the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Draft Preview: Michael Palardy

Among the punters eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Tennessee's Michael Palardy. He ranks in the top five in one of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Palardy's profile page on the Volunteers' website:

2013 Senior Season
  • 2013 All-SEC First Team
  • 2013 Ray Guy Award Semifinalist
  • One of seven players in FBS handling all three kicking phases, and only left-footed specialist doing all three
  • 33 punts inside the 20-yard line and 18 punts inside the 10-yd line
  • Had 19 punts of 50 or more yards, the most since Dustin Colquitt in 2003, who also had 19
  • 14-of-17 on field goals, 34-of-35 on extra points in 2013
  • In college finale at Kentucky (11/30), boomed six punts for 49.5 average including five punts that landed inside the 20-yard line and three inside the 10-yard line with two at the 1-yard line; kicked career-long 69-yard punt and added 60-yard punt as he had four punts of 50 or more yards
  • Equaled career-high with three made field goals (39,42,40) vs. #7 Auburn (11/9); also punted five times for 46.6 average with three punts inside the 20-yard line
  • Kicked a 51-yard field goal (second-longest of career) at #10 Missouri (11/2); also punted seven times for 42.7 average including four punts in the 20-yard line
  • Kicked first career game-winning field goal from 19 yards, as time expired to lift Vols to 23-21 upset win over #11 South Carolina (10/19); also made field goals of 37 and 33 yards in the win; punted eight balls for 40.4 average with career-best six inside 20-yard line
  • Best game of career with career-high 51.2 punt average on six punts; booted five of six kickoffs for touchbacks and added 26-yard field goal vs. #6 Georgia (10/5)
2012 Junior Season
  • Primary kicker in nine of 12 games, making 9-of-12 on field goals, 37-of-40 on PATs
  • Served as primary punter in final six games
  • 13 punts of 50-plus yards; 16 punts inside 20 and seven punts inside 10
  • Handling 76 kickoffs in 2012, with 61.6 average and 25 touchbacks
  • On career-high seven punts, hit three punts of 50-plus yards and had three punts inside the 20-yard line with two inside the 10-yard line at Vanderbilt (11/17); also made a 28-yard field goal
  • Booted career-long 66-yard punt as part of a 40.0 average at #17 South Carolina (10/27); made 5-of-5 PATs
  • Served as primary kicker and punter in a game for first time in 2012 vs. #1 Alabama (10/20) and made pair of field goals (32, 21 yards); punted five times for 48.2 average including career-long 56-yard punt with two inside 20
2011 Sophomore Season
  • Had 52 points on 25-of-26 PATs, made 9-of-14 field goals
  • 43 kickoffs for 63.1 average including six touchbacks
  • Bested career-long field goal for second week in a row with a 52-yarder at #2 Alabama (10/22). Kick was longest by a Vol since Jeff Hall (53 yards) vs. Oklahoma State in 1995. Also made a 40-yard field goal. Punted five times for a 40.0 average along with a 5-yard completion on a fake punt play
  • Recovered his own onside kick vs. Cincinnati (9/10)
2010 Freshman Season
  • Primary placekicker for kickoffs for UT for most of the season and started five games, in addition to two starts at punter
  • Also served as UT's field goal kicker while Daniel Lincoln was unable to play with a leg injury (LSU-Memphis)
  • Started at both positions at LSU and punted for the first time, a season-long 51-yarder
  • Connected on career highs of three field goals (a UT season best) and five PATs at Memphis
  • Filled in on punting duties vs. Kentucky for the injured Chad Cunningham and executed UT's second fake punt of 2010, rushing 16 yards for a first down
High School
  • Rated as the No. 2 overall, No. 3 most versatile and No. 5 most accurate kicker by
  • Ranked as the No. 1 overall kicker by
  • EA Sports All-America first team
  • Participated in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Game
  • Honored as FSWA first-team all-state as a senior in 2009 and FSWA third-team all-state as a junior in 2008
  • Added seven field goals in 2009
  • Left-footer averaged better than 47.0 yards per punt as senior and all but five of his 43 kickoffs went for touchbacks
  • As a junior, was 76-of-78 on extra points and 98-percent of kickoffs were touchbacks

College Stats:
2013: 63 punts, 44.5 yard average, long of 69 yards
2012: 36 punts, 43.1 yard average, long of 66 yards
2011: 14 punts, 36.8 yard average, long of 46 yards
2010: 4 punts, 39.3 yard average, long of 51 yards

At the Volunteers Pro Day early last month, Palardy discussed the mental side of kicking, the need for consistency, and being a triple threat:
"Every distraction helped. When I was kicking field goals today the Saints coach was in my ear saying 'Hey we're at Alabama in front of 100,000 people with 2 seconds left, down 2, 52-yard field goal, what are you going to do? Are you going to miss it?'. And I hit it. It's blocking out all of the distractions. The mental side is like night and day for me now. Talk to me two years ago and it would be completely different. The mental side. The mental preparation from the start of last season till now. It's just a big difference. It was a great feeling to go out there and do well in front of all those scouts. It's a really good feeling....

For me I wanted to show that I have an NFL leg. To show teams that I am versatile and can do all three. Then I will let them choose what's best for them. I know I'm going in as a punter/kickoff guy, but I showed field goals as well to show that versatility. And to show consistency. In the NFL as a specialist if you're not consistent you're not worth anything.... It's huge because if you're a kicker you can come in and have a huge day and people are impressed. If they see a second look and you don't do as well as before then they won't look at you. That's the beauty of what we do, you have to be consistent....

I would say, the consistency in all three is important to me, but to be able to come out in front of NFL teams and NFL scouts and perform the way I am capable of was my main goal. To come out here and show that I have the talent and ability and let the chips fall where they may. The consistency yes is what I'm most pleased with, but also just being able to perform well in pressure situations with scouts and coaches. I wasn't nervous. I had some adrenaline. I had some anxiety, but that's because this was something I wasn't used to. This was new to me. I think all the things we did last season in terms of putting me in pressure situations prepares me for situations like this when all eyes are on me."

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