Kohl's Camps saw a lot of talent the past couple of weeks in the countries' warm weather regions. The spring break tour started in Phoenix, made its way to Florida and finished up in the heart of Texas. It was a great opportunity for these athletes to improve their technique and fundamentals, which will help them as they head into the busy spring recruiting period.
Here is a look at the some of the standout performers that will definitely make a major impact in the 2011 and 2012 recruiting classes.
The stars of the Phoenix camp were 2011 snapper Peter McBride (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) and 2012 punter Zac Brown (Phoenix/ Paradise Valley). They both showed Division I talent and will be fun to follow as recruiting picks up. McBride will battle for the best snapping prospect in the nation and he has tremendous velocity for a high school snapper. His frame and athleticism make him a solid pick for any program looking to bolster its snapping position. Brown hit multiple punts that had over 4.7 seconds of hang time. Ryan Hawkins, another 2012 prospect from Arizona also showed flashes of great potential by hitting the longest kickoff (70 yards) at the camp. Craig Richardson from Arcadia High School also showed grit and an ability to focus under pressure by winning the field goal and kickoff competitions.
The first Florida stop on the tour showcased some national prospects, including kicker Will Monday (Flowery Branch, Ga./Flowery Branch), who had a solid Gainesville camp. He showed great hang time in the windy conditions and already has an offer from Duke and should receive multiple SEC offers as the spring continues.
Two other athletes that stood out were 2011 kicker/punter Zack Sharp (Maryville, Tenn./Maryville) and 2011 Michael Hill from Tarpon Springs High School in Florida. They both hit multiple kickoffs over 70 yards, despite the windy day. Florida All-State kicker Dallas Stubbs (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) also had a solid showing at camp.
West Palm Beach
2011 kicker Mauro Bondi from West Boca Raton High School showed that he is a top 5 kicking/punting prospect in the nation. He hit multiple punts that had over 4.6 seconds of hang time and multiple kickoffs, which had over 4.0 seconds of hang time. His strongest kickoff traveled 84 yards with the help of a 25 mph wind. He attempted a 70-yard field goal, but just missed it short and to the left. However, his talent makes him a contender for the Under Armour All-America Game.
2012 kicker Ricky Martinez (Bridgeport, Texas/Bridgeport), 2011 kicker Chad Hedlund (Argyle, Texas/Argyle) and 2011 kicker Buckley Willis (Austin, Texas/ Westlake) all showed they have college talent during their training sessions. Hedlund hit 14 field goals as a junior, Martiniez showed range beyond 50 yards off the ground at camp and Buckley showed the rhythm and leg strength to win the job at Westlake High School, which has had many good kickers in the previous years. Current Texas kicker Justin Tucker and 2010 Air Force recruit Cody Rademacher are Westlake graduates.
A couple of prospects that stood out were 2011 kicker Matt Thibodeaux (Baton Rouge, La./Central), 2011 punter Sam Martin (Texas City, Texas/Texas City) and 2011 kicker Andy Wickman (Houston/Cypress Ridge). Thibodeaux did very well in drill work and team competition and his consistency off the ground was impressive. Martin showed a lot of potential in punting and his hang time is college-level already. Wickman was the camp's best kickoff prospect. He had 4.0 second hang time on a kickoff that went through the uprights. Brett Dunn (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements), a good 2011 kicker, also showed good consistency kicking off the ground and should build on his junior year where he made 9 of 10 field goals.
Jamie Kohl is the director of Kohl's Kicking, Punting and Snapping Camps.