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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Kentucky Wildcats Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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August 4, 2015 - kicker Addison Coffey to join team
"He went for a tryout at Kentucky on  June 6th and has been waiting since then to find out if the numbers of scholarship players and preferred walk-ons would work out to leave room for him to still join the team. Coffey's booted six field goals, 58 extra points and scored 76 points last season. Boyle coach Chuck Smith, a former UK player and assistant coach, praised not only Coffey’s field goal range and accuracy, but also the way he put so many kickoffs into the end zone.... he got the email telling him he had a “spot” on the team. He’ll move in at UK Aug. 21 — walk-on players ccanot report until all freshmen report to school — and then “figure out what the next step is” with the Kentucky coaches." - Central Kentucky News

June 11, 2015 - punter/kicker Grant McKinniss commits
"Ohio native Grant McKinniss committed to the Wildcats on Thursday, a few days after UK was the first school to extend him a scholarship offer. McKinniss averaged 41 yards per punt as a junior last season for Findlay (Ohio). UK's current starting punter, Landon Foster, will be a senior this season, so the Cats were looking to add another player at the position as part of its 2016 class. McKinniss is also an accomplished place-kicker. He booted 44 of his 60 kickoffs for touchbacks last season. He also made 40 of 42 extra-point attempts and set a school record with a 53-yard field goal. UK kicker Austin MacGinnis will be a junior when McKinniss gets to campus in 2016." -

April 26, 2015 - spring specialists
"Probable starters if season opened today: K Austin MacGinnis (5-10, 175, So.), P Landon Foster (6-1, 178, Sr.), LS Kelly Mason (6-3, 223, Sr.) Spring standout: There was not a ton of talk about special teams this spring, but it's impossible to pick anyone other than the team's lone returning All-SEC selection, Austin MacGinnis. As a redshirt freshman in 2014 MacGinnis set school records in made field goals (21), total points (104), extra points without a miss (41), longest field goal (54 yards). He hit three field goals of at least 50 yards and led the SEC in made field goals and total points. Perhaps the one area of concern for MacGinnis this fall will be breaking in a new holder. Punter Landon Foster held that duty this spring, but backup quarterback Reese Phillips was listed as the backup holder last season." - 247Sports

February 4, 2015 - long snapper Blake Best commits
"Suwanee, Ga. (Peachtree Ridge) - Three-year letterman and team captain ... Winner of Gwinnett Touchdown Club Award ... Member of student leadership team." - Wildcats

November 29, 2014 - Austin MacGinnis sets field goal record in loss to Louisville
"Austin MacGinnis is just a redshirt freshman, and yet the University of Kentucky kicker walked off the field Saturday with a pair of noteworthy records to his name. MacGinnis hit four field goals, with a long of 45 yards, against rival University of Louisville, enough to make him UK's single-season field goals record holder at 21 and tie the Governor's Cup record for most in one rivalry meeting. But MacGinnis wished he could have played a larger role in the result. UK, which lost 44-40, needed a touchdown at the end of the game — not another field goal. 'For a kicker, you've just got to hope your team makes the plays,' MacGinnis said. 'I've always wanted to be able to kick a game-winner, but that's just the kind of mindset you have to have as a kicker. If you don't, you don't give yourself a chance out there.' MacGinnis surpassed former UK kicker Joe Worley's single-season record 19 set in 1985. And Taylor Begley hit four field goals in his redshirt freshman season against U of L, also at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, in 2002." - Courier-Journal

September 13, 2014 - kicker Austin MacGinnis ties Florida game, but doesn't win it
"Austin MacGinnis had the best and worst moments of his college career in the same game Saturday night. Kentucky's kicker made a 51-yard field goal to tie Florida late in regulation and then missed a 41-yarder in the third overtime. Florida's Matt Jones scored from 1 yard out on the next possession, giving the Gators a 36-30 victory that extended the Gators' winning streak in the Southeastern Conference series to 28 games.
'Just hit it off my toe,' MacGinnis said." - USA Today

August 26, 2014 - snapper & holder
"Long snapper Kelly Mason (JR) – Long snapper is probably the least exciting position on a team and many fans probably don’t know who Mason even is. That’s actually a great thing. Long snappers are better off not being well known because if you know their name, it’s probably because they mess up a lot. Mason has been the model of consistency in his first two seasons as a starter and he should be expected to continue to excel this season as well.
Holder Jared Leet (JR) – You really don’t see many schools with a full-time holder, but Kentucky has one. Leet could probably fill in as an emergency receiver if needed, but his primary role will be making sure the placekicker can do his job. Similar to long snapper, the less you know about a holder the better and Leet’s ability to remain largely unknown is a testament to his steadiness. Realize, Leet has filled the role of the team’s holder since Randall Cobb last handled those duties in 2011." - Wildcat Blue Nation

August 22, 2014 - kicker Austin MacGinnis & punter Landon Foster
Austin MacGinnis and Landon Foster, the University of Kentucky's kicker and punter, both think they have to prove themselves this fall. In MacGinnis' case, it's for the first time. Foster must validate his talent all over again. MacGinnis is charged with replacing Joe Mansour, who hit 12 of 14 field-goal attempts last season. The redshirt freshman has never attempted one in college. Foster, an SEC All-Freshman selection in 2012, will try to recapture that form after struggling through a sophomore slump. Both are approaching it the same way. Said MacGinnis: 'Just go 1 for 1 every time. Whether it was a good make or a bad miss, you've just got to think, 'Next kick, 1 for 1.' Said Foster: 'Obviously I didn't have the year I wanted to have last year, and obviously that motivates you for a little bit, but a certain point you just have to put that behind you. You can't even worry about your last kick, much less your last year'." - Courier-Journal

July 12, 2014 - summer specialists
Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown likes the way UK’s kicking game shapes up going into this season. Kicker Austin MacGinnis of Prattville, Ala., was redshirted last year after being one of the top three ranked kickers in the 2013 recruiting class. 'He kicked in lot of big high school games,' said Brown. 'He was really well thought of coming out of high school. He got several offers once we had been hired but stayed with Kentucky. We were really pleased to get him. We were able to redshirt him last year because of Joe Mansour and now have him for four more years. We are really confident what he can do field-goal wise and he has added strength. He really does a good job with directional kicks on his kickoffs already.' The punter will be junior Landon Foster, who has already punted for two seasons. He averaged 42.9 yards per punt as a freshman — highest ever by a UK freshman — and earned freshman All-America honors. Last year he punted 68 times for a 41.3-yard average and had 15 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line after putting 13 inside the 20 as a freshman.” - Vaught's Views

May 28, 2014 - kicker Miles Butler commits
"Paducah Tilghman High School kicker Miles Butler committed to the University of Kentucky as a preferred walk-on in a signing ceremony at PTHS on May 28. Butler finished his career as a kicker with 212 points, the most in PTHS history. He also holds the record for the longest field goal at 49 yards. In addition to playing football, Butler was a varsity starter in soccer and a pitcher/utility player in baseball. He has a 4.0 + GPA, was named Mr. Tilghman, and was selected as the Paducah Sun Teen of the year for 2013-14.... Butler had intended to attend the University of Alabama as a walk-on, but was happy to switch to the University of Kentucky when they offered him a guaranteed spot on the roster as preferred walk-on. He expects to be red-shirted his freshman year, then will have an opportunity to secure an athletic scholarship if he performs well." - West Kentucky Star

April 26, 2014 - Blue/White Spring Game
"kicker Austin MacGinnis cashed a 40-yard field goal on the final play before intermission to make it 24-7." - WKYT

April 25, 2014 - limited spring kicking
"To avoid injuries, UK will have limited kicking situations in the spring game, in fact very little live kicking has been done in spring practices, but new special teams coach Craig Naivar seemed set on the Cats’ placekicker and punter. Two-year starter Landon Foster, who averaged 41.3 yards last season and placed 15 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, will be the Cats’ punter again. Red-shirt freshman Austin MacGinnis, one of the highest rated kickers in the country in 2012, will take over the kicking duties from Joe Mansour. 'It’s Austin’s job; he’s done a really good job,' Naivar said. 'We’ve put him in a couple extreme pressure situations with 19 guys draped around him. It’s not a real scenario, but he likes that. … We haven’t done any live kickoffs, but all spring he’s done really good on his kickoffs'.” -  UK Football

April 21, 2014 - punter Landon Foster
"As part of that desire (and need) to be perfect, Foster and other special teamers have reaped the benefits of Erik Korem’s High Performance program, like the rest of the team has by now too. Foster said his body fat percentage went down to 10 percent (from 15 percent). But for guys like Foster, whose job is to catch a long snap, drop the ball at exactly the right angle and boom it 40 yards down the field, putting on needless pounds of muscle isn’t what Korem is prescribing. Instead, Foster is focusing on hip flexor mobility and quick-twitch muscle work that can help him improve on his – imagine this – specialty. 'Obviously we’re not going to be in the trenches with the linemen so why are we going to be in the weight room squatting 400 or 500 pounds?' he said." - Central Kentucky News

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