the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, April 4, 2014

Kickers & Punters Prepare for the Pros, 2014

With the NFL draft approaching, this year's prospective kickers and punters are busy preparing. Although not many are likely to be drafted (on average only two kickers and two punters are selected each year), many more will be signed in the hours and days thereafter as undrafted free agents.

How exactly are the preparing? We checked in with some of the eligible kickers and punters from the class of 2014, and asked them the following question: "Since the end of last season, what have you been working on in preparation for a potential pro career?"

Anthony Fera, Texas
"I've been working on a lot of things. I've changed my diet, workouts and even started stretching every day. I really needed to get back into kicking off. It took a couple of months to figure everything out but I'm hitting the ball better than ever right now. Now that the Combine and my Pro Day are over, I'm sticking to my routine and continuing to try and improve myself."

Cody Webster, Purdue
"Just continuing on getting better. Working hard to perfect my craft each day. For me, I did a lot of roll punts to my left, so I need to prove to teams that I can stand in the pocket and punt left and right. I've done that my freshman, sophomore and junior seasons, but this past season was considered one of my better seasons. So I need to prove to them that it wasn't because of the roll, but because I've worked my butt off in the offseason just like I'm doing now to get even better than I am the year before."

Cody Mandell, Alabama
"Since the end of last season I have been really working on one thing a day and really concentrating on it. My drop, my overall tempo, my steps, contact, follow thru, and my hands. I have 2 different in 20 punts: end over end and banana. I have been working hang times and get off as well as direction. I have been kicking 3-4 times a week and lifting 3-4 times a week. Basketball and running short sprints have been my cardio/conditioning. But like I always say 'Drills pay the Bills!' "

Paul Layton, Temple
"In my eyes, the biggest difference from a college punter to a pro is the consistency level . I decided to completely break down my technique, including steps and drop. I'm working on each part of the punt individually and this will help me be more consistent when it's all put together."

Carey Spear, Vanderbilt
"I have put a lot of emphasis on kickoffs, training to become more consistent in my touchbacks, even though our team had a great year as a kickoff unit. Focusing on getting consistent height and distance has been important. I have been fortunate to develop relationships with some great kickers, professionals who have kicked or are currently kicking in the league. They have told me where kickers must separate themselves are on their kickoffs, whether it is to be consistent on touchbacks or versatile kicking directionally."

Matt Yoklic, Pittsburgh
"Since the end of last season I have been working on continually getting stronger. Also continuing to working to the fundamentals of punting. More specifically have been working on lowing my drop to minimize any chance for error within my drop."

Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
"I have been working on becoming the most well-rounded kicker I can be. I hopefully will get picked up by a team who strictly needs a FG guy as I believe I could excel at that level on field goals. In the event that I need to compete on kickoffs as well, I want to give myself the best chance in that competition, and that is why I am working on kickoffs a lot right now."

Tyler Campbell, Mississippi
I've just been trying to stay in shape and keep my leg strength up physically. Then as far as punting goes I've been working on my directional punting and hang time consistently."

Vincenzo D'Amato, California
"Since the end of last season I have been kicking 3-4 times a week and lifting 3 times a week. On the field I have been working on staying consistent on my field goals and improving my distance on kick offs. I trained and competed with Giorgio Tavecchio. Both of us helped each other recognize things we could work on. Off the field I continue to keep my form up in the weight room and constantly watch video of my kicks that I tape during my kicking sessions." 

Richie Leone, Houston
"I have placed an emphasis on my get off times. I got some advice when talking to a couple guys who are in the NFL now and coaches at the combine and they told me how important it is to have your get off time fast and consistent. I have changed up a couple things with my overall punting routine and warm up that will definitely help moving forward as well."

No comments:

Post a Comment