but with each of the backups focused on winning the No. 2 quarterback position, Williams has taken on that responsibility. 'It's not a guarantee or a must-have if you want to get to the NFL, but if you want to punt, you know how to hold because it's not a backup quarterback thing anymore,' Williams said. 'It takes more pressure off the quarterbacks because they don't have to worry about it as much'." - The Herald-Dispatch

March 27, 2014 - kicker Kaare Vedvik multi-tasking
"Kicker Kaare Vedvik has been pulling double duty for the Herd in the first two days of spring practice. Not only has he worked with special teams, booming a long field goal at the start of Thursday’s practice, he’s also run a little bit at reserve wide receiver. 'He’s a tremendous athlete,' Holliday said of the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Norway native, who played high school football at McPherson High in Kansas. 'He was a great soccer player. He doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing, but he looks great running around out there. 'We’re experimenting with it a little bit to see what he can do,” Holliday added, “but he’s got some skills, now'.” - Charleston Daily Mail

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