All-American and Ray Guy Award winner Adam Korsak and Rutgers’ all-time leading scorer in football games, long snapper Billy Taylor, have demonstrated the value of a good special teams unit to a club in a defensive conference like the Big Ten. In addition to trying to increase the effectiveness of a reliable kickoff and inconsistent field goal unit, Rutgers is constantly looking for individuals who can match the standards the club has attained with its punting unit.
Johnathan Kim, a four-star kicker from Fredericksburg, Virginia’s Massaponax High School, who was due to make an official visit to Rutgers this weekend, caught the attention of the coaches. After making an official trip to East Lansing earlier this week, Kim ultimately chose to enroll at Michigan State, but who are some other specialists Rutgers might consider for a position on its special team’s squad?
On November 20, Special Teams Solutions presented the 19th Annual College Exposure Camp at Superdome Sports in Waldwick, New Jersey, including many of the top high school kickers, punters, and snappers in the region. Each year, college coaches from Division I, II, and III go through mountains of data gathered during the camp in quest of the next Korsak (if there is such a thing).
The cream soon rises to the top as prospects compete on field goals, punts, kickoffs, and long and short snaps while receiving professional guidance from active and past college and professional specialists.
Senior Michael Calton of Manalapan, New Jersey, who won top specialist overall the previous year, was outstanding. This year, he finished second in the kickoff, kickoff return, and punting categories. Calton won the field goal competition with a 56-yard field goal that he kicked off the ground, setting a camp record.
He also demonstrated his strong leg on kickoffs with several 65-yard, 4.0-second hang time kicks. In the punting finals, Calton, who accepted a scholarship offer from Monmouth, also averaged 48 yards per punt.
According to Calton, “my mindset going into the camp was undoubtedly a significant part of my performance.” “I felt strong, cool, collected, and confident throughout every aspect of the camp. Given that I won first place, field goals were obviously what I did best.
My foot gave the ball a good pop, and it immediately fell through the pipes. Rutgers has contacted Calton and might persuade him with an offer if the faculty takes the course in a year with few scholarships.
Asgrimur Gudmundsson, a senior kicker, and punter from Ridge, New Jersey, who won top honors for punting after averaging 48 yards per punt in the finals with a best of 55 yards and 4.6 seconds of hang time, has also drawn interest from Rutgers. On that particular day, Gudmundsson was also a field goal and kickoff finalist.
The strong-legged Gudmundsson, who is also being pursued by Temple, said, “I think I had a nice punting day and I also recorded perfectly on-field goals.” When I punted, the coaches simply instructed me to slow down and maintain composure since prior to that, I was rushing a lot.
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The best kickoff specialist was Will Smith, a junior kicker, and punter from Oxford, Pennsylvania, who won the championship with a 63-yard, 4.0-second hang time boot. Smith displayed composure as a finalist for a field goal, going 4-for-4 with a long of 45 yards in the first round.
Additionally, live legs were displayed by seniors Joe Fragale and Nick D’Amico from Roxbury, New Jersey, as well as sophomores Charlie Wingfield and Leo Richie from Ramapo in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and Archbishop Wood’s Leo Richie from Taylor, Pennsylvania.
When asked how it felt to win the snapping competition, Callahan stated, “I had a wonderful camp experience and it felt great to win,” adding that Sacred Heart University and other FCS colleges are paying notice to him. It was an honor to compete against so many excellent athletes and coaches.
A national recruit, Middletown (N.J.) North freshman snapper Jason Woods placed second overall with good snap speed and location. Gavin Post, a junior long snapper for Ramapo, stood out as well.
As college recruiting for senior kickers, punters, and snappers picks up, many of the 2023 prospects and top camp performers should be able to move up to the next level in the coming months.
Senior Brian Callahan of Archbishop Ryan (Bensalem, Pennsylvania) won the award for best snapping because he routinely snapped from 15 yards with.8-second speed and precision on the hip.