the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, April 6, 2015

Draft Preview: Justin DuVernois

Among the punters eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Illinois' Justin DuVernois. He ranks in the top ten in several of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from DuVernois' profile page on the Fighting Illini's website:

2014 Senior Season
  • Finished the regular season 3rd in the conference averaging 43.8 yards per punt.  He punted the ball 51 times in conference play for a total of 2,234 yards and a long of 74 yards.  This is the first time that Justin has been named with all Big Ten credentials.
  • Averaged 45.2 yards per punt, totaling 226 yards on five kicks with a long of 57, for the Illini against Washington...Had three of his punts land inside the 20-yard line, including one at the six-yard line, another at the nine-yard line and one at the 13-yard line...Wins his first career Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honor.
  • Averaged 48.7 yards on nine punts as Illinois defeated Minnesota...Four of his nine punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, including two inside the 10-yard line...Recorded two punts of 61 yards and had four punts of longer than 50 yards...Claims his second career Special Teams Player of the Week honor
2013 Junior Season
  • Boomed a season-long 66-yarder against Northwestern ... Averaged 46.2 yards on five punts, with three downed inside the 20, against Northwestern
  • Earned Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after averaging 45.2 yards on five punts, with a career-best three over 50 yards and three downed inside the 20, against Washington 
2012 Sophomore Season
  • 16 fair catches, 19 inside the 20 and 15 of 50+
  • Punted six times for 253 yards, averaging a career-best 47.2 ypp against Purdue, while sending two over 50 yards and landing three inside the 20
  • Punted eight times for 336 yards (42.0 ypp), landing three inside the 20 against Indiana
  • Booted a career-long 72-yard punt and punted eight times for 350 total yards (43.8 ypp), with two over 50 yards and two landing inside the 20 in the win over Western Michigan
2011 Freshman Season
  • One of 10 true-freshman starting punters in the nation in 2011
  • 17 inside the 20 and three over 50 
  • Set career-high 374 total yards on nine punts for an average of 41.6 yards per punt with a long of 61 against Michigan
  • Punted nine times for an average of 38.0 yards and three inside the 20 at Penn State 
High School
  • First-team All-Broward County in 2010
  • Kicked and punted in Broward/Dade Counties All-Star Game
  • Averaged 39.7 yards per punt as a senior ... 11 of his 29 punts were downed inside the 20 yard line
  • Had a 71-yard punt in the state title game in 2010
  • All-Southeast Region selection by PrepStar 

College Stats:
2014: 77 punts, 44.0 yard average, long of 74 yards
2013: 51 punts, 41.1 yard average, long of 66 yards
2012: 73 punts, 41.9 yard average, long of 72 yards
2011: 53 punts, 38.3 yard average, long of 66 yards

Last November, DuVernois addressed a range of punting topics during a Q&A: 
What punting stat is most important to you?
"I take pride in net punt, for the coverage team as well. My sophomore year, we were No. 1 in the Big Ten in net punt. Junior year we were third, and this year, we’re No. 1. I’m trying to keep that there."
When you came here from Florida, what did you think about the weather?
"I always wanted to play Big Ten football, and I’ve been to the Midwest for Christmases with my grandparents. I knew it was going to be cold. I like the cold weather."
What do you want to do after football?
"I’m hoping football doesn’t end. First, I want to see if I can take it to the next level. I don’t have any exact plans right now, but I’m sure I’ll figure that out. "

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