the study of all things kicker related

Thursday, January 30, 2014

SB XLVIII MVP Sneak Preview

Who will be the MVP of this year's Super Bowl: Aaron Brewer, Clint Gresham, Britton Colquitt, Jon Ryan, Matt Prater or Steven Hauschka? We asked kickers, punters, snappers, and coaches that very question.

"I think Matt Prater will cap off his already amazing season, including his 64 yard NFL record long field goal, with a game winner and be this year's Super Bowl MVP!  But I'm actually pulling for the Seahawks :)"

Ryan Donahue, Detroit Lions 2011
"In order for Seattle to control this game from a defensive standpoint, Jon Ryan needs to continually pin Denver deep.  That means HANGTIME and DIRECTION to keep the ball away from the dangerous returner Holliday. We've even seen Decker and Welker returning punts, so there is no shortage of talent on this unit. My pick to click will be Jon Ryan. A seasoned veteran who will be the game changer."

Chris Husby, Special Teams Football Academy
"Matt Prater -  He's going to have a big game with at least three field goals."

Geoff Boyer, former Albany Panthers kicker
"Either Matt Prater or Steven Hauschka. This game will come down to a game winning field goal."

Michael Husted, NFL kicker 1993-2002, National Camp Series
"Steven Hauschka as he will go 5-5 including a game winning 45 yard field goal on the last play of the game."

Brian Jackson, Team Jackson Kicking
"I believe Steven Hauschka will be a big factor in this game and could earn the Specialist MVP. He has been quietly successful all season going 33/35 on FG's, perfect on all 44 PAT's and a long of 53 yards. He also has been perfect in post season going 6/6 on FG's and made his 4 PAT's. He has a calm demeanor and is due for a big time kick(s) in his career."

Rob Maver, Calgary Stampeders punter
"Gotta give some love to my fellow Canadian, Jon Ryan. Their efficiency on punt team this season has been incredible."

Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers kicker
"Matt Prater , it's going to be a true Michael Jordan moment with flu and all four field goals in the snow last one to win."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

RBS 6 Nations: The Kickers - 2014

American football reaches it's annual pinnacle this weekend with the spectacle known as the Super Bowl. One of the games ancestors, rugby, is also in the spotlight this weekend as the Six Nations Championship kicks off. Like football, rugby diminished but did not eliminate the element of kicking. The feet of the following players could play a significant role in this year's tournament.


Leigh Halfpenny, Wales
"Leigh Halfpenny has declared his ambition to remain a contender for international honours with Wales after announcing his decision to play for Toulon from next season. The Wales and British and Irish Lion full-back says his move from the Cardiff Blues to Heineken Cup Champions Toulon is the right decision at this stage of his career. 'Having taken time to consider every option in detail, I believe the decision to move to Toulon is the best decision for me and my continued development as a rugby player and as a person,' said Halfpenny.... 'Toulon are fully supportive of my international desires and duties and I would like to thank them for this as it was an important factor in my decision'." - Planet Rugby
Owen Farrell, England
"The 22-year-old's steely resolve was evident in last autumn's QBE International against Australia, in which he scored 15 points as England prevailed 20-13. Just as impressive as his points haul was his recovery from a challenging spell when he missed three successive penalties and showed hesitancy on the ball to spearhead the fightback. It was exactly the temperament that England view as indispensable and the Saracens outside-half admits his mindset was shaped almost from the start. 'Keeping it together is something I learned pretty early on - when I started playing,' he said. 'Why should you let it affect you? You've got to move on. There's too much to focus on in terms of your next job. If you're focusing on what has just happened then you're not going to have a grip on the game and that's what a fly-half's job is. Irrespective of how a kick went, you've got to back yourself and go again. You've got to have a clear head and think about what went wrong, but then you've got to put it behind you and move on. I just get on with it'." - Daily Mail
Jonathan Sexton, Ireland
"Jonny Sexton has left his Racing Métro teammates and supporters wanting more as he signed off for Six Nations duty in style. The Ireland out-half put in an inspirational 74 minute shift for the Parisian side this afternoon as they rediscovered the winning touch at home and climbed into the Top 14′s Heineken Cup slots. Racing put four-time European champions Toulouse to the sword and recorded a much-needed 25-5 win. Sexton opened the scoring after five minutes at Stade Francais as he chased after a Jacques Cronje charge-down on a Lionel Beauxis clearance attempt. He converted his score to make it 7-0. The former Leinster man turned provider soon after as he drew his man and teed up teammate Mike Phillips for a relatively simple score. The move was sparked by a brilliant intercept and break by winger Marc Andreu. Additional penalties from Sexton made it 18-0 on the half-hour mark." - The Score
Greig Laidlaw, Scotland
"Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw will head into this year's RBS 6 Nations determined to banish the disappointment of Sunday's Heineken Cup thrashing at Munster. The Edinburgh Rugby captain was left reeling after his side were beaten 38-6 in Limerick, in what was Laidlaw's final match before the 2014 tournament kicks off. The 28-year-old, who has also featured at fly-half for Scotland, could not prevent Edinburgh from slipping out of contention for a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter finals. And, after a break from competitive rugby next weekend, Laidlaw will return to Ireland for Scotland's RBS 6 Nations opener in search of a different outcome." - RBS 6 Nations
Morgan Parra, Maxime Machenaud & Jean-Marc Doussain, France
"Preferred at scrum-half were Maxime Machenaud and Jean-Marc Doussain as Parra continues to fight his way back from a knee injury sustained in the autumn. When asked if Parra could still play a role in the tournament however Saint-Andrew only replied: 'We will see'. But the former Sale head coach is confident that his squad have more than enough cover for the 25-year-old Parra, whose trusty left boot has helped him to 320 career international points. 'Morgan was still a replacement (Sunday's European Cup game between his side Clermont and Racing-Metro), he is still making his way back, and has not yet achieved his goal of being fully match fit,' said Saint-Andre. 'For the moment, we have Maxime Machenaud and Jean-Marc Doussain. We have confidence in both of them'." - RBS 6 Nations
Mirco Bergamasco, Tommaso Allan & Luciano Orquera, Italy
"Mirco Bergamasco's international career looked to be over after the 30-year-old fractured his kneecap during a Test against Australia in November of 2012. Surgery and a long recovery period followed for the experienced Italian winger. Bergamasco suffered another setback last summer when French club Racing Metro, whom he had joined in 2010 from rivals Stade Francais, decided not to offer him a contract extension. While his move to Italian outfit Rovigo in July was a step back in his club career, it served as a platform to return to the national team just six months later.
'coach Jacques Brunel told me that the door of the national team is always open and that it depended on me,' Bergamasco said." - The Independent

Monday, January 13, 2014

And the winners are... Nadine Angerer & Cristiano Ronaldo

Zurich was the setting for this year's FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala. It culminated with the winners of the 2013 FIFA player awards...

Women’s World Player of Year: Nadine Angerer 
'Das Jahr 2013 ist definitiv ein Jahr, das Nadine Angerer so schnell nicht vergessen wird. Mit der deutschen Nationalmannschaft feierte sie in Schweden den sechsten Europameistertitel in Folge und hatte dabei großen Anteil am Erfolg. Im Finale gegen Norwegen hielt die Nationaltorhüterin zwei Elfmeter und wurde aufgrund ihrer Leistungen zur "Spielerin des Turniers" gewählt, wenig später durfte sich Angerer über die Auszeichnung als "Europas Fussballerin des Jahres" freuen.'
"I have to say that I'm a little surprised, but very thankful. First of all I have to thank everybody that voted for me. I just want to pay my respects to Marta and Abby who have had an incredible year too. 
 
You never get a success like this on your own. I have to thank my teammates and my goalkeeping coach who raised me to a level that I never thought I'd get to. Also I have to thank the people in my private life, I have a great family who have been a great support to me over the years. My friends have also been very supportive to me. Thanks to everybody."
Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo
'O ano de 2013 foi, como sempre, recheado de golos para Cristiano Ronaldo. O astro português terminou o ano com qualquer coisa como 69 golos marcados: 59 pelo Real Madrid e 10 pela seleção portuguesa. Sempre ao mais alto nível pelo Real Madrid e por Portugal, o avançado, que venceu o prémio de Melhor Jogador do FIFA Ballon d’Or de 2008, é cada vez mais um símbolo dos Merengues, e por isso não admirou que tivesse renovado o contrato com o clube até 2018 e que até pondere acabar a carreira no gigante madrileno.'

"First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team. Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award.

Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level I have to thank. My wife, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved."

College All-Star Games 2013-2014: The Specialists

A few more opportunities to see your favorite college kickers, punters and snappers in action.

Medal of Honor Bowl: January 11th
  • American kicker/punter Michael Palardy, Tennessee
  • American long snapper Marcus Woodside-Heit, Kansas State
  • National kicker Drew Basil, Ohio State
  • National punter Paul Layton, Temple
  • National long snapper Tanner Hedstrom, Colorado State
East-West Shrine Game: January 18th
  • East kicker Zach Hocker, Arkansas
  • West kicker Anthony Fera, Texas
  • East punter Steven Clark, Auburn
  • West punter Richie Leone, Houston
NFLPA Collegiate Bowl: January 18th
  • National long snapper Trevor Gillette, Rice
  • American long snapper Chris Maikranz, Lamar
  • National kicker Cairo Santos, Tulane
  • American kicker Vincenzo D'Amato, California
  • National punter Tom Hornsey, Memphis
  • American punter Tyler Campbell, Mississippi
Senior Bowl: January 25th
  • South kicker Cody Parkey, Auburn
  • North kicker Chris Boswell, Rice
  • North punter Kirby Van Der Camp, Iowa State
  • South punter Cody Mandell, Alabama
  • South long snapper Marcus Woodside-Heit, Kansas State
  • North long snapper Tyler Ott, Harvard
College All-Star Bowl: February 14th
  • kicker/punter Ray Early, Furman
  • kicker/punter Nick Belcher, South Carolina State
  • long snapper Greg Parcher, Maryland
  • long snapper Phillip Fajgenbaum, Clemson
As always, if we missed anything, feel free to let us know!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Athletic Kicking


Over the years, we asked numerous kickers to name one thing about being a kicker that most people probably don't realize. 

A common theme emerged among their answers... 

"In game situations, you have to be an athlete and want the ball. If you don’t like pressure and don’t want the ball at the end, you’re not going to have much success on game winning kicks." - Robbie Gould

"How hard we work out for our job. And how much pressure there really is on every time we go out on the field...not just those last second kicks." - Ryan Longwell

"Kickers have to run and lift like everyone else. We cannot just walk out every year and kick without training." - Mason Crosby

"I don't think the average fan realizes the amount of strength it takes to hit a kick-off 70 yards or make a 50-yard field goal. We are considered by most to be non-athletes, but everyone I've ever taken out onto the field to watch me kick first-hand leaves with a different perspective. We make it look easy, but it's not." - Joe Nedney

"The preparation. People feel like you can kind of just go out there and do it every week. People don’t realize how much we practice, and how pinpoint our accuracy and everything has to be from the snap to the hold to the kick. People think that we can just go out there and every kick should be just automatic. But there’s a ton of things that go into it from the line blocking to the snap and the hold and the kick. I’d say preparation is one thing that people don’t understand how much we do for practicing the field goal. That’s probably the big thing because I think a lot of people fell that we can just go out there and do it and that it’s one of the easier jobs. But actually we prepare pretty hard to make those field goals on Sunday." - Connor Barth

"Kickers are really good athletes. If you start looking in the NFL and start looking at the backgrounds of some of these guys, the kickers and punters are not these tiny, non-athletic players anymore. It’s not like the days of the past. Guys were all-state in other sports, as well as football, when they were in high school. This idea that guys are a kicker because they can’t do anything else is nonsense. Most of the players happen to fall into kicking because they’re competitive athletes and they just happen to be pretty good at kicking. It wasn’t that they couldn’t do anything else and kicking was the only option." - Billy Cundiff

"You hear the comment ‘you are just a kicker’ and that gets frustrating. I wouldn’t say anything to the person who said that to me because I have heard it a million times in my life. I work out just as hard as the (other) guys and I train just as much as the guys. I don’t train for speed, I train for leg speed. I am not going to beat Ike Taylor in a 40-yard dash, I’m not going to out-lift James Harrison and I am not going to out-throw Ben (Roethlisberger), but I work out just as hard as those guys because I realize it is hard to get to the NFL, and it is hard to stay here. I think people have a misperception that kickers are outcasts and are the nerd football players. I am a football player who happens to be a kicker. If I wasn’t a kicker in this sport, I would be playing soccer. People (teammates) love it when you make a big (kick) – when you miss one, somebody isn’t around here giving me crap because I am a fool and a jokester. Deep down inside they know how I want to make every kick and be perfect. I was voted a captain, which shocked me, and that was because my teammates see my work ethic as a fellow player." - Jeff Reed

"How much time and effort we put into it. They think being punters, ’all you do is kick a ball. You only play four or five plays a game on average’. They don’t realize how much time we put in on the practice field. Yea, when I’m on the practice field everybody else is banging heads, running around, and doing all that. But I was always over there, working on my footwork, working on my ball put away, working on coming through the ball. I teach high school now, and a lot of teachers go ‘oh, all you do is just kick the ball four or five times a game, that must have been easy’. No! If we have a two and a half hour practice, I’m probably over there for an hour to an hour and a half working on techniques to make myself better. That’s one thing that people don’t realize – how much time and effort it takes, so that when I get on that field I don’t make a mistake. I could have three great punts in a game, but that one shank is the one that everybody talks about. They don’t talk about the three I had for fifty yards, or the one for forty-five that I put out of bounds at the two; they just talk about the twenty-five yard shank, because the wind caught it or something." - Louie Aguiar

"Most people probably don’t realize how much goes into a successful kick or punt in a game. If you have a successful kick or punt in a game, and you’re doing it on a weekly basis, that only occurs because you’ve prepared the week before, the month before, the years before. You’ve prepared, you’ve studied, you’ve trained, you’ve examined your performances and made corrections, and you’ve continued to evolve your swing to where it’s successful for your body type. I think most people don’t realize how much preparation and hard work goes into a successful kick or a successful punt during the course of a game." - John Carney

NFL Wild Card: Phil Dawson Kicks 49ers to Win

San Francisco kicker Phil Dawson hit field goals of22, 25 & 33 yards in yesterday's NFL Wild Card Game. The latter came on the final play of the game to give the 49ers a 23-20 win over the Packers.

The game was played in Green Bay at Lambeau Field, which a former Packers kicker noted is often painted dirt rather than grass. Dawson said of the surface conditions:
“There’s no grass in the middle of the field, not one blade. I’ve played on fields that were a lot worse than that in terms of football, so the grounds crew deserves credit.”
Of more significance, Lambeau in January usually means less than ideal weather. Yesterday was no exception as Dawson discussed:
“You can’t necessarily prepare for zero degrees and left-to-right wind. Leather gets hard in cold weather. When it’s this cold, the ball doesn’t want to go anywhere. That was the challenge that was there for us today. At the end of the day, you either make the kick or you don’t.”
Dawson's game winning kick was set up by a 14 play, 65 yard, five minute drive.
“To put together a drive like that under any condition is big-time, but especially today with all the factors working against us… getting it into a manageable situation, if there was such a thing tonight....

I owe that kick to the whole offense." 
Just prior to the kick, Dawson had limited interaction with his teammates.
“It’s kind of like (being) the guy with the no-hitter going in the dugout. No one wants to talk to him.... A couple of guys patted me on the head. We all have jobs to do, and I knew I had to do mine.”
The kick was nearly blocked by Packers cornerback Davon House who had jumped offside. San Francisco declined the penalty. Phil Dawson had noticed the early jump:
“I saw, from my perspective, the guy off the left wing get what I thought was a jump prior to the snap. I hurried up a little bit, knowing either I’d make it or get a retry 5 yards closer.”
During his previous 14 years in the league, all with Cleveland, Dawson had played in only one playoff game.
"I waited a long time to win a playoff game. I finally got to do it and it was worth the wait."

Sunday, January 5, 2014

NFL Wild Card: Shayne Graham Kicks Saints to Win

In yesterday's Wild Card Game, Saints kicker Shayne Graham hit four field goals (36, 46, 35 & 32 yards). The latter came on the final play of the game and gave New Orleans a 26-24 win over Philadelphia.
"Hit it pure. Stroke the ball clean and hit it pure. It's really just like any golfer that's lining up to play a playoff hole. They've got to hit their drive pure, they've got to hit their approach shot pure, they've got to hit the putt pure. ... That's just the term for perfect. You hit it and you hit it pure."
Graham had spent the first 14 games of the NFL season unemployed.
"You're hanging out on a Sunday and you go somewhere to dinner and you see a game on TV, you don't want to watch it because you're not playing. When you finally get your opportunity, all of a sudden you can put SportsCenter back on, you can watch all the NFL you want, because you're once again in it and you don't have to resent it at all."
With only two game remaining in the regular season, the saints decided to release Garret Hartley. Graham ended up winning the job.
"It was tough. Throughout the year it was tough. I had never gone this late in the season and not been on a team. I got workouts from a lot of teams and I was told, 'We are going to give our guy another chance. We'll just see what happens.' Thankfully not a lot of kickers got hurt this year, but it was just slow. But as you see it's a marathon, not a sprint."
Weather conditions (cold and windy) in the game were not ideal for kicking. Eagles kicker Alex Henery missed a 48 yard field goal attempt in the second quarter and saw his final kickoff returned 39 yards to give the Saints a short field on their game winning drive.
“The ball is not going to travel as far on a cold day. There’s no excuse – just miss something like that. I have to be better there, help the team out. It just shows that every point matters in a game like this....

I thought I hit the last kickoff pretty good, actually, going into the wind there. It’s just science. The ball doesn’t fly as well in cold weather. You could tell both kickers were going about goal line to the five-yard line [in the south end zone]. That’s kind of what you get. You have to work with it. I’m not sure. It just got outside of us. It got out, I guess you could say.”
Following the game, Shayne Graham said of his game winner:
"I didn't doubt it for a second, felt comfortable and confident, and luckily I got bombarded on the field after the play and it was a great feeling....

As a kicker, this is what you live for, a chance to contribute to a big win like this. The guys worked so hard for this and it's a great feeling to give them the win they deserve." 
Graham also elaborated on the fact that he has not been with the team very long:
"It feels really good, especially when it's a do-or-die situation. Sometimes you can kind of want that easy way out, want your team to win a blowout. But sometimes you can get a special feeling when you are part of something your team puts together and get the win and the points that you score are the difference. The way our offense drove the ball down the field it was beautiful. How could I not draw confidence watching those guys drive the ball down the field?... If I had been here for 14 years or if I'd been here for one game, my job is the same thing so that is all that really mattered. I've been here for three weeks I guess, and I feel like I've been adopted into a family. It's just a really comfortable, tight group here."

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013: The Year in Kicking, part 2

2013 was a long year (roughly 365 days), so there was plenty of notable kicking. Following are just a few of the highlights.

January 
February
March
April
May
  • The first specialist selected in the CFL Draft was long snapper Jorgen Hus
July
  • Calgary Stampeders kicker Rene Paredes set a new CFL record for most consecutive field goals passing Paul McCallum's record of 30; Paredes saw his streak end at 39
August
September
  • Junior kicker Niklas Sade hit a 48 yard field goal with 33 seconds left to give North Carolina State 23-21 over Richmond
  • Senior kicker Griffin Thomas made five field goals (50, 42, 44, 26 & 20 yards), with last one winning the game in the second overtime, in Jacksonville State's 24-21 win over North Alabama. Junior kicker Andrew Franks hit a school record five field goals, including a school record-tying 50-yarder and a 37-yarder with 1:04 remaining, to give Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute a 24-21 win over Alfred University.
  • Sophomore kicker Matthew Wyman hit a 52 yard field goal as time expired to give Kansas a 13-10 win over Louisiana Tech
  • During the Cleveland Browns' 31-27 win over Minnesota, Spencer Lanning handled punting, kicking & passing
  • Jack Gunston kicked four goals during Hawthorn's win over Fremantle in the AFL Grand Final
October
  • LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan tied Jeff Cunningham for the MLS career goal scoring record
  • Vancouver Whitecaps striker Camilo Sanvezzo kicked what would be named the MLS Goal of the Year
  • Sophomore kicker Marshall Morgan opened the scoring with a 56 yard field goal and concluded it with a 42 yard game winner in overtime as Georgia won 34-31 over Tennessee
  • Senior kicker Cairo Santos made five field goals (42, 28, 42, 43 & 42 yards), with the latter a game winner in overtime, to lift Tulane 36-33 win over East Carolina. Senior kicker Nolan Kohorst hit a 44 yarder, his fourth field goal of the day, as time expired to give UNLV a 39-37 win over Hawaii. 
  • Freshman kicker Clarence Clark hit a 59 yard field goal with 11:26 remaining to tie the game and a 52 yarder in overtime to give Baker a 13-10 win over Missouri Valley 
  • The US Men's Soccer team won their third straight Hexagonal
November
  • The US Women's Soccer team defeated Brazil 4-1 to go unbeaten on the year
  • Junior kicker Andre Heidari made a 47 yard field goal with 19 seconds left to give USC a 20-17 win over Stanford
  • Senior kicker Nate Freese hit a 52 yard field goal as time expired to give Boston College a 29-26 win over Maryland
December

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: The Year in Kicking, part 1

What was the biggest kicking/punting/snapping moment of 2013? 

When we posed that question tp specialists we received some diverse answers - although two kickers and one punter from the NFL were mentioned several times each:
  • "One of the biggest moments in kicking was when Matt Prater hit a new NFL record 64 yard field goal.  I believe this because it shows how kicking can and will change the game in the upcoming years.  Kickers are becoming stronger and more accurate.  The field position game is going to be even more important when 60 yard field goals are a normality in the NFL." - Jeff Schebler, inaugural Fred Mitchell Award winner
  • "Justin Tucker 61 yard field goal, 6-6 keeps the Ravens playoff hopes alive, a huge thank you from Aaron Rodgers and fantasy owners everywhere and just the most confident biggest kick of the year." - Adam Tanalski, Hammer Kicking Academy
  • "Johnny Hekker setting NFL net record" - Mike McCabe, One on One Kicking
  • "Easily has to be Prater breaking the record. Four guys tied at 63 for how long and he smashes a 64? Unforgettable." - Nick Sundberg, Washington Redskins long snapper
  • "Definitely the Colts' Pat McAfee's big KO hit. Gave kickers some respect they don't normally get." - Lee McDonald, Special Teams Solutions 
  • "The biggest moment this year for me were many as I worked with our kicker, Rene Paredes, as he set a professional football record with 47 consecutive field goals. In terms of isolated moments in kicks? Matt Prater's 64 yarder in the cold sticks out, as does Justin Tucker hitting from 61 to win the game, cap off a 6/6 night while hitting his 33rd in a row." - Rob Maver, Calgary Stampeders punter
  • "Jordan Berry's Punt Pass at EKU, where he punted the ball to a receiver who had stayed behind the LOS, caught it and then advanced for the first down.I thought it was bold and good on them for trying it.  When it works, everyone is a hero." - Nathan Chapman, ProKick Australia
  • "Matt Prater breaking the field-goal record with a 64 yard kick" - Chris Husby, Special Teams Football Academy
  • "Justin Tucker miss-hitting a 61-yard field goal, and making it, to win a game. It re-defined what it means to be in the zone." - Filip Filipovic, The Kicking Coach
  • "Prater setting the NFL record and Tucker's six field goals including 60+ yard game winner" - Carlos Ojeda, Lakeland Raiders kicker
  • "Johnny Hekker breaking the the all time NFL record for net punting average in a season" - Dan Lundy, One on One Kicking
  • "Easily the biggest moments for Specialists at the highest level was Matt Prater breaking the NFL record with a 64 yard field goal (which I think will be broken next year), as well as Johnny Hekker breaking the NFL record for a season with a net punting average of 44.2 yards." - Brian Jackson, Team Jackson Kicking

Big Bowl Kicks 2013-14

A review of notable kicking from this year's college bowl games:

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Junior kicker Kyle Brindza made five field goals (21, 38, 26, 25 & 49 yards), with the latter two coming in the fourth quarter, in Notre Dame's 29-16 win over Rutgers.
“Fourth quarter is what I love. That’s pretty much what a kicker’s job is supposed to be. My favorite athlete is [recently retired New York Yankees pitcher Mariano] Rivera and the reason why is he’s a closer and that’s how I’d like to think of myself.”
Little Caesars Bowl
Freshman kicker Chris Blewitt hit a 39 yard field goal with 1:17 remaining to give Pittsburgh a 30-27 win over Bowling Green.
“It felt good once it came off my foot and I watched it go through. I’m just happy to play a part in the win. I really wanted to send all the seniors out with a win since they’ve been through so much with all the coaching changes.” 
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Junior kicker Jared Roberts made four field goals (25, 19, 30 & 41 yards). The latter came as time expired and was the game winner for Colorado State 48-45 over Washington State.
“It all just happened so fast, and you just go out there and trust what you’ve been doing, and you’ve just got to treat it like another kick no matter how big the stakes are. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little bit of pressure, but to see it go through the uprights and to see what a great season it’s been, [it’s great] to send off these seniors who started something special for the program....
I knew for the seniors and for all the hard work that's gone in, I had to hit it. Perfect snap, perfect hold, I had the easy job."
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Junior kicker Hunter Stover's 27 yard field goal with 9:56 remaining proved to be the game winner as Louisiana-Lafayette won 24-21 over Tulane.
"[My grandfather Stewart 'Smokey' Stover] told me to just visualize kicking field goals, seeing yourself do it before you do it. You have to do the physical part, getting stronger, but the mental aspect is still 95 percent of it."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Big List of 2013 College Kicker & Punter Accolades

It's that time of year once again... lots of awards, lots of lists, and lots of accolades for college athletes. Following are the various conference, regional and national honors. If you know of anything we've missed, please feel free to post a message below!

National Individual Awards
CFPA (College Football Performance Awards) Players of the Year
  • FBS placekicker: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
  • FBS punter: Pat O'Donnell, Miami (FL)
  • FBS specialist: Anthony Fera, Texas
  • FCS placekicker: Seth Sebastian, Southeastern Louisiana
  • FCS punter: Kyle Loomis, Portland State
  • FCS elite placekicker: Tyler Sievertsen, Northern Iowa
All-Conference Teams
  • see separate post listing all-conference kickers and punters from over 65 different conferences 
AP (Associated Press) FBS All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
  • First team punter: Tom Hornsey, Memphis
  • Second team kicker: Anthony Fera, Texas
  • Second team punter: Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
  • Third team kicker: Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
  • Third team punter: Austin Rehkow, Idaho
AP (Associated Press) FCS All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Seth Sebastien, Southeastern Louisiana
  • First team punter: Kyle Loomis, Portland State
  • Second team kicker: Ray Early, Furman
  • Second team punter: Chad Zinchini, Tennessee Tech
  • Third team kicker: Colton Cook, Southern Utah
  • Third team punter: Justin Weldon, Sacramento State
Walter Camp Foundation All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Anthony Fera, Texas
  • First team kicker: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
  • First team punter: Austin Rehkow, Idaho
  • Second team kicker: Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
  • Second team punter: Tom Hornsey, Memphis
FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Anthony Fera, Texas
  • First team punter: Tom Hornsey, Memphis
  • Second team kicker: Nate Freese, Boston College
  • Second team punter: Richie Leone, Houston
Sports Illustrated All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
  • First team punter: Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
  • Second team kicker: Anthony Fera, Texas
  • Second team punter: Tom Hornsey, Memphis
Lindy's Sports All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
  • First team punter: Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
  • Second team kicker: Nate Freese, Boston College
  • Second team punter: Tom Hornsey, Memphis
  • Third team kicker: Marvin Kloss, South Florida
  • Third team punter: Cody Mandell, Alabama
BSN (Beyond Sports Network) 1st Team All-Americans
  • FCS kicker: Griffin Thomas, Jacksonville State
  • FCS kicker: Ray Early, Furman
  • FCS punter: Kyle Loomis, Portland State
  • D2 kicker: Sergio Castillo, West Texas A&M
  • D2 kicker: Brett Wahle, Ohio Dominican
  • D2 punter: Kevin van Voris, West Texas A&M
  • D2 punter: Scottie Gallardo, Fort Lewis
  • D3 kicker: Eric Kindler, Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • D3 kicker: Andrew Franks, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • D3 punter: Tyler Hunt, Guilford
  • NAIA kicker: Connor Smith, Carroll College
  • NAIA punter: Kollin Carman, St. Francis (IN)
NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Danny Hamilton, Iowa Western
  • First team punter: Nick Porebski, Snow
  • Second team kicker: Brandon Rutherford, Georgia Military
  • Second team punter: Mitch Bonnstetter, Iowa Central
Athlon Sports All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
  • First team punter: Tom Hornsey, Memphis
  • Second team kicker: Marvin Kloss, South Florida
  • Second team punter: Mike Sadler, Michigan State
  • Third team kicker: Anthony Fera, Texas
  • Third team punter: Pat O'Donnell, Miami
USA Today All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
  • First team punter: Tom Hornsey, Memphis
  • Second team kicker: Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
  • Second team punter: Pat O'Donnell, Miami (FL)
Capital One Academic All-America
  • D1 kicker 1st team: Brian Davis, Arkansas State
  • D1 punter 1st team: Mike Sadler, Michigan State
  • D1 kicker 2nd team: Colton Cook, Southern Utah
  • D1 punter 2nd team: Steven Clark, Auburn
  • D2 kicker 1st team: Sam Brockshus, Minnesota State Mankato
  • D2 punter 1st team: Cody Crosby, Gannon
  • D2 kicker 2nd team: Scott Stanford, Saginaw Valley State
  • D2 punter 2nd team: Brandon Kliesen, Colorado State Pueblo
  • D3 kicker 1st team: Matt Angel, Rose-Hulman
  • D3 punter 1st team: Michael Parks, Franklin
  • D3 kicker 2nd team: Brandon Rodrigues, Massachusetts Maritime
  • D3 punter 2nd team: Doug Lillibridge, Dubuque
  • College Division kicker 1st team: Aaron Lorraine, Nebraska Wesleyan
  • College Division punter 1st team: Jordan Sitzmann, Morningside
ESPN All-Americans
  • Kicker: Nate Freese, Boston College
  • Punter: Mike Sadler, Michigan State
Sporting News All-Americans
  • Kicker: Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
  • Punter: Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
  • Freshman kicker: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
  • Freshman punter: Austin Rehkow, Idaho
AP (Associated Press) Little All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Steven Wakefield, Mercyhurst
  • First team punter: Scottie Gallardo, Fort Lewis
  • Second team kicker: Kresimir Ivkovic, John Carroll
  • Second team punter: Zach Pulkinen, Bemidji State
  • Third team kicker: Brent Wahle, Ohio Dominican
  • Third team punter: Matt Klingler, Ambrose
AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) All-Americans
  • FBS kicker: Anthony Fera, Texas
  • FBS punter: Tom Hornsey, Memphis
  • FCS kicker: Tyler Sievertsen, Northern Iowa
  • FCS punter: Kyle Loomis, Portland State
  • D2 kicker: Steve Wakefield, Mercyhurst
  • D2 punter: Zach Pulkinen, Bemidji State
  • D3 kicker: Dylan Rushe, Endicott
  • D3 punter: Matt Harmon, Baldwin Wallace
  • NAIA kicker: Andrew Muzljakovich, Olivet Nazarene
  • NAIA punter: Matt Klingler, St. Ambrose
Daktronics All-Americans
  • First team kicker: Sergio Castillo, West Texas A&M
  • First team punter: Brandon Kliesen, Colorado State Pueblo
  • Second team kicker: Sam Brockshus, Minnesota State Mankato
  • Second team punter:James McCombie, Slippery Rock