the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, March 16, 2015

Draft Preview: Sam Irwin-Hill

Among the punters eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Arkansas's Sam Irwin-Hill. He ranks in the top ten in several of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Hill's profile page on the Razorbacks' website:

2014 Senior Season
  • 51-yard touchdown run against Texas A&M
  • named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in a 30-0 blanking of Ole Miss Nov. 22. Irwin-Hill averaged 40.5 yards on six punts, downing three inside the 20, and netted 41.8 per kick
2013 Junior Season
  • He led the SEC with 20 punts inside the 20-yard line and his 44.3 yards-per-punt average was third in the conference
  • He was named a Ray Guy Award Candidate for his performance
  • At Rutgers, he completed a 24-yard pass for a first down on a fake punt and also punted six times for 254 yards, landing half of those inside the 20-yard line
  • He punted a career-high seven times for a career-best 320 yards at No. 18 Florida
  • He was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance vs. No. 14 South Carolina... He punted four times for 214 yards, including a career-long 79 yarder that was the longest in the SEC and tied for the second-longest in the NCAA for 2013
  • The following week at No. 1 Alabama, he punted four times for 140 yards and rushed once for 12 yards on a fake punt for a first down
2012 Sophomore Season (City College of San Francisco)
  • Irwin-Hill is an ambidextrous punter, possessing the ability to punt with either leg, and was ranked as the No. 1 junior college punter in America by
  • He was named a first-team All-American as a sophomore after punting 44 times for an average of 46.1 yards per punt, including a long of 77 yards, and also dropped 15 punts inside the 20-yard line while helping City College advance to the California Community College Athletic Association championship game and finish the season 10-2
2011 Freshman Season (City College of San Francisco)
  • averaged 40.6 yards per punt with a long of 62 as the Rams won the CCCAA state title and ended the season with a perfect 12-0 mark

College Stats:
2014: 58 punts, 40.1 yard average, long of 54 yards
2013: 46 punts, 44.3 yard average, long of 79 yards

Last Fall, Hill discussed his recurring opportunities to throw and run, in addition to punting:
“When I came in here I wanted my product to be a very versatile sort of punter. Not just have the traditional style, but be able to kick left and right foot, and also be able to pass the ball, run the ball. Coming from a sport, Australian Rules, I had the ability to be able to do that....

It’s definitely been fun, but at the same time it’s an absolute privilege. And it shows that the coach has confidence in you and your ability to make those other plays and not just punt the ball. So I love coach for doing it and him trusting in myself to be able to execute those plays.”

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