the study of the kicking components within sports

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Maine Black Bears Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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January 30, 2015 - kicker Derek Deoul commits
"Deoul verbally committed on Friday to play at Maine, a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) school, on full scholarship.... Deoul, the state record-holder with 27 career field goals, said he received attention from several Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I) schools as a preferred walk-on. The list included Pittsburgh, Hawaii, UMass and Syracuse. Deoul said Rutgers offered him a partial scholarship and Ohio University had a full ride on the table.... Deoul hit 7-of-8 field goals this season, including a Section 9-record 54-yarder. He broke his own record of a 52-yarder kicked during his junior season. He was a first-team Class AA all-state kicker in 2013 and a second-teamer as a senior." - Times Herald-Record

October 25, 2014 - last second change of kicking plans
"Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove was kicking himself for what he did to his kicker Saturday. The Black Bears were trailing 14-12 with 9:24 left at Meade Stadium when quarterback Drew Belcher ran for 4 yards to the Rhode Island 1, or thereabouts. That’s when the confusion started. Cosgrove was told the ball was inside the 1, so he called timeout to try for a go-ahead touchdown on fourth down. But the football was actually closer to the 2-yard line. Cosgrove decided to send on Sean Decloux for his third field-goal attempt of the day instead. Lining up on the right hashmark from 18 yards away, the closest possible distance for a kick, Decloux pushed the ball wide left for his first miss of the season. 'I was concerned about the angle of the field goal itself because we’re so far down in close. By doing what I did, calling the timeout, I probably messed up our kicker. He’s a guy we have tremendous faith in,' Cosgrove said. When Decloux came off the field after his shank, Cosgrove looked him in the eye and shook his hand, not saying a word. 'We’re going to need him again,' Cosgrove said. 'It was clean, he just missed it'." - Portland Press Herald

October 24, 2014 - punter Jeff Ondish
"Ondish, who has been outstanding of late, is averaging 39.0 yards per punt. That includes 11 that were downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and 16 that have resulted in a 'fair catch'. 'The last two weeks he has been much improved in terms of consistency,' coach Jack Cosgrove said. UMaine ranks fifth in CAA net punting at 35.5 (punt distance minus return yards), having punted the ball 55 times in seven games (7.9 per game), the most in the league. 'When you’re taking as many reps as I am, the overall outlook isn’t going to be great,' Ondish admitted. 'I only have four games left, and then I’m hanging them up. I want to do my part, continue to lead this team and just finish out strong'." - Bangor Daily News

August 8, 2014 - summer preparations
Sean Decloux and Jeff Ondish are excited for the season and devoted their summers to their improvement. 'This is our third season together. We practice together every day, and we room together on the road. We’re both really excited about this,' said Decloux, a junior. 'We’ve got a little bit of inexperience on our team, so it is up to me and Sean to execute. Field position will be huge for our team this year,' said Ondish. 'The biggest thing I’ve worked on is the mental aspect of my game,' said Decloux. 'Most of my misses last year came in bunches. One of the toughest things to do is rebound after a miss. I talked to a sports psychologist this summer.' Decloux said he loves kicking. He also handles kickoffs. 'There’s not many better feelings than seeing your kick go through the uprights. And no kick is the same. It’s always different and I enjoy facing new challenges like that,' said Decloux....
Ondish shares Decloux’s passion for kicking and agreed with him on the importance of the mental aspect. 'I love being able to come out every day [and punt]. You can’t help but get better,' said Ondish, a native of Elkton, Maryland. 'You need to keep an even keel. You don’t want to get high after a good punt or too low after a bad one. You need to be consistent.' He said there is a sense of satisfaction when he punts the opponent deep into its own end. 'How many offenses can move the ball 80 to 90 yards down the field? That puts a lot more pressure on their offense,' said Ondish, who trains with punting instructor Charlie Titus at Special Teams Solution in New Jersey during the summer. Ondish said there is a lot of room for improvement, and that includes his hang time and placement of his punts. 'If you punt the ball 60 yards, you could outkick your coverage. And if they return it 30 yards, the net is only 30 yards. You can’t do that. You have to be selfless and put the ball where the guys can cover it'.” - Bangor Daily News

July 16, 2014 - punter Jeff Ondish named to watch list
"Punter Jeff Ondish (Elkton, Md.) has been named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) FCS Awards Watch List announced on Wednesday, July 16. In 2013, Ondish punted 57 times with an average of 40.4 yards per punt, including a 66-yard season-long against Stony Brook. The senior punter pinned opponents inside their own 20 yardline 20 times and kicked 10 punts of 50+ yards throughout the season." - Black Bears

July 7, 2014 - kicker Sean Decloux named to watch list
"Placekicker Sean Decloux (Ottawa, Ontario) has been named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) FCS Awards Watch List announced on Monday. Decloux was already named Beyond Sports Network All-American Second Team and a Beyond Sports Network All-CAA selection this season. In 2013 the junior earned First Team All-CAA honors and set a new school-record with 16 made field goals. He also matched the school-standard with 45 made PATs and went 16-for-21 on field goal attempts, hitting a career-long 42-yard attempt on two occasions. Decloux ended the season ranked third in the CAA in scoring (7.2 ppg) and was tops amongst league kickers. He was also third in the conference in field goals per game (1.23) and in field goal percentage (76.2)." - Black Bears

Friday, January 30, 2015

Class of 2015 Kicker & Punter Recruiting, part 3

Our fourth annual look at the move from high school to college for specialists continues. To get a sense of the key aspects of the recruiting process from the vantage point of the players, we asked kickers and punters from the Class of 2015 the following two questions:
  1. What would you say was the most beneficial advice you received before going through the recruiting process?
  2. Is there one thing you learned during the recruiting process that you wish you had known beforehand?
Following is the final batch of answers:

Connor Allen, Wisconsin
  1. The most beneficial advice I got was that for kickers and punters everything is gonna happen right at the end of the whole process in the last week or two before Signing Day. 
  2. One thing I learned that I wish I knew beforehand was that there will be a lot of ups and downs during the recruiting process. You can't get too positive on the ups and too negative on the downs, because there will be a lot of them throughout the process with schools choosing a different guy and new schools you never heard of before giving you a call and then all of a sudden have you as their top guy. You just have to be patient with everything.
Evan Burig, Ohio Dominican
  1. The most beneficial advice I got was to keep an open mind throughout the process and to make sure that you love the school you want to go to. You have to ask yourself, if I get injured and can never play again, would I still be happy at this school?
  2. I wish I would have known beforehand that recruiting is essentially a game. Ask lots of questions and don't be afraid to ask about what other kickers and punters they are recruiting. Also, kickers and punters are usually offered very late in the process, so be patient.
Brady Cormier, The Citadel
  1. I think the most beneficial thing was when someone told you when one school closes a door another school will come up. Yes it's hard to get recruited in kicking but it's worth it. Kickers are the last ones to get picked up by teams so you just have to be patient and keep working till the right schools come and offer. 
  2. I wish I would've known how hard it was to get a scholarship and how many people I was going up against and realize how much work I have got to put in to be better than all of them.
Daniel LaCamera, Texas A&M
  1. The most beneficial advice I received before going through the recruiting process is to put myself out there for college coaches to see. The best way to do that is to go to camps like Kohls kicking camp. They are well trusted by college coaches for many reasons. Their honesty, integrity, and ability to truly transform normal kickers into great ones.
  2. One thing I learned through the recruiting process I wish I knew beforehand is that you have the ability to communicate to coaches through social media. For example Facebook and Twitter. Communication is a necessity when trying to get recruited.
Andrew Galitz, Baylor
  1. The most beneficial advise I received before the recruiting process was to go to all the Kohls kicking camps and Chris Sailer kicking camps.
Brian Bravo, Purdue
  1. The best advice I received probably was to be patient and colleges will come along. 
  2. One thing I wish could have known before is to never put your full trust into coaches because you never know what they will do.
Steven Sawicki
  1. I think the most beneficial thing to know before going through the recruiting process is just the fact that if you're good and you can show that, coaches will find you. But you also have to take the initiative to contact coaches to get your name out there.
Matthew Cummins, Central Arkansas
  1. Search for a school that if football doesn't work out that you'd be happy at. Getting a good education and having a good life outside of football are some of the most important things kids should consider.
  2. I can't think of anything I wish I would have known before. I was pretty prepared going into the recruiting process because my dad helped me through it a lot and coaches at Kohls camps and other kicking camps I attended made sure to give us tips and advice about it.
Bennett Moehring, Navy
  1. Stay true to yourself, remember that God has blessed me with this talent, always work your hardest, and stay on your toes!
  2. The things worth having in life aren't going to come easy. Meaning if you're stuck with a tough choice on where to go to school you might as well pick the most challenging one because it will pay off for you drastically in the long run.
Michael Tarbutt, Connecticut
  1. Keep working hard because there are only so many scholarships available, never mind for kickers, but if you put in the time, work, effort, and dedication it can happen. 
  2. I mainly wish I started the process earlier and that going to kick in front of college coaches at their kicking camps is the most important thing. Always establish relationships with coaches as early as you can because you never know where they could end up or if that's what can be the difference between a walk on opportunity or a full ride.

Definitive Preview Guide to Super Bowl XLIX

With Super Bowl XLIX almost here, the media blitz has been in full force. For those that don't have the time to read, listen to, and watch the vast array of available information, Kickology provides you with the following essential pre-game information. Once you've read this, you will be fully prepared to enjoy the game.

New England Patriots

Long snapper: Danny Aiken
  • In the beginning: "There once was a time in Aiken’s football career when he was the guy taking the snap, not making it. He was a quarterback in high school for Cave Spring, in Roanoke, Va. One day, his coach decided to have a 'skills competition.' One of those skills was trying to snap a ball into a bag 10 to 15 yards away. 'I didn’t know what I was doing,' Aiken said. But he hit the target and, although he didn’t know it then, he had found his ticket to the NFL. Aiken spent  a year after high school at Fork Union Military Academy, where he played tight end and began to work seriously on becoming a deep snapper. He quickly became so proficient at it that, when he went to the University of Virginia, he won the job as a freshman and was the deep snapper in all 49 games the Cavaliers played in his four years in Charlottesville."
  • The big game: "Aiken hardly ever is asked to talk with the media in the locker room, but found himself answering questions for a pair of Seattle Seahawks cheerleaders. 'I don't know what that was all about,' Aiken said with a laugh. 'I guess they say you have to make yourself available, right. They didn't get anything from me other than some dance moves'.... The Patriots seemed to really embrace Media Day this year, perhaps a good omen in advance of Sunday's super showdown. 'It's packed tight and a little hot, but it is what it is,' Aiken said. 'Everyone has their job to do and we're coming in here and doing the same thing. Then we'll focus on what we need to do'."
  • Beyond football: "The Puppy Bowl is a highlight on Super Bowl day, just about as much as watching the real game itself, for kids, animal lovers and softies at heart. But, the New England Patriots got in on the 'cute' action when they teamed with Animal Planet in 2014 as a part of the 'Road to the Puppy Bowl.' Players such as Danny Aiken and Stephen Gostkowski, helped Animal Planet spread the message about adoption, not only in the local Massachusetts area, but also throughout the country."
Punter & holder: Ryan Allen
  • In the beginning: "Allen focused on playing shooting guard for the basketball team at West Salem High School in Oregon, and didn’t play football until his friends nudged him into trying it his junior year. 'It’s crazy. I was playing basketball and a bunch of my friends were playing football and they didn’t have a kicker, so I figured I could pick it up easily,' said Allen.'The rest is history. It’s crazy how it unfolds. I’m blessed.' Allen played soccer until high school and said that background helped him transition to punting."
  • The big game: "University of Phoenix Stadium will provide a controlled environment for Allen, who says the pristine conditions provide 'a little extra room for error.' Super Bowls are known for wild proposition bets – from predicting the coin toss to what player scores the first touchdown of the game. If you're considering taking a flier on Allen, don't. Allen has gifted feet, but they are for kicking, not running. An earth-shattering fake punt or fake field goal from No. 6 seems unlikely. 'I have cankles, so I don't have 4.4 speed,' he said, 'We're ready for everything; we practice certain situations. But I'm not the double-reverse type of guy. I don't think I'm their guy for that'."
  • Beyond football: "Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever been? 'I love Balboa Island, in southern California, right by Orange County. I’ve been to Hawaii a few times. And Palm Springs'. Do you have a list of places you’d like to visit? 'Yeah, I’d like to see the Colorado area more. I’ve visited Telluride. I’m a big mountain guy. I love the snow, being in the mountains. Whistler is another place I’d like to go back to [in Vancouver]. Honestly, come to think of it, that’s probably my favorite place."
Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski
  • In the beginning: "Gostkowski has a soccer background and used that to his advantage when he started kicking for the football team in high school. Even still, he went to Memphis on a partial baseball scholarship and walked on to the football team, which eventually rewarded him with a full scholarship. Because of his unique road to the NFL, Gostkowski understands one missed field goal isn’t the end of the world, and the low points can be much, much lower than this. 'I’ve missed plenty of kicks in my career, going back to the first day I ever started it,' Gostkowski said. 'I missed like 10 field goals my senior year of high school and didn’t get any scholarship offers'."
  • The big game: "Gostkowski is still searching for that big game-winning field goal in the Super Bowl, but he said he isn’t overthinking this weekend’s championship. 'What we’ve done so far has been good enough to get us here and I’m keeping with that same approach,' Gostkowski said. 'For me personally, mentally, just being ready to go for this game is what I’m concentrating on. … I’m not going to let a game, just because it’s a bigger game, change what I do. I’ve been practicing at this my whole life. Sunday will be Gostkowski’s third Super Bowl with the Patriots. He said his goal is simple: 'I just want to go out there and give good kickoffs for my team and give the kickoff team a chance to make a big play and try to split the uprights every time I go out there'."
  • Beyond football: "Gostkowski is visiting patients at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence. Gostkowski will meet with patients and their families, and sign autographs as part of his 'Kick 4 Kids Challenge' to benefit the hospital. Through December 31, Gostkowski will match any and all donations to Hasbro Children's Hospital, up to $10,000. Donors who contribute $100, $500 or $1,000 will receive a gift from Gostkowski."
Seattle Seahawks

Long snapper: Clint Gresham
  • In the beginning: "As a high schooler, Gresham wanted to play college football. His father had played at the University of Texas. Football was in his blood. His only problem was that he hadn’t figured out a way to compete at the next level. 'I was kind of a jack of all trades,' says Gresham, who acted as a bit of a Swiss Army Knife for W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, TX. 'I played quarterback, tight end, tackle, guard, defensive end.'... Becoming a long snapper wasn’t necessarily something Gresham knew he’d stay with long-term. Really, how could he have possibly known? What 16-year-old star of his high school team wakes up one day and says, 'You know what, guys? Today, I am going to become a long snapper'? 'I was really just looking for a way to beef up my résumé,' he explains. 'I ordered this VHS tape and I just taught myself how to [snap] in the backyard'.”
  • The big game: "Are you serious?!  Honestly, I know I wasn’t the only one who cried, laughed, threw up and lay on the ground in utter shock at the conclusion of the NFC Championship game. That game had more shocking and unimaginable plays than you would see in an entire season. I heard somewhere that the odds of us winning that game was under 1 percent. Whoa! That game will go down as the most exciting game I have ever been a part of. This past week I saw pictures of people who left the game early and were trying to get back in. I have come to the conclusion that Seattle will never have a problem of fans leaving a game early again (ha ha). So that leaves me here. Sitting at the Arizona Grand in sunny Phoenix. Still pinching myself over this opportunity."
  • Beyond football: "Gresham heard about a Brazilian soccer player at the World Cup who passed around a DVD with his Christian testimony. Gresham spoke to Dr. Karl Payne about doing something similar "to use the platform God's given us to share our faith" and 'The Making of a Champion' resulted. Gresham and Wilson are joined in the video by fellow players Russell Okung, who plays tackle, and Chris Maragos, a free safety, as well as Rocky Seto, defensive passing game coordinator, and Sherman Smith, the running backs coach."
Punter & holder: Jon Ryan
  • In the beginning: "Ryan has come a long way from kicking a football around in Regina parks, but one thing hasn’t changed, his family will be there to cheer him on in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Barb Ryan said even when her son was little he tackled everything with a unique intensity and focus. Going back to when he was seven years old she still remembers how many hours he would spend at the park even after all the other kids went home. 'It was just Jon, the guy who never gets tired of what he’s interested in and he was just out there with a football so he’d kick it and kick it,' she laughed. 'He would kick it and try to catch his own punts so he got quite fast too'.”
  • The big game: "This season, he also threw a touchdown pass to rookie tackle Garry Gilliam on a fake field goal for the Seahawks’ first touchdown in the NFC Championship game against his former team and ran for a first down on another fake field goal in a 'Monday Night Football' game against the Washington Redskins in Week 5. Now, he’s preparing to punt in his second consecutive Super Bowl on Sunday against the New England Patriots. 'This week is kind of a pinch-myself moment,' he said. 'But any game I get to play in the NFL, I never take it for granted. Because where I come from there’s a lot guys that would trade places with me in a heartbeat. I played with thousands of guys in Regina, where there’s a strong minor football organization. Tons of kids play, and I’m fortunate enough to be the only kid to come out of there to make it to the NFL. So I’ll never forget that, and never forget where I came from'.''
  • Beyond football: "Jon Ryan, his brother Steve (a University of Regina Rams 2007 graduate), and their family have created a scholarship in their father's name. The Bob Ryan Scholarship has been created to not only help alleviate the financial pressure of student athletes playing for the University of Regina Rams Football Club, but to also help those in need of support of cancer care and treatment at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre."
Kicker: Steven Hauschka
  • In the beginning:  "I always remember being a good soccer player. I started playing soccer when I was two or three. We had those soccer nets, like the hockey goals were soccer nets. I remember being the goalkeeper and being able to shoot at the other goal from my goal. I kicked the ball pretty well from a young age.... "I kicked a couple footballs in eighth grade, just messing around once with my friends, but that was just one day only. I played soccer in high school and in my freshman year at college. Then I started kicking footballs, to try to win a position on the football team, the summer between my freshman and sophomore years."
  • The big game: "He was inspired by watching Adam Vinatieri kick through slush and snow in the Snow Bowl against the Oakland Raiders, and commemorated the game with a poster in the bedroom of his Needham home.... You think Sunday’s game means a little bit to talented Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka? 'I figured because they’re so good that we’d be facing them at some point,' Hauschka said. 'It’s a dream come true, really. Winning the Super Bowl last year was incredible and now getting back here against the Patriots is special for me and my family.' A family of Patriots fans. His parents — Barbara is a dentist, Peter is a retired scientist — will be rooting for their son. Hauschka’s childood friends will be rooting for him, but not for the Seahawks. And that Vinatieri poster? It is signed by Vinatieri."
  • Beyond football: "Steve and I [wife Lindsey] love being involved in any charitable work we can. We are fortunate in this stage of our life that we have so much time to help others.  I am on the leadership board of the Seahawks Women’s Association and I co-chaired Football 101 for the past few years. Steve and I are also involved with Medical Teams International and are co-chairing their Field of Dreams Auction this June with two other couples.  I also work with Mary’s Place to help them open a new shelter this winter as part of the No Child Sleeps Outside Campaign.  Steve is involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and loves meeting Make-a-Wish kids who come into the team’s facility."

United Arab Emirates Men's National Soccer Team News

January 30, 2015 - Ahmed Khalil scores brace, Ali Mabkhout kicks winner over Iraq
"Tournament leading scorer Ali Mabkhout netted a second half penalty as the United Arab Emirates claimed third place at the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 after edging out former champions Iraq 3-2 in a thrilling contest at Newcastle Stadium on Friday. Captain Ahmed Khalil opened the scoring for the UAE after 16 minutes only for Waleed Salim and Amjed Kalaf to turn the contest in favour of 2007 champions Iraq before half-time. But after Khalil levelled the entertaining contest at the start of the second half with his fourth of the campaign, Mabkhout coolly netted his fifth just before the hour mark after Iraq’s Ahmed Ibrahim had been sent-off to hand the 1996 finalists their second-best finish at the AFC Asian Cup." - Asian Cup

January 23, 2015 - UAE advance on penalty kicks over Japan
"Defending champions Japan crashed out of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 on penalties as Shinji Kagawa missed the decisive spot-kick as the United Arab Emirates secured a 5-4 win after a 1-1 draw between the teams at Stadium Australia on Friday. Keisuke Honda was also off target from 12 yards while Ismail Ahmed scored the winning penalty to eliminate the champions as the UAE reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1996.... Ali Mabkhout took his tally for the tournament to four from as many games with a well-taken effort in just the seventh minute but Gaku Shibasaki levelled nine minutes from time to take the game into extra-time after the Japanese finally secured a reward for their domination." - AFC

January 15, 2015 - Ali Mabkhout scores very quickly in win over Bahrain
"UAE cemented their place at the top of Group C with a 2-1 victory over Bahrain. UAE made a blistering start to the contest, opening the scoring after nineteen seconds through Ali Mabkhout. Mabkhout netted his third goal of the tournament after receiving a sumptuous pass from Omar Abdulrahman. The lead only lasted until midway through the first-half when Jaycee John powered home a header from a Faouzi Aaish corner. With just over a quarter of an hour remaining UAE retook the lead after Bahrian Captain Mohamed Hussain headed into his own net." - Asian Cup

January 11, 2015 - Ahmed Khalil & Ali Mabkhout each score braces in win over Qatar
"A brace each from forwards Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout gave the United Arab Emirates a comprehensive 4-1 win over Gulf Cup champions Qatar in their AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Group C opener at Canberra Stadium on Sunday. Two-time quarter-finalists Qatar took the lead courtesy of Khalfan Ibrahim’s 22nd minute chipped effort, but the scores were levelled on 36 minutes by former AFC Youth Player of the Year Khalil from close range. And set-pieces in the second half were to prove Qatar’s undoing as first Khalil on 51 minutes and then Mabkhout on 56 minutes profited from dead-ball situations, before Mabkhout got his second in the dying minutes of the game to help the UAE into the all-important knockout stage qualification spots in the opening round of Group C games." - AFC

December 30, 2014 - Haboush Saleh Habou scores winner over Jordan
"In Tuesday's warm-up fixture, Haboush Saleh Habou's last-gasp goal ensured the United Arab Emirates ran out 1-0 winners over Jordan on the Gold Coast." - Sportal

December 18, 2014 - roster updates, including Omar Abdulrahman return
"The UAE's AFC Asian Cup hopes have received a boost after injury doubt Omar Abdulrahman was named in the country’s 24-man squad for January’s continental showdown in Australia. Head coach Madhi Ali has included the Al Ain star after the 23-year-old was declared fit and sufficiently recovered following an injury he picked up during last month’s Gulf Cup of Nations semi-final. 'Omar Abdulrahman is fine, his doctor reports he has started jogging,' Ali said. 'He needs five to seven days to get back to full fitness. Amer Abdulrahman as well has a minor knock and should recover.' The side features six different players from the squad Ali took to the Gulf Cup with goalkeeper Majed Nasser and defender Hamdan Al Kamali among those earning a recall. Esmail Matter was one of the players replaced after the Al Wahda striker was reported to be out for at least three weeks with a neck injury." - AFC

November 25, 2014 - Ali Mabkhout scores in win over Oman
The UAE sealed third place at the 2014 Gulf Cup on Tuesday as Ali Mabkhout’s goal handed them a 1-0 win over Oman at the Prince Faisal Stadium in Riyadh. Oman nearly opened the scoring against their fellow AFC Asian Cup hopefuls after only five minutes when Saeed Al Ruzaiqi’s header was tipped to safety by UAE keeper Khalid Essa. The UAE duly responded with a Khamis Ismael shot that Oman custodian Al Al Habsi deflected onto the post in the first half’s last meaningful action. However, the UAE were to make the decisive breakthrough on the hour mark, substitute Mohamed Abdulrahman playing in Mabkhout who fired home a right-footed shot to give his side the lead and notch his fifth strike of the tournament." - AFC

November 20, 2014 - Ali Mabkhout scores brace in win over Iraq 
"Defending champions United Arab Emirates booked their place in the last four of the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations on Thursday after beating Iraq 2-0 at the King Fahd International Stadium. In what was a rematch of last year’s final, UAE broke the deadlock in the 50th minute when Ali Mabkhout received possession from Habib Al Fardan on the edge of the box and sent a unstoppable rocket into the top corner. Two minutes after the hour mark, a poor back-pass by Iraq defender Ali Faez allowed Ahmed Khalil to nip in ahead of Mustafa Nadhim and lay it off to Mabkhout, who raced through and finished past Jalal Hassan to seal the win for his side." - AFC 

November 6, 2014 - Ahmed Khalil scores hat-trick in win over Lebanon 
"Ahmed Khalil scored a second half hat-trick to lead his side to a 3-2 victory over Lebanon as the UAE looked to build some form heading into next week’s Gulf Cup. After both teams failed to score in the first half it appeared that Mahdi Ali’s side would continue with their recent struggles in front of goal before Khalil put on a goalscoring master-class after the break. The UAE had only scored two goals in their previous six international matches and, despite conceding a brace, will be more than happy with their display." - AFC

October 6, 2014 - Omar Abdulrahman out with knee injury
"Playmaker Omar Abdulrahman has pulled out of the United Arab Emirates squad for the upcoming friendly matches against Australia and Uzbekistan to rest a troublesome knee injury. The 23-year-old suffered the problem playing for his club Al Ain a fortnight ago but made it worse by completing 90 minutes in the Champions League semi-final exit to Al Hilal last week. He missed the 4-3 win over Al Jazira in the Arabian Gulf League on Sunday with his club coach Zlatko Dalic requesting that the country's best talent be allowed to rest in order to recover properly." - Daily Mail

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Class of 2015 Kicker & Punter Recruiting, part 2

Our fifth annual look at the move from high school to college for specialists continues. To get a sense of the key aspects of the recruiting process from the vantage point of the players, we asked kickers and punters from the Class of 2015 the following two questions:
  1. What would you say was the most beneficial advice you received before going through the recruiting process?
  2. Is there one thing you learned during the recruiting process that you wish you had known beforehand?
We received numerous responses, so this topic will span several posts. Following is the second of three batches of answers:

Gavin Patterson, South Alabama
  1. The most beneficial advice I received before going through the recruiting process is to stay positive. There's going to be times where things don't go the way that you would hope but you have to continue to stay positive and believe that good things will come. Some visits could go bad and you wont receive an offer but you have to continue to send film and continue to talk to the coaches.
  2. One thing that I wish I knew was that you do just as much recruiting as the college you're trying to attend. You have to reach out and talk to the coaches as much as possible. You may feel annoying, but if you continue calling they won't forget about you and end up getting on their recruiting board.
Morgan Hagee, Ball State
  1. Find a place where I will be happy regardless of what my situation ends up being when I'm there. Whether that means I start all four years and have a great career or don't play one snap. Cause you go to college to get a degree with football being second, goes with the idea of "student-athlete" with student being first. So if football doesn't work then you better be happy with the education and experiences of that school. 
  2. My dad has coached kickers and punters at all levels for 30 years so being exposed to it my whole life I learned a lot about it from my dad and other kickers that he has coached so I was prepared for just about everything that came at me during the recruiting process.
Zach Potter, Army
  1. The most beneficial advice I received was follow your heart and pick the college you feel most at home.
Rodrigo Blankenship
  1. Kicker recruitment is a whole different animal. It's a much slower moving process than the other positions, so you've got to be much more patient.
  2. The chaos that happens during the coaching carousel at the end of the regular season.
Justen Dubay, UT-Martin
  1. Constantly send emails and never give up. Always have a back up plan.
  2. I wish I would have went to more camps. But I got the school I wanted, so I'm very excited.
Jonathan Song, TCU
  1. The most beneficial advice would have to be "when you're on your visits, see where you fit in best". When I went on my visits, it was easy to tell which school I fit in better and who I got along with best. It's important to see how you get along with the rest of the team because that's who you will be spending most of your time with.
  2. During the recruiting process, I wish I would have contacted coaches earlier. Lucky for me, I received my scholarships from TCU and SMU early. However, I wish I would have contacted more coaches earlier and showed them my film. For kickers, it's hard to receive attention unless you're at the special teams camp. So I'd recommend trying to contacting coaches at an early stage of your recruiting process.
Matt Abramo, Washington State
  1. I can honestly tell you that the best advice that I received and embraced was that it's very important to be a student first, and an athlete second. Without good grades, I wouldn't have been recruited by the Pac-12 and the Ivy programs. Grades are very important in this process.
  2. The one thing I learned during my recruiting process and wasn't aware of beforehand was that it is very important to build a good relationship with the coaches at the programs recruiting you. The better the relationship, the more that you can find out about the programs that you're interested in, and the sooner you will know if it's a good fit for you.
Jake Bailey, Stanford
  1. The most beneficial recruiting advice that I received during the process was to not worry about having a off day while kicking at a camp. There will always be another one.
  2. Beforehand I wish that I would have started kicking off the ground earlier than I started. I feel like kicking off the ground earlier will benefit you more in pressure situations at camps.
Christopher Qualls, Louisiana-Monroe
  1. I would say the most beneficial advice before going into the recruiting process is be realistic. Know what you want before you contact a school whether it's getting a scholarship or playing at a D1 university. It took me hours to go through and pick out the schools that were needing punters.
  2. Coaches are not always up front with you. They may give you wrong leads. Also no matter where you are at you have no idea who is watching. I was at a TCU camp and it just so happened that the ️️Lousiana-Monroe Coach was there and got a good look at me before the offer came. So even if you had a bad day on the first day of a camp always bounce back strong on day two because who knows who could be watching.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

Purchase of Golden Eagles accessories from Amazon helps support Kickology

January 26, 2015 - kicker Nick Madonia commits
"Centennial kicker Nick Madonia recently committed to play football for Tennessee Tech University. Madonia, a third-team All-Midstate selection, pledged with the Golden Eagles last week after taking an official visit to Cookeville.... Madonia, the grandson of legendary Overton football coach Nick Coutras, connected on 9 of 13 field goal attempts in 2014, including a season-long 52-yarder in the Cougars' Week 6 win over Mt. Juliet. The 5-foot-9, 172-pound senior also converted 47 of 49 extra-point attempts and averaged 35.4 yards on 41 punts, helping lead Centennial to a 10-3 record and the Class 6A quarterfinals. He also received interest from Western Kentucky and Ohio." - Tennessean

October 4, 2014 - John Arnold kicks game winner over Murray State
"As John Arnold nailed the third of his field goals — the final one in overtime for a 30-27 victory — Tech found a way to do something it hadn’t done since August 28. Win.... After Murray State kicker Carson Greifenkamp missed his field goal try in the first series of overtime, the Golden Eagles got to the two-yard line before Arnold got his try. The Racers tried to ice Arnold, but the redshirt freshman out of Father Ryan in Nashville wasn’t worried. 'The only thing I was thinking was get more repetitions,' Arnold said. 'Get more tries at swinging at it from that distance, more looks at it and just do what I do'.... It was a redemption situation for Arnold. 'He missed a field goal at Tennessee State that would have tied that game,' coach Brown said. 'He hit two big ones after he had tasted the negative.' Arnold said, 'There was a lot of pressure, but my teammates put me in the spot. They came up to me on the sidelines and would pump me up and get me focused. When I went out there, I didn’t have any more pressure on me because they got me calm-headed and smooth. Marty Jones, you can look into his eyes and he just radiates calmness and it just helped me settle down there'." - Herald Citizen

UT Martin Skyhawks Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

January 26, 2015 - punter Justen Dubay commits
"Mt. Juliet punter Justen Dubay has committed to play football at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Dubay made his decision over the weekend during an official visit to UTM. The 6-foot, 190-pound Dubay didn't join the football team until his junior season. He handled the punting and placekicking duties for the Golden Bears for much of 2013 until making a touchdown-saving tackle which resulted in a season-ending injury." - Tennessean

November 23, 2014 - kicker Jackson Reddit earns weekly OVC honors
"Redditt made field goals of 25, 22 and 52 yards and was 4-for-4 on point after attempts in UT Martin's 37-16 victory at Eastern Illinois. The junior's 25-yards field goal at the end of the first quarter put his team on top for good while his 52-yarder in the third quarter equaled his career-long and is one of just seven field goals of 50 yards or longer in the OVC this season. Redditt is 12-of-15 (80%) on field goal attempts this season which ranks second in the OVC and 19th nationally." - OVC

October 4, 2014 - punter James Satterfield sets record
"The University of Tennessee at Martin football squad saw punter James Satterfield post a record-setting performance as the Skyhawks fell to Ohio Valley Conference foe and No. 8 ranked Jacksonville State 38-14 on Saturday afternoon at Burgess-Snow Field. The Skyhawks (1-5, 0-3 OVC) struggled to get anything going on offense in the contest, being held to just 216 yards on the day. With the offensive struggles the responsibility fell to senior James Satterfield to give the defense room to work and that is just what he did. Satterfield tallied a career-high 11 punts while breaking the UT Martin record for most punting yardage in a single game with 487 yards on the day." - Skyhawks

A History of Super Bowl Kicks

Kickers have contributed some big plays (mostly good, although a few not-quite-so-good) over the history of the Super Bowl:

II - Green Bay 33, Oakland 14
Packers kicker Don Chandler made four field goals (tied for most in one Super Bowl game).

IV - Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7
The Chiefs built a 16-0 lead by half time, including three field goals by Jan Stenerud.

V - Baltimore 16, Dallas 13
In a game dominated by defense and eleven turnovers, the Colts won in the final seconds on kicker Jim O'Brien's 32 yard field goal.

VII - Miami 14, Washington 7
Despite a highly successful NFL career, Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian is often remembered by many for his ill-fated pass attempt that resulted in the Redskins' only score of the game.

XVI - San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 21
49ers kicker Ray Wersching made four field goals (tied for most in one Super Bowl game).

XXV - NY Giants 20, Buffalo 19
Giants kicker Matt Bahr made what would prove to be a game winning 21 yard field in the fourth quarter. But the kick that will always be remembered is the 47 yard field goal attempt with eight seconds remaining by Bills kicker Scott Norwood. It was "wide right".

XXVIII - Dallas 30, Buffalo 13
Steve Christie's 54 yard field goal was and remains the longest in Super Bowl History.

XXXII - Denver 31, Green Bay 24
Jason Elam's 51 yard field goal  was and remains the second longest in Super Bowl History.

XXXVI - New England 20, St. Louis 17
Kicker Adam Vinatieri made a 48 yard field goal on the final play of the game to give the Patriots their first title.

XXXVIII - New England 32, Carolina 29
Further cementing his "clutch" legend, Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri hit a 41 yard game winning field goal with four seconds remaining.

XLIV - New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17
Trailing 10-6 at halftime, the Saints decided to start the second half with an onside kick by Thomas Morstead. It worked.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Class of 2015 Kicker & Punter Recruiting, part 1

Moving from one level of kicking up to the next is a highly competitive, very challenging, and often complex process. With National Signing Day once again nearly here, we take our fifth annual look at the move from high school to college. To get a sense of the key aspects of the recruiting process from the vantage point of the players, we asked kickers and punters from the Class of 2015 the following two questions:
  1. What would you say was the most beneficial advice you received before going through the recruiting process?
  2. Is there one thing you learned during the recruiting process that you wish you had known beforehand?
While everyone's unique individual circumstances led to varied answers, some common themes also emerged.  We received numerous responses, so this topic will span several posts. Following is the first batch of answers:

Luke Carter, Wofford
  1. The most beneficial advice was to chose the school that's best for you. Friends and family may try to persuade you to go in one direction, but at the end of the day it's your decision and you've got to do what you want to do.
  2. I wish I had known more about just the NCAA rules in general. It's really strict. I didn't really know about dead periods and stuff like that. It's a lot of stuff to grasp for a high school kid and nobody really ever teaches you that stuff. You're just kind of expected to know it and follow it.
Ian Shannon, Auburn
  1. Be patient. We get offers late junior year and they have to see us kick before any decision is made. Don't expect a lot. Most likely you will get offers from schools in your region. 
  2. I wish I had known how rare it is for kickers to get FBS offers. Luckily I got a lot of offers and from places I wanted to look at. Also you have to consider the sponsor of the school. Under Armour cleats are unusual for kickers. Which I'm going to Auburn so I'll adjust. Also playing surface. And practice facilities. I wanted an indoor so I can always be working.
Mason McLean, Jacksonville State
  1. Don't stress out and let God's plan take its course.
  2. Straight up calling the coaches helps you with more than anything on going to schools you want.
Austin Seibert, Oklahoma
  1. The most beneficial advice would probably have been to commit or go to the college you felt at home with. Also, don't choose a college for the coaches because coaching staffs change all the time.
  2. I emailed tons of coaches, took my visits, kicked in front of coaches and ultimately found the right college for me!
Bailey Kenter
  1. At one stage I was battling homesickness last year quite a lot, to the point where I wanted to return to Australia. However, my mum sent me the poem "Invictus". That's the best advice I've had since moving here by myself. I've never looked back since.
  2. How vicious it can be to some kids' dreams and ambitions. Before moving to America I didn't realize how much of a business the recruiting process is. It's taught me to not count my chickens before they've hatched. 
Jacob Herbers, Buffalo
  1. The best piece of advice that I keep hearing is to pick a college that you would want to go to regardless of the football situation. Especially with a lot of walk on guys you need to go to a place you like academically before you chose based on what the football program is like there.
  2. I wish I would have know how long and time consuming the process takes. Kickers and punters are recruited really late in comparison inducing lots of stress on you right before signing day.
Alex Kinney, Colorado
  1. The most beneficial thing that I learned before the recruiting process was that colleges can go out and get a good kicker because there are hundreds but there are less good punters so it's easier to be recruited. 
  2. I wish I would have know that you need to get in front of coaches, even if they aren't looking for someone to scholarship things can change quickly. I'd also say you need to get your name out there, whether it's going to camps or making videos it's important to get your name out.
Colten Rastetter
  1. My family friends and coaches told me that if this is a commitment that I want to make then I should go for it. Also to continue to improve as an individual and practice all the little things.
  2. I learned that no matter what position you are, the coaches care about you. At first I was scared that with me being a punter that I wouldn't get shown much interest like athletes would receive! With this I am excited to take the next step in my football career!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Navy Midshipmen Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

January 23, 2015 - kicker/punter Bennett Moehring commits
"Moehring, one of the top-rated kickers nationally from Bentonville (Ark.) High School, committed to Navy on Tuesday, January 20th. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound kicker/punter, chose the United State Naval Academy over offers from Army, UMass, Tulane and invitations as a preferred walk-on to California, Missouri, and SMU.... Moehring was 7-of-8 on field goals with a long of 49 yards and converted all 51 of his extra points as a senior for Bentonville’s Class 7A state championship team. He averaged 66.8 yards-per-kickoff and 44.4 yards-per punt." - Scout

January 19, 2015 - long snapper Michael Pifer commits
"Penn-Trafford senior long-snapper Michael Pifer made a verbal commitment to Division I FBS Navy after visiting over the weekend. 'He's the best long snapper I've coached,' P-T coach John Ruane said. 'When he was a sophomore, he found something he was good at and worked hard at it. He's been all over the country at different camps'." - Tribune-Review

December 23, 2014 - Austin Grebe kicks game winner in Poinsettia Bowl
"Austin Grebe booted a 24-yard field goal with 1:27 remaining in the game as Navy somehow squeaked out a 17-16 victory over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl.... Grebe's clutch kick capped a wild fourth quarter in which both teams tried to give the game away. San Diego State blew a golden opportunity to win the game in the final seconds as kicker Donny Hageman missed a 35-yard field goal attempt with 24 seconds left. Hageman, who had already made three field goals in the game, pushed the ball right – setting off a wild celebration on the Navy sideline.... Grebe, a junior from Stafford, Virginia, came on and calmly drilled the biggest kick of his career right down the middle between the uprights. 'Honestly, I wasn't thinking I would have to kick it because usually when we get that close Keenan scores," Grebe said. "I just wanted to go out there and make it and send all our seniors out on a positive note.' Grebe, who replaced Nick Sloan as Navy's placekicker in early October, did not miss a kick this season – finishing 6-for-6 on field goals and 33-for-33 on extra points. 'I asked Austin where he wanted the ball and he said it didn't matter, which shows what kind of kid he is," coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "Nick said put it on either hash and he'd kick the ball in'." - Capital Gazette

November 12, 2014 - long snapper Joe Cardona & kicker Austin Grebe
"Cardona was among the first 11 college football players to accept an invitation to the 66th annual Reese's Senior Bowl, being held Jan. 24, 2015 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Numerous National Football League scouts have traveled to Annapolis this fall to evaluate Cardona, a native of El Cajon, California. In 47 career games delivering the ball on punts and placekicks, the 6-foot-3, 236-pound senior has not been responsible for one bad snap. 'Some of the NFL scouts are projecting Joe as the best long snapper in the country,' Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said earlier this season. 'He has great accuracy and there is no hitch – his ball goes straight from the ground to the holder or punter. Quick, efficient, accurate and powerful – Joe has everything the NFL people are looking for'.... Niumatalolo's decision to install Austin Grebe as the starting placekicker looks better and better with each passing game. Since replacing the struggling Nick Sloan three games ago, Grebe has gone 16-for-16 on extra points and made all three of his field goal attempts. 'Austin has been doing really well. His field goals have been pure. What he's done on game day has not been a surprise because he's been doing it in practice ever since he started to focus on placekicking,' Niumatalolo said. Niumatalolo noted that Grebe did not really spend a lot of time practicing placekicks since that wasn't his primary job. The 6-foot, 192-pound junior was the kickoff specialist and thus concentrated his efforts on perfecting that skill." - Capital Gazette

October 9, 2014 - kicking competition
"Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo opened the placekicking competition this week, and it didn't take long to settle on a winner. Junior Austin Grebe out-kicked sophomore D.J. Grant-Johnson convincingly in practice on Tuesday and Niumatalolo said afterward that he'd seen enough. 'Right now, after what I saw today, it's going to be Austin,' Niumatalolo said. 'That's all we needed to see. I want to let (Grebe) know that he's the placekicker so he can start working on it.' Grebe backed up that decision with another strong performance at the end of Wednesday's practice, making 7 of 8 field goal attempts. The Virginia native booted a 45-yarder through the uprights with plenty of room to spare....  Grebe has handled kickoffs for Navy the past two seasons and displayed an extremely strong leg in that role. The 6-foot, 192-pounder has boomed 28 of 105 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. His rate this year is very good with 12 of 29 kickoffs not being returned. Niumatalolo said Grebe has improved his accuracy on placekicks and pointed out that he hasn't been asked to do so for three seasons since classmate Nick Sloan handled extra points and field goals.... Grebe replaces Sloan, who has missed five field goals this season. Those two are classmates and close friends so it's a tough situation. 'It's whatever is best for the team and whatever gives us the best chance to win. All the kickers know that,' Grebe said. Grebe said he will now place more focus on practicing placekicking and said his pregame routine will also change. He'll warm up kicking field goals instead of kickoffs. " - Capital Gazette

  August 12, 2014 - summer specialists
"Pablo Beltran has been Navy's punter for all 38 games of his career and has been extremely consistent. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior ranks third in program history with a career average of 40.8 yards per punt. Nick Sloan has also been a starter since his freshman campaign and has converted 92 of 96 point after touchdowns and 21 of 29 field goal attempts. The junior out of San Diego has already amassed 155 points and needs just six more to move into fifth place all-time among Navy kickers. 'We're very established there,' coach Ken Niumatalolo said when asked about the two veteran kicking specialists last week. 'It's reassuring and gives you some comfort, but what's happened in the past doesn't mean anything. We have to produce this year'.... Beltran said his offseason training consisted of punting almost daily while at the academy for strength and conditioning workouts, a few days of technique evaluation and instruction from his long-time guru – Dallas-based Chris Shaw – and yoga sessions to improve flexibility. 'I also watched a lot of film. I went all the way back to my freshman year and just looked at everything,' he said. 'Whenever I hit a good ball, I looked at what my steps were or when I dropped the ball. There's always room for improvement, always little things to get better at – whether it's spinning the ball, the drop or leg extension'.... 'Nick is looking good and really booming the ball. There is a pop off his foot,' said Beltran, the holder for place kicks. 'We're keeping a chart and he's making like 92 percent right now'.... Niumatalolo noted that long snapper Joe Cardona plays a critical role in both the punting and place-kicking situation and has routinely praised the senior's consistent accuracy. Sloan said the trio has become quite efficient with the overall operation." - Capital Gazette

June 10, 2014 - punter Pablo Beltran honored
"Senior punter Pablo Beltran named to the Phil Steele 2014 Preseason All-Independent First Team.... Beltran was an Honorable Mention FBS All-Independent selection last fall after averaging 41.4 yards per punt on 40 punts last year. Twelve of his 40 punts were downed inside the opponent 20-yard line." - Midshipmen

May 29, 2014 - returning specialists
"A pair of veterans will handle the kicking chores. Pablo Beltran is only the second four-year starting punter in program history and ranks third all-time at Navy with a 41.1-yard career average. Nick Sloan begins his third season as the starting placekicker and has been fairly reliable, converting 21-of-29 field goals." - Athlon Sports

Friday, January 23, 2015

Arizona Wildcats Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

January 22, 2015 - kicker/punter Oliver Graybar added
"Oliver Graybar (5-10, 200) is a kicker/punter from Reno, Nev. He played for head coach Dan Avansino at Reno High School and played for head coach Bill Chaplick at Milford Academy in fall 2014. He was the 2013 Reno Gazette-Journal Special Teams Player of the Year, earned academic all-state honors and was a two-time all-region honoree." - Wildcats

November 15, 2014 - kicker/runner Casey Skowron leads Wildcats to win over Washington
"It was just Casey Skowron's day. Arizona turned to the same kicker that came into Saturday against Washington in a funk and took advantage of three Huskies turnovers to win 27-26 on the leg -- and legs -- of the former women's soccer manager. Skowron scored 13 of the UA points, making up for an ugly offensive outing by the Wildcats, who next face Utah with an 8-2 record.... A replay review on an ensuing Solomon deep ball that was caught by Cayleb Jones showed that the receiver's toe was on the line in the back of the end zone, and so the Wildcats turned to Skowron as they had more than a month ago against USC. This time, a miss during the icing timeout got the bad juju out of the kicker. His 47-yarder as time expired was money. That wasn't the only game-changing play for the kicker against UW. Skowron the speedster: Arizona looked tentative -- until RichRod pulled out a fake field goal in the first half. With 1:39 to go in the second quarter, Skowron took a direct snap to the house on an 18-yard fourth down run." - Arizona Desert Swarm

November 4, 2014 - punter Drew Riggleman
"Riggleman, a Sahuaro High School product, is quietly having one of the best seasons ever by an Arizona punter. The junior averages 47.2 yards per punt, tops in the Pac-12 Conference. He has a chance to eclipse Danny Baugher’s single-season school record of 47.5 yards per punt, set in 2005. And he has done it in multiple ways. Riggleman can blast a punt with the best of them in a traditional style, but he also has shown the ability to use the rugby punt. There, he rolls out to a side and kicks a line drive. 'He’s getting more and more comfortable with a variety of kicks we’ve asked him to do,' UA coach Rich Rodriguez said. 'Most punters can do the traditional punt and angle it toward the sideline. He can do that, and he’s taken to the roll punt. He’s taken it to heart, and worked really hard at practice. He’s done a good job of all of it. He’s been excellent in ball placement, whether it’s been with the roll punt or the traditional.' Riggleman said he’s 'comfortable with either one. I just like to help with the offensive field position,' he said. 'Against UCLA, they had a great returner, so we went with the rugby style to try to keep it away from him and limit his returns.' Riggleman’s strong leg has Arizona producing a net average of 39.9 yards per punt after returns. The school record — since the calculations of the net punting stat changed in 2005 — is 38.3 in 2012. The 39.9 mark is second in the Pac-12 behind Utah." - Arizona Daily Star

October 31, 2014 - kicker Casey Skowron
"Casey Skowron is over it. He was over it sooner than you might have thought he was over it. Kickers need to have a short memory and a clear head. Skowron was reading all the invectives and threats on social media while sitting in the cold tub after the USC game - the one in which he missed a 36-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds of a 28-26 loss. That stuff was out there. He knew it. No sense hiding from it, denying it. But the only words that mattered to him came from inside the locker room, not from the anonymous chorus chanting, in so many words, 'You suck.' The important words came from coach Rich Rodriguez, who said, 'You're our kicker and we're going to put you out there 100 more times'.... Skowron's mental health checks out just fine. His leg was fine, too, in his return to the field last Saturday at Washington State. Nothing too stressful, but he made a 31-yard field goal early in the game and all eight of his extra point attempts. 'The kick against USC had nothing to do with the kicks against Washington State,' he said. 'The way I think of it, I can't go back in time and change it. I just have to do everything I can going forward to keep making kicks'." - Tucson News Now

August 30, 2014 - kicker Casey Skowron ties team record
"Skowron, a redshirt junior playing in his first game as a Wildcat, converted 3-of-4 field goal tries, with makes from 28, 49 and 39 yards. Skowron also made all seven of his extra point tries to finish with 16 points by kicking and tying the school record set last season by Jake Smith. Interestingly, both kickers set the record against the UNLV Rebels. Skowron also handled kickoffs for Arizona last Friday, successfully booting seven of his 11 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks." - 247 Sports

August 24, 2014 - kicker Casey Skowron
"The junior from Phoenix came to the UA as a soccer player and played on the Wildcats’ club team as a freshman. He then joined the women’s program as a practice player and student manager. Three weeks into the women’s season, he chased a hunch — Skowron thought he had a strong enough leg to be a college football kicker. He aced his tryout and was a Division I football player days later. The Phoenix Brophy Prep product redshirted in 2012 and served as a backup last season while battling hip and groin injuries. This year, Skowron is in contention to be one of the UA’s primary kickers. He battled freshman Josh Pollack and Virginia Tech transfer Ethan Keyserling throughout training camp. Coach Rich Rodriguez hasn’t said who will handle the main responsibilities this season, but Skowron will undoubtedly get a look at some point." - Arizona Daily Star

August 8, 2014 - kicking mix
"This year, special teams coach Charlie Ragle and the Wildcats may spread the duties out over multiple kickers. The three main candidates right now are junior Casey Skowron, freshman Josh Pollack and Virginia Tech graduate transfer Ethan Keyserling. 'You could easily see where we could have a short guy, who is pretty accurate from 40 in, and a longer guy that might have a bigger leg and could handle kickoffs,' Ragle said. 'Whatever gives us the best chance to win, we’re going to try to find that. I can see something like that developing for sure.' Skowron may be the most consistent of the group, but has battled various minor injuries the past two years, which have slowed his development. Ragle said Keyserling, perhaps the leading candidate for kickoff duty, may have the strongest leg of all the kickers but needs to be more consistent.
Pollack, a true freshman, is still learning to trust his leg and not overthink things — something Ragle said most freshmen deal with. 'I’ve told Josh, ‘You’ve worked on this for so long and you’re naturally good at it. Just do your thing,’ Ragle said.'I’m excited for Casey. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be in this thing for sure. Ethan has a super strong leg. He might have the strongest leg overall. He’s going to be in the mix'.” - Arizona Daily Star

June 28, 2014 - summer specialists
"Special teams will also need to find their starting kicker after losing Jake Smith who handled the field goals a season ago. Junior Casey Skowron may begin the season as the starting kicker. Punter junior Drew Riggleman averaged 40.1 yards per punt as a sophomore." - College Football Universe

April 4, 2014 - kicker & punter competitions
"The competition for the starting kicker spot is down to two men — for now. Bret Miller, who redshirted last season and was expected to be in the kicker and punter competition, is no longer on the team. The San Clemente, Calif., native was taken off the roster earlier this week. That means the competition this spring is down to Casey Skowron and Jack Flatau. Skowron seemed to be the favorite coming into the spring, but he has been dealing with a hip flexor injury all spring and it has hurt his consistency. Special teams coordinator Charlie Ragle said Skowron should be fully healthy soon and it's not a long-term problem. Flatau is a walk-on, who redshirted last season and has gotten most of the work this spring with Skowron hurt. Returning punter Drew Riggleman has gotten most of the work at that spot. However, that could all change in the fall when Josh Pollack arrives. Pollack, out of Highland Park, Ill., is expected to compete for time at both kicker and punter. He will be a preferred walk-on to start, but should be put on scholarship in the future." - Arizona Daily Star