the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Draft Preview: Pat O'Donnell

Among the punters eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Miami (FL)'s Pat O'Donnell. He ranks in the top three in the majority of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from O'Donnell's profile page on the Hurricanes' website:

2013 Senior Season
  • Played in all 13 games, handling kickoff and punting duties ... Also holder for field goal and point-after attempts
  • Set Miami single-season record with 47.1 yards-per-punt average
  • 23 kicks of 50+ yards ... Finished season with punt of 50+ yards in eight straight games 
  • Second-team All-America by USA TODAY Sports and third-team All-America by Athlon Sports 
  • First-team All-ACC selection by ACSMA, league's head coaches and Athlon Sports 
  • Booted four kicks of 50+ yards, including a 60-yarder, in Miami's upset win over No. 12/9 Florida
  • Season-best average of 55.2 yards per punt against Virginia Tech ... Three punts went for 50+ yards, including then-season-high 63-yarder
  • Punted seven times vs. Virginia, including three punts of 50+ yards ... Five of seven kicks landed inside UVA 20-yard line, including UM career-long 71-yarder
  • Forced fumble on opening kickoff at Pitt - career-first takeaway ... Turnover led to first of three Stacy Coley TDs ... Was named ACC Specialist of the Week
  • Averaged 63.1 yards on 79 kickoff attempts
2012 Junior Season (Cincinnati)
  • Second-team All-BIG EAST selection
  • Against USF (11/23) punted seven times for 300 yards and 42.9 yard average including season-best 65 yards while making five kickoffs for 312 yards and adding two touchbacks
  • Recorded season-long 63-yard punt vs. Fordham (10/12)
  • Averaged 64.8 yards on nine kickoffs against Miami University (10/6), including seven touchbacks
  • Named BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week following game vs. Virginia Tech (9/29) ... Punted five times and averaged 44.6 yards per punt ... Pinned Hokies inside 20-yard line four times.
2011 Sophomore Season (Cincinnati)
  • First-team All-BIG EAST selection
  • 61 kickoffs for 3,915 yards, and 1 tackle
  • 8 touchbacks, 9 fair catches, 26 landing inside 20, 17 kicks over 50 yards
  • Had 64.2-yard per kickoff average, with 7 touchbacks and only 2 going out of bounds
  • Totaled 8 punts for 285 yards, 1 touchback, 2 fair caught, 1 going over 50 yards, 3 punts landing inside 20, to go along with 5 kicks for 335 yards against Connecticut (12/3)
  • Punted 7 times for 300 yards, 1 touchback, 2 were fair caught, 1 going over 50 yards, 4 landing inside 20, and 2 kickoffs that totaled 120 yards against Rutgers (11/19)
  • Had longest punt of season against NC State going for 76 yards and highest yards per punt average of 59.7 yards (9/22).
2010 Freshman Season (Cincinnati)
  • Named starting punter entering 2010 season
  • Kicked eight times inseason opener for 304 yards and 38.0-yard average ... Dropped three kicks inside 20 and booted 51-yarder.
2009 True Freshman Season (Cincinnati)
  • Played in three games at punter before being sideline with injury
High School
  • Three-year letterwinner at both football and track and field
  • Averaged 45 yards on punts and had 95-percent touchback rate of kickoffs
  • Earned first-team all-state and all-district honors as a senior
  • Co-winner of 2008 Lou Groza Award for top kicker in Palm Beach County
  • Played in 2009 Outback All-Star Game
  • Made seven field goals as senior, including long of 52 yards

College Stats:
2013: 53 punts, 47.1 yard average, long of 71 yards
2012: 59 punts, 41.8 yard average, long of 65 yards
2011: 63 punts, 43.8 yard average, long of 76 yards
2010: 52 punts, 41.9 yard average, long of 61 yards
2009: 7 punts, 37.9 yard average, long of 50 yards

Way back in 2008, the then high school senior O'Donnell discussed his kicking career:
"I am probably one of the strongest kids on the football team. No one gives me any [grief]. I would like to start when I go to college. They think I might be a punter and kickoff guy who can also do field goals....I worked hard all season. I didn't know what the outcome would be, but I expected big things out of myself and so did a lot of others.... It is always someone's dream to play for the NFL. I am just going to play in college and if I focus on it, the rest will take care of itself."

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