CLASS OF 2016 ALABAMA KICKERS PURSUE BIG DREAMS
Competitors on the field aren’t always friends off of the field. However, for One On One Kicking trainees, AJ Reed and Sage Ledbetter, the two have gotten extremely close since meeting at a One On One camp nearly four years ago. Since then, both Reed and Ledbetter have been training with One On One Kicking founder, Mike McCabe along with coach, Brian Egan at the Birmingham Elite division.
Just months ago, Reed and Ledbetter attended the Kohl’s Underclassman Challenge, where both received top-ten national rankings in the Class of 2016 from Kohl’s Kicking – the national ranking source for specialists.
From an individual perspective, Sage Ledbetter, a left-footed kicker from Auburn High School in Alabama, was ranked tenth in the class by Kohl’s and says it’s a great honor but it’s more of motivation. “It’s a great honor but it just makes me want to work to become number one,” he stated.
Aside from wanting the number one ranking, Ledbetter says he knows what it takes to be number one in the class. “Being number one takes a lot of commitment and determination, you have to focus on technique,” Ledbetter continued, “If you’re number one you need to strike your A-ball 24/7 and your misses need to go in.”
Following the Kohl’s Kicking camp and national ranking, the Auburn, Alabama product was able to visit Auburn University on their junior day and said it was a great visit, “It was great, I really enjoyed the Auburn facilities, coaching staff and it was a great atmosphere.”
Aside from Ledbetter – Prattville, Alabama product, AJ Reed, was ranked sixth in the Class of 2016 by Kohl’s Kicking. Reed, who visited LSU following the ranking for their junior day, says he is very excited about his national ranking as well.
“I see it as a great opportunity,” Reed stated, “Just this December, I went to Kohl’s and he didn’t really know me. I had a good showing and ended up sixth in the nation. I wasn’t near this a few months ago. If you keep listening to your coaches, it can happen and it has changed me.”
For both Reed and Ledbetter, the national rankings are a big step but without One On One Kicking, they both agree the rankings may not have been obtainable.
Brian Egan, the director of Birmingham Elite, was a kicker himself at Mississippi State in the SEC. Reed and Ledbetter, who are both potential SEC recruits, have a coach in Egan who has played at the level that they want to be at.
“Coach Egan is a cool guy, I really like training with him,” Reed stated on working with Egan, one of his mentors. “He’s always giving me constructive criticism and he’ll tell you when you do good but he’s focused on what you need to improve on. He’s a great coach, he’ll be at school to work with you if you need him and he puts in a lot of work for us, I wouldn’t be here without him.”
Coach Egan, Ledbetter, and Reed are all extremely close. Since Reed and Ledbetter began to train with One On One Kicking after their freshman years, the two have become best friends. Despite going to separate high schools, they find time to train together and constantly communicate.
“AJ (Reed) and I are best friends, we’ve grown tight,” Ledbetter stated on his friendship with one of his biggest competitors in the Class of 2016, “We always talk and kick every Sunday together.”
The friendship between Ledbetter and Reed with the training of Coach Brian Egan is what One On One Kicking is all about. While on the field, Ledbetter and Reed are able to share advice and work to better one another. Ledbetter and Reed are two of the biggest legs in the Class of 2016 and are two names to watch out for, especially as they continue to train with the best of the best in One On One Kicking.