the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Draft Preview: Ben Skaer

Among the punters eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is New Mexico's Ben Skaer. He ranks in the top ten in some of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Skaer's profile page on the Lobos' website:

2013 Senior Season
  • broke a 59-year old school record for single-season punting average by recording 45.8 yards per kick
  • placed fifth in the country in yards per kick and helped the Lobos place 15th in the nation in net punting at 39.44
  • named First Team All-Mountain West
  • set new career marks in punts inside the 20 with 20 and punts of 50 or more yards with 19
  • started the season off with a bang against UTSA in the opener by averaging 47 yards on seven kicks … had three punts of 50+ yards and down four inside the 20, including two at the 1-yard line
  • had a tremendous game at Wyoming on Oct. 12 as he punted five times for an average of 51.2 yards and placed three inside the 20
  • tied his season long with a 61-yard kick at Fresno State on Nov. 23 while placing four inside the 20 and having four longer than 50 yards
  • finished his career by averaging 41.9 yards per punt on 259 kicks … he had 71 punts downed inside the 20 and 54 longer than 50 yards … only had 20 punts go for touchbacks in his career
2012 Junior Season
  • An All-Mountain West honorable mention
  • finished as the No. 17 punter in the nation with a 43.85-yard average per punt and helped UNM lead the Mountain West and rank 24th nationally in net punting with a 39.0-yard average
  • earned Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week honors in the season finale against Colorado State ... punted five times for a 50.4-yard average with one touchback after a 64-yard punt and three other punts inside the CSU 10 ... his performance also earned him his third straight College Football Performance Award honorable mention
  • was named College Football Performance Award honorable mention for the second straight week following his game against Nevada on Nov. 17 ... punted five times and averaged 46.6 yards per kick, including a long of 55 yards, against the Wolf Pack
  • earned College Football Performance Award honorable mention for his performance against Wyoming on Nov. 10 ... punted four times against the Cowboys, including a career-long 69 yard punt, averaged 48.8 yards per kick and placed two inside the 20 ... also had a 51-yard punt against Wyoming, giving him a new career-high with 11 kicks over 50 yards in 2012
2011 Sophomore Season
  • llanded 19 inside the 20 and had 10 efforts of more than 50 yards
  • hit a season-best 56 yards twice, including one in the season finale at No. 8 Boise State
  • best effort came in week five against New Mexico State when he averaged 43.3 yards on six attempts but landed four inside the Aggies' 20 and hit three of 50 yards or more
2010 Freshman Season
  • finished the year with 12 punts of 50+ yards and 18 kicks inside the 20
  • eight kicks for a 43.6-yard average against Utah, seven for 43.4 at Colorado State, five for 43.2 against Texas Tech and 10 for 42.5 against Texas Tech.
High School
  • Two-time first team all-conference punter and kicker from this Illinois high school located southeast of St. Louis, Mo
  • at the Combine Series in Houston in January of 2010, Skaer charted 1st with a 4.2-second hang time and 42-yard average on 10 punts
  • all-state kicker as a junior and honorable mention all-state punter and kicker after his senior season
  • had a 41-yard average on 41 punts and converted 32 PATs and 5-of-6 FGs with a long of 48 yards as a senior
  • team captain who also saw time at wide receiver and safety
  • Illinois Football Coaches Association all-state team as a junior
  • career punting average was 39.6 yards, plus 10 field goals and 76 extra points

College Stats:
2013: 47 punts, 45.8 yard average, long of 61 yards
2012: 54 punts, 43.9 yard average, long of 69 yards
2011: 73 punts, 39.7 yard average, long of 56 yards
2010: 85 punts, 40.5 yard average, long of 59 yards

Last December, Skaer discussed being named All-Mountain West Conference first team:
 “It’s a true honor. I wanted to finish the season strong, and I’m just so blessed that coach Hutzler put a punt team in place that could execute at such a high level to put me in a situation to even be considered for this honor.”

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