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Placekickers, Punters, Returners Stage Unique Exhibition in Daytona International Speedway Grass
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 11, 2017) – It was a unique setting, to say the least: a group of National Football League players staging an impromptu workout Tuesday morning on the pristine tri-oval grass at Daytona International Speedway. For a couple of hours, the world’s only motorsports stadium had the feel of a football stadium.
That’s not as surprising as some might think. There was a time when football was commonplace at the “World Center of Racing.” In 1959, the facility’s first year of operation, local high school Father Lopez played several games at DIS; in 1974-75, Bethune-Cookman University, also located in Daytona Beach, played four games at the speedway.
Participating in Tuesday’s exhibition in front of the stadium’s 101,500-seat layout were NFL placekickers Chris Boswell of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cairo Santos of the Kansas City Chiefs and University of Florida All-American Caleb Sturgis of the Philadelphia Eagles; Buffalo Bills punter Austin Rehkow; and assisting with returns were Atlanta Falcons safety Ricardo Allen and Eric Metcalf, a former NFL All-Pro running back and returner. Allen is a graduate of Daytona Beach Mainland High School.
Those players are in Daytona Beach this month for the “One On One Kicking” camp being held at nearby Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. One On One Kicking offers elite training programs for kickers, punters and long snappers of all ages, ranging from grade school to high school to college to professional. In addition to the pros, camp attendees took part in Tuesday’s speedway workout.
Sturgis was surprised when told of DIS’ football history, saying “I wasn’t aware of that. That’s pretty awesome. Today is just a neat experience. You can kick anywhere but very few times in your life do you get to experience something like this.”
Added former University of Idaho player Rehkow, who the Bills signed this spring as a free agent: “I’m so excited to get out here and hit some balls; it’s crazy to see all these seats here.”
Allen, who went on to play at Purdue, especially enjoyed the return trip home. The speedway is only a half-mile away from his prep alma mater.
“I never had tickets to the races, so to be able to come out and field punts and train on this field … this is like sacred ground,” Allen said.
Andrew Booth, DIS Public Relations
386.681-5432 (DIS infield media center) email@example.com
One On One Kicking Featured By GoPro
It was great to wake up the other day and see that the great folks over at GoPro featured us on all of their social media platforms. GoPro simply makes the world’s most versatile cameras…PERIOD. Whether it is for action sports, water sports, or everyday activities the GoPro is the camera that captures it all.
One On One Kicking has been using the GoPro camera for 4 years now at camps, training sessions, and other activities of ours. We have used the GoPro to capture all kinds of memories for our athletes and more importantly we have been using the GoPro to take all sorts of film for our athletes to review them and study them to help them improve their technique and form. It is a MAJOR tool for all our athletes to get better on and off the field. We can use all kinds of angles and to get specifics shots so they can view and critique their form in many ways. The GoPro is the way to go for us!
We just want to kindly thank the folks over at GoPro for everything they have done for us. They are indeed a CLASS A company and have CLASS A people working for them. Thank you again for everything you have done for us GoPro!!
For more info on these amazing cameras visit … www.GoPro.com for all their products and offerings. You NEED one of their cameras!!!
Below you will see the picture that GoPro featured. The picture was taken by Coach Gaddis who runs our New Jersey/New York Division. The picture was taken in Daytona Beach, Florida. The picture features One On One Kicking Trainee and Philadelphia Eagles Kicker, Caleb Sturgis training with our coaches and fellow One On One Kicking Trainee and Kansas City Chiefs Kicker, Cairo Santos watching on. The grind never stops for our NFL Athletes!!!
Marshall Specialists Train with One On One Kicking in Arkansas
By: Zach Harig
Last spring, One On One Kicking and founder, Mike McCabe made their way to Huntington, West Virginia to run the Marshall specialists camp. There, Coach McCabe and company would find extreme talent, especially in three of the Thundering Herd specialists – Tyler Williams, Kaare Vedvik, and Amoreto Curraj. At the time, Coach McCabe and his staff didn’t do much to the techniques of the already lethal specialist at Marshall, but the fixes they did make would pay off.
“Last spring, Coach McCabe came to one of our camps and he tweaked us out a bit,” kicker Amoreto Curraj stated, “He didn’t change anything major, but what he did change helped us out a lot.”
Since those adjustments made at camp, the Marshall specialists have been training with Coach McCabe and the One On One Kicking staff. In fact, this summer, all three made their way to Arkansas for summer training.
In Arkansas, the Marshall specialists have gotten the chance to learn from some professional talent – including St. Louis Rams punter and NFL Pro-Bowler, Johnny Hekker and former Super Bowl Champion and veteran kicker, Garrett Hartley.
“My obvious goal is to punt in the National Football League,” Marshall senior punter, Tyler Williams stated, “And I know that training with Coach McCabe and One On One is the way to get there. There are so many things you don’t understand you’re doing wrong until you train with guys like Johnny Hekker (St. Louis Rams), Ryan Allen (New England Patriots), Ryan Quigley (New York Jets), and Pat O’Donnell (Chicago Bears) and you see how crafty they are and what you need to do to improve,” Williams continued.
Entering his final season at Marshall, Williams has had a storied career with the Herd. In his rookie season with the Herd, Williams won the punting job and did not disappoint, leading all FBS freshman with a 45.19 punting average. Following his freshman campaign, Williams found himself breaking several Marshall records and was recognized as an All-American.
Prior to training with One On One Kicking, Williams already found himself on preseason Ray Guy watch-lists for the top collegiate punter and already had several accolades. However, Williams says the One On One coaches have already helped him with so much.
“I’ve always been a put in the work kind of guy and I was pretty good prior to One On One, but they’ve helped me with all of the little things like getting my drop right, shortening my step, and working on my drop table. It’s the little things like those that take you from a good college punter to the pros,” Williams continued.
Aside from the training, the Arkansas summer training with One On One Kicking has helped Williams strengthen his bond with his fellow specialist teammates, Kaare Vedvik and Amoreto Curraj.
“We’ve always had a close relationship between us specialists because it’s just us,” Williams said, “At practice, the offense goes with the offense, and defense with defense, then it’s just the specialists. Here with One On One Kicking, though, our relationships have gotten even better and we really value each other’s opinions.”
For Vedvik and Curraj, they understand that they may be competing for jobs this season, which can make things competitive. Despite the competition, it doesn’t get in the way of the teammate bond that the two have.
“We know that we’ll be competing this season, but we know that’s part of college football and there’s no hard feelings,” redshirt-sophomore Kaare Vedvik stated, “We’re going to compete, do our best, and the best man wins the job.”
For Curraj, the competitive nature is actually a positive thing, “We’re doing our best and we’re really learning from each other, so it’s not so competitive where it gets in the way, it’s not like that at all.”
For all three Marshall specialists, the week they spent at One On One Kicking camp strengthened an already incredible relationship. The training, talks during meals, and rooming together in the dorms were all things that the three men said they thoroughly enjoyed. Meanwhile, according to Amareto Curraj, the Marshall coaching staff won’t complain about all of the training, either.
“The coaches always tell us they can see a difference,” Curraj said after training with One On One, “Our motions are extremely fluid, they don’t look rough, and the coaches really notice that.”
Marshall has one of the most dangerous offenses in the country and while punter Tyler Williams may find himself on the bench frequently due to the lack of punting, the kicking duties could get a bit tiring. For the Herd, they have three extremely dangerous specialists, and the proper training has them even better going into the 2015 season.
One On One Kicking Invades Ouachita Baptist University
By: Zach Harig
Founded in 1886, Ouachita Baptist University is a private institution located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The 200 acre campus gives a small, home-town feel for the nearly 1,600 students enrolled at OBU. However, in the month of July, One On One Kicking has invaded the small university with several NFL, college, and high school specialists for training.
Every year, One On One Kicking founder, Mike McCabe, changes the location of their month-long training session. This year, the choice to hold the camp at Ouachita Baptist University was quite an easy one, according to McCabe.
“The facilities here are phenomenal, the field is always in great shape and the indoor field and weight room is amazing as well,” McCabe stated.
Ouachita Baptist University is a small Division-II school, but it brings a rich football tradition as well. In fact, the Tigers fielded their first football team in 1895 and have since won nine conference championships, including one in 2014 after a 10-0 season in the Great American Conference. Aside from the championships, which caught McCabe’s eye, the coaches are not only outstanding teachers, but outstanding people.
“The coaches are amazing people and great Christians,” McCabe stated, “They’re extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the game of football. Plus, OBU has won championship after championship and the campus is beautiful. For any athlete trying to play college football, this is the place to be.”
For the Tigers’ coaching staff, they’re extremely excited to have the specialist camp here as well. Head coach, Todd Knight, now in his fifteenth season as the Ouachita Baptist head coach, is happy to bring something different to their football program and camp season.
“We do a lot of camps here,” Knight explained, “We had over 1,000 kids here for our summer camp and we also do a skills camp for all positions except punting, kicking, and snapping, so this is icing on the cake to have Coach McCabe here. Coach McCabe and his staff bring a lot to the specialist profession and to have him here along with his NFL players, is really impressive.”
In fact, the relationship between Coach Knight and Coach McCabe is one that has been growing over the past ten years as One On One Kicking trainee and former Tiger kicker, Matt Ehasz, was All-GAC in 2013. Aside from Ehasz, fellow One On One Kicking trainee and true-freshman Cole Antley has now signed to play football for Knight and the Tigers in 2015. The at-home feel for the summer training was something that had Antley extremely excited as well.
“I was pumped when I found out One On One was coming here,” Antley said, “It’s at my college and I still get to train with some of the best kickers in the nation with an at-home feel.”
At Ouachita Baptist, the summer training included warmups every weekday morning at the indoor practice facility, a nearly 150 yard outdoor practice field along with use of the state-of-the-art and renovated Ouachita weight room. Ouachita Baptist strength and conditioning coach, Ryan Tibbets has run the daily workouts for the One On One trainees throughout the month of July, including training of the NFL players, which is something he won’t take for granted.
“It’s been a great experience seeing how they come in to train and attack their workouts,” Tibbets stated on the NFL trainees, “They aren’t just going through the motions, they’re working hard every day, which is great for me to focus on teaching technique rather than the effort aspect.”
Another benefit for the Tigers is to watch their specialists grow through the training of Coach McCabe and his coaching staff. Aside from freshman kicker, Cole Antley, the Tigers have two long snappers training with One On One Kicking and snapping coach, Jesse Medrano as well.
“The coaching of Coach McCabe and his staff takes a lot of pressure off of us,” head coach Todd Knight laughed, “As good of a job as we think we do coaching college football – kicking, punting, and long snapping is a forgotten art. For me, I’m growing as a coach just learning from them about the position and what it takes technique-wise as well. It’s a great situation for us.”
As Coach Knight puts it, specialists are forgotten about, as are their techniques. In college football, no matter the level, the kickers and punters are ignored. At OBU, the One On One Kicking camp has allowed their coaches to get accustomed to how to work with kickers and punters, even when someone like Coach McCabe isn’t around to explain it.
“I’ve learned so much from all of the coaches here so far,” Ouachita Baptist strength and conditioning coach, Ryan Tibbets explained, “I’ll be able to help Cole (Antley) out once they leave and they’ve been great mentors for me. I can send them film at any time and can talk to them about anything,” he continued.
The relationship between Ouachita Baptist Football and One On One Kicking has grown tremendously over July and has truly benefitted both sides. For the Tigers, their coaching staff gets exposed to specialists and their techniques unlike a lot of other coaching staffs in the entire country. Aside from that, the training freshman kicker Cole Antley and the Tigers snappers are receiving is unparalleled.
“Coach Knight has always known I’m a pretty decent kicker, but he has already seen growth and improvement from me,” said Antley, a One On One Kicking trainee and new OBU kicker.
For Coach McCabe and One On One, the use of the wonderful facilities and outstanding film room has allowed them to train and go over film. The film room is used to adjust techniques with their trainees and correct mistakes in form and posture. The dormitories have also housed the trainees and coaches for the month of July while the dining hall has been a great asset to the campers. The small, yet vibrant, campus has provided an excellent experience for campers, coaches and One On One Kicking couldn’t be more thankful to be at the university.
From Junior College Soccer to Alabama Football in Just Months, Eddy Pineiro Commits
By: Zach Harig
Soccer and football work together when it comes to kickers on the gridiron but North Miami native, Eddy Pineiro, is one of the best to make the switch so quickly. After attending Miami Sunset Senior High School, Pineiro had his heart set on attending ASA Junior College in Miami to play soccer. However, those plans quickly changed once he began kicking footballs instead. Quickly on the rise, Pineiro began seeking training from kicking companies such as One On One Kicking and their kicking & punting technique specialist Jesse Ohliger, who is also the director of One On One’s Miami Division.
“Training with Jesse is a lot of fun and he’s a tremendous coach. He teaches you about the body and how to prevent from being injured, and even though I haven’t been with him for very long, I’ve learned quite a bit,” Pineiro stated.
In fact, Pineiro is extremely new to One On One Kicking and kicking training in general. “I began training with One On One Kicking about two months ago and they’ve already made a few differences. Right away, Coach Ohliger saw that I ‘crunch’ sometimes when I kick, so he worked with me on my arm movement and positioning, that’s made a big difference already,” Pineiro said.
“I’ve gone a different route with Eddy,” Ohliger stated on training Pineiro, “I didn’t teach him his leg strength, he’s had that. I didn’t want to change his form, but I wanted to educate him on how to safely make the transition between soccer and football and the proper technique. Coming from soccer, you can usually mash the ball but after time you can wear down from bad technique,” said Ohliger.
Despite the training and learning from One On One Kicking, Pineiro already possessed the raw talent and ability that all kickers need once he arrived for coaching. The leg strength and kicking accuracy quickly made Pineiro one of the top prospects in the country. Pineiro quickly received an invite to an Alabama camp that included thirty of the top kickers in the nation, most that have been kicking for several years.
Rather than the experienced big names, it was Pineiro turning heads – including the head of Alabama head coach, Nick Saban. Pineiro struck twelve kickoffs during the camp, all of which were over eighty yards, including an eighty-six yard kickoff which was the longest of the day. Pineiro quickly found himself surrounded by the Alabama coaching staff and was given a campus tour before heading back to Miami.
“I learned a lot about myself at the Alabama camp,” Pineiro said, “I got to compare myself to the best kickers in the country and I realized that I handle pressure really well.”
Following his visit as he returned back to Miami, Pineiro and his father received a phone call from Tuscaloosa, which resulted in Nick Saban offering him a full scholarship.
Rather than waiting, Pineiro decided to jump at the opportunity. “I don’t want to say I was surprised that the offer came, but I was extremely happy when it did,” Pineiro stated, “I wanted to take the opportunity when it presented itself. I truly fell in love with the facility, coaches, environment, and tradition at Alabama, and that’s what really made me love it.”
After accepting the scholarship from Alabama, Pineiro also received an offer from Georgia, another SEC offer for one of the best in the country.
“Eddy is the best JUCO kicker in the country, hands down,” said One On One Kicking founder, Mike McCabe, “He’s so strong and very athletic. Eddy has a NFL leg and is extremely determined; we just have to concentrate on his timing.”
Pineiro’s training with One On One Kicking hasn’t just payed off for Pineiro, but it’s given his technique specialist, Jesse Ohliger some moments of disbelief as well. “Eddy does things every day that make you question if it just happened,” Ohliger said, “If Eddy isn’t the strongest field goal kicking wise in the country; he’s within the top three. He kicked a 55-yarder one day while training and ended up breaking the net, that may be a coincidence, but he’s incredible.”
In fact, Pineiro is so incredible that he found himself on national television after a 72-yard field goal. SportsCenter showed video of Pineiro crushing a ball with ease from 72-yards out, something that NFL kickers struggle to do, which caused the video to go viral.
From One On One Kicking founder, Mike McCabe, to coach Jesse Ohliger, everyone is quite high on the future of Eddy Pineiro. With the ‘NFL leg’ of Pineiro and the proper training from Ohliger and One On One Kicking, Alabama is getting one of the top (if not the top) kickers in the country.
Prattville High School Continues to Provide Dominant Kickers, AJ Reed Commits to Duke
BY: ZACH HARIG
Prattville High School in Prattville, Alabama has had its share of nationally recognized kickers, and this year is no different. In fact, Prattville has been represented for several years, ever since kicker Brian Egan graduated in 2009 and went on to kick in Southeastern Conference (SEC) at Mississippi State. After Egan, For the past several years, Egan’s kicking records at Prattville High School have stood. The records Egan set at Prattville withstood the contest of 2013 Prattville graduate, Austin MacGinnis. MacGinnis, another top kicker coming out of high school and fellow One On One Kicking trainee, was a NCAA All-American as a redshirt-freshman at Kentucky. Even though MacGinnis couldn’t break Egan’s records at Prattville, there’s the potential that AJ Reed could this fall.
“He tells me all of the time that he is going to break my records this fall,” laughed Egan, who now trains Reed at One One One Kicking’s Birmingham, Alabama division. “It’s easy to coach a guy like AJ because he’s very talented, focused, and works very hard. Anything I ask him to do, he does it. He works hard for what he wants, he wants to be the best and he trains like it – that’s AJ Reed.”
The connection that Coach Egan and Reed share through Prattville High School is one that separates their relationship from a lot of other relationships. “Coach Egan is a role model for me, his stats in high school were off the charts and I just hope to have a senior season like he had. I really respect him a lot because he’s helped me so much and he played big-time football in the SEC,” said Reed on his training with Egan.
Aside from training, however, Reed says that him and Egan are also great friends. “I’d definitely consider Egan a close friend of mine, he balances the coach-friend relationship really well. He knows when it’s time to work but then again, we joke around and have fun,” Reed stated.
Reed, a former soccer star before he began to kick in the summer of 2013, says he would still be a soccer player if it wasn’t for Coach Egan and One One One. After being a talented but raw prospect when he arrived to Coach Mike McCabe, Reed’s work ethic and training paid off.
“He definitely had a lot of raw talent and ability when he got to us, he just needed the training for consistency,” said Egan, “His work ethic has begun to pay off and he’s changed dramatically for the better.”
Now, Reed is one of the top kickers in the Class of 2016 and has recently committed to play at Duke University on a full scholarship. After receiving interest from several schools, including a visit to LSU and an offer from South Florida, Reed began to blow-up on the national recruiting scene. However, Duke quickly became the front-runner for Reed after visiting him at spring training.
“Their recruiting coordinator (Zac Roper) visited me and told me I was the top guy on their board,” Reed explained. “They wanted me to visit so head coach, David Cutcliffe, could watch me kick.”
Reed would end up visiting Durham, North Carolina on April 10 and Duke’s interest began to increase. Finally, he took another visit on June 8, where he would have the opportunity to kick in front of the entire Duke coaching staff.
“I had a great day kicking for them,” Reed said about his performance for the Duke staff. The performance obviously opened the eyes of the Duke coaches once again, as evident by the scholarship offer he received afterwards. “I knew I had impressed them but I didn’t know they were going to offer that same day. I told them I would talk to my family and think it over.”
After days of mulling the offer over, Reed decided to pull the trigger and committed to the Blue Devils. “At the end of the day, it was an easy decision, Duke was my number one and I’m glad I made the decision to commit.”
As for what made him commit, Reed says it was a number of things, “The combination between great football and academics can’t be beat,” he stated. “I really enjoyed my time there and the football program is truly headed in the right direction, it felt like home and I knew it was the place for me.”
As for goals now that he has found a home for next season, “I have a camp in July where the Under-Armour All-Americans are chosen so that’s what I’m working for on the short-term. Aside from that, I’m getting ready for my senior season and I’ll be starting as a freshman at Duke so I have some work to do.”
One On One Kicking founder, Mike McCabe admires the work ethic of Reed and despite training hundreds (or even thousands) of specialists over the years, Reed is one of the best. “AJ worked his butt off to get bigger,” McCabe stated on Reed and his work ethic, “He put in the work and it has made him a whole new kicker. The extra five to seven pounds he gained changed his whole kicking game and he’s probably one of the most consistent field goal kickers I’ve ever seen aside from Brian Egan, Cairo Santos (Kansas City Chiefs) and Nate Freese (NFL Free Agent), that’s obviously a great group to be in.”
Even though Prattville High School has a history of providing dominant kickers, AJ Reed has a chance to be the best. Work ethic can go a long way and if Reed continues working as hard as he has, there’s a chance he could be one of the best to ever be trained through One On One Kicking – which truly says a lot.
Questions? Comments? Contact Zach Harig via email: Zachery.Harig@utoledo.edu or via Twitter: @ToledoZach
2015 One On One Kicking Adidas Invitational Recap
Kickers & Punters
A month ago we had our One On One Kicking Adidas Invitational. A huge hit for everyone involved, we had the opportunity to see many stand-out specialists from the Class of 2016 to 2018 attend the event. The weekend provided several different avenues for the specialists to showcase all their skills, as our players participated in a charting session along with various other competitions.
The charting portion of the invitational contained outstanding performances from many specialists, with the top 16 participants moving on to the #Xceptional8 Bracket Competition for both kicking and punting. The new format provided an opportunity for specialists to go head to head with the eyes of the entire camp upon them; in the event of a tie breaker on points, the tie breaker was determined by longest field goal made in the charting. If a tie remained, the winner was determined based on the “accuracy points” from the made field goal. And several specialists did not fail to disappoint in their performances.
The charting session provided a glimpse of many standout Class of 2016 kickers looking more than ready to attack a Division 1 future. Both Alex Barbir and Colin Douglas had standout performances, charting with the most points. Barbir, in particular, is already getting a lot of serious attention from FBS schools and is only increasing his level of exposure to top tier programs. Along with Barbir, we got to see three of the Top 10 Kickers in the country chart as well. AJ Reed, Mitchell Wasson, and Sage Ledbetter all did very well at the Invitational, showing why they can compete at the highest of levels. We will be seeing plenty of FBS Offers coming their way this year. Additionally, one of the top kickers in the Northeast, Josh Wood came down to Atlanta to showcase his skills and did not disappoint, showing why he has the ability to play football at the Division 1 level. We also had the opportunity to watch two extremely smooth kickers, Matt Mosquera and Nick Null, showcase why they are some of the most consistent field goal specialists in the country. Both showed excellent form and were extremely accurate during the competition. Larry Eimer and Brendan Feehan looked great and performed exceptionally well in our charting session. Both showing great consistency and great height on the ball—yet another group of kickers who showed Division 1 potential. Other notable Class of 2016 Kickers who showed the ability to perform at the Division 1 level were Trey Simon, Julius Duarte, Chris Saunier, Asa Alexander, Barry Brown, Nick Maldarella, and Parker Holland. We had three Class of 2017 kickers who are already showing signs of a Division 1 leg. Josh Grant, Mason Dillard, and Kenny Doak all did a phenomenal job in our charting session and showed why they can be one of the best in the country in their class. We look forward to seeing their progression over the next year. The Class of 2018 specialists showed a handful of future Division 1 talent. Jake Camarda, Even McPherson, Bryant DeFelice, & Steven Martinez showed us they have a very bright future and are a group of specialists you may get to watch on Saturdays.
After tremendous performances from many players during the charting session, we then tallied up the scores and had our #Xceptional8 Bracket Competition. Again, we picked the top 16 in the charting and organized our head to head showcase. The first rounds of winners determined who would make the #Xceptional8 group. The #Xceptional8, after a competitive and thrilling competition, consisted of AJ Reed, Alex Barbir, Nick Null, Josh Wood, Larry Eimer, Parker Holland, Josh Grant, and Julius Duarte. Finally, our winner of the competition was Larry Eimer from New Jersey. Eimer performed very well the whole competition, showing us his accuracy as well as strength. He put on a very impressive performance, winning a hard fought battle in the final round against Nick Null (who would also have been a worthy winner due to his consistency and power).
Moving on from the field goal competition, kickoff charting allowed for some of the most powerful legs in the country to go to work. Mitchell Wasson, and Alex Barbir separated themselves from the pack in the kickoff charting. We had the opportunity to watch both kickers consistently put the ball over 70 yards with over 4.0 hang time, with both showing why they have some of the strongest legs in the country. Other notable kickoff specialist that showed Division 1 kickoff talent were Parker Holland, Mason Dillard, Asa Alexander, Barry Brown, Justin Johnson, Colin Douglas, Brendan Feehan, Chris Saunier, Julius Duarte, Grant McKinnis, Sage Ledbetter, Nick Null, and Kenny Doak.
In addition to our bracket competition, all of the kickers could compete in a variety of different competitions. Our BIG BALL competition saw three winners from each class: Class of 2016 Alex Barbir, Class of 2017 Kenny Doak, and Class of 2018 Evan McPherson. Our BIG BALL kickoff competition also provided another way for our specialist to challenge each other. Alex Barbir won that competition, showing his big time leg and putting majority of his kickoffs out of the back of the endzone. Last and not least was the accuracy competition. In what was hands down one of the best accuracy competition performances any of our staff had seen from a kicker in a long time, AJ Reed absolutely dominated this competition starting from the 15 going all the way down to the -8 (8 Deep In Endzone) without a miss.
The punting side of our Invitational also allowed for talented players to showcase their skills, with a handful of punters showcasing Division 1 talent in Atlanta. We saw very good results from many during our charting session for punting, and we were also fortunate enough to watch a very impressive performance all weekend from one of the best combo specialists in the country, Grant McKinniss. McKinniss performed brilliantly, showing consistency of punts over 40 yards and hang times of 4.4 plus. Our staff was left with the impression that Grant has a very bright Division 1 future. Some other top performers: We saw some big punting legs from both Preston Knight and Jake Bovard. Each punter performed well during charting, and both have a strong future to play at a Division 1 University. Larry Eimer and Colin Douglas not only stood out in the field goal sessions, but also performed very well in the punting sessions. They both showed very good consistency and demonstrated collegiate level ability. Other Class of 2016 punters like Josh Wood, Paul Mokrzycki, Asa Alexander, Justin Johnson, & Jack O’Hanlon also gave fantastic performances in our punting competitions. O’Hanlon, who has been getting a lot of Ivy League attention, only reinforced his ability to go into the Ivy League and perform very well as a punter. We did see two Class of 2018 standout punters who will have a very bright future. Jake Camarda, and Evan McPherson were hanging with the older punters the whole time during the charting session, showing shocking strength and consistency for specialists their age.
In the same way as the kicking, after the charting session punters were able to compete in the #Xceptional8 Punting Bracket Competition and the Coffin Corner Competition. The Top 16 competed to make it to the #Xceptional8. The #Xceptional8 Punters were, Jake Camarda, Asa Alexander, Preston Knight, Austin Johnson, Mason Dillard, Larry Eimer, Jake Bovard, and Grant McKinniss. We saw a very competitive battle amongst everyone, with very small point margins between those who moved on and those who did not. Our winner of the #Xceptional8 Bracket Competition for punting was the aforementioned Grant McKinniss, who was impressive throughout the whole competition. He made it to the final round, just beating out Asa Alexander who, it should be noted, performed exceptionally well the whole time.
Overall, our staff walked away from the One On One Kicking Adidas Invitational feeling incredibly privileged to have been able to work with so many young kickers and punters who were able to put their talent on display. As a staff, we are optimistic about the futures of so many of these specialists and look forward to helping them in their journeys to become the best players they can be.