Punting Competition

If you were reading practice reports for the last week, you might draw one conclusion from the punter competition as to who the leader was ...

  • Embree told the punters during a punting drill that one of the 3 was going to get eliminated today. Not sure which one it was. JMO Grossnickle looked the best, O'Neil looked second and Brundage looked third.
  • Based on what I have seen from the first week of camp, and I have been watching the punting very closely, Grossnickle is still the best option.
    • From what I could tell, Grossnickle and O'Neill punted better this morning. So good chance Brundage will be cut from the competition.
    • Sophomore Zach Grossnickle and freshman walk-on Darragh O'Neill appeared to out-punt Mark Brundage, a walk-on transfer from Rice, during the competition. If the competition for punter was based solely on today, he would win the job easily.
    • grossnickel then boomed all of his punts. Distance, height, spiral, turning the punt over. He was by far the best. He has a freakin leg.
    • I have been paying careful attention to the punting competition throughout camp, and it seemed clear to me that Grossnickle was consistently better than the other two. He averaged a better hang time4.5 to 4.6 seconds compared with 4.1 to 4.3 and he was usually longer.
    • Grossnickle's punts were averaging about 4.6 seconds of hang time, versus 4.1 for O'Neill and Brundage.

    But if you depended on first-hand practice reports to predict a final two punters, you'd be wrong.

    According to the official website, Embree decided to "go with a gut feeling" and named newcomers Darragh O'Neill and Mark Brundage the finalists for the starting position. Brundage played a half-season at Rice with pretty decent stats; O'Neill has never played football.

    The last time a head coach said something similar about kicking, it was "he who shall not be named" stating that he just had a "gut feelling" that Goodman would have a good day.

    Punting Newcomers Named

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