February is the month that college coaches officially start the hunt for next year's recruiting class. It is a time that many of the nation's better specialists are preparing themselves for all the camps and competitions in the spring and summer. This past weekend allowed Kohl's staff a chance to work with over 100 of the best specialists in the Midwestern and Southwestern part of the United States. It should be interesting to follow these prospects and see where they land in the months to come.
Ryan Hawkins, a 2012 kicker from Peoria, Ariz., was the star of the camp after winning the FG competition by hitting a 60-yarder that would have been good from 63 yards away. He also came up just short from 65 yards away. However, his consistency is solid for a high school athlete but will need to improve once he gets to college.
James Grigsby, a 2012 kicker from Shadow Ridge High School in Nevada had a solid showing at camp as did 2013 kicker/punter Cameron Van Winkle from Fall City, Wash. Dylan Audsley, a 2012 kicker from Chaparrall High School in Arizona won the kickoff competition at camp and showed improvement in his ball striking ability throughout camp.
Jackson Hatch from Layton, Utah was the punting champion by hitting a punt that traveled 46 yards and had a hang time of 4.2 seconds. Petre Sawyer from Centennial, Col. and Zac von Allworden from Tempe, Ariz. also had impressive moments at camp.
Kohl's Arizona camp traditionally features some of the nation's best snappers and this year's camp did not disappoint. Harrison Linsky from Bakersfield, Calif., and Kolton Donovan from Cedar High School in Utah also top performers. Harrison went 4 for 10 on long snaps with an average snap time of .79 seconds, while Kolton finished the camp going 3 for 10 on long snaps and a solid 9 for 10 on short snaps.
Brendan Turelli from Arcadia High School in Arizona and Kolton Donavan both averaged top snap times of .75 seconds. Michael Lizanich from Scottsdale, Arizona was at camp and showed as much potential as any 2013 snapper we have seen. Many of the other young snappers stepped up their play during the snap challenge. Junior-to-be Cody Block from Peoria, Ariz., and two 2014 Arizona products, C.J. Keller and Cole Powers, all advanced to the finals with Block hitting his snap to win it.
Saturday's camp in Ann Arbor, Mich., had roughly 60 kickers, punters and snappers in attendance. There were many impressive performances at this camp including 2013 kicker Bryan Holmes from West Ottawa, Mich., made a name for himself with some impressive kicks throughout camp. He had the leg strength to hit 60-yard field goals off a 1-inch tee and was one of the better punters in the class.
Other kickers that stood out include Kyle Bambard, a 2014 kicker from Walled Lake, Mich., who won the FG contest and was impressive for a young kicker, making multiple 50-yard field goals at camp. Seniors-to-be Michael Geiger from Toledo, Ohio and Evan Fisher from Holt, Mich., both showed college potential on their field goals and kickoffs, which they consistently from 65 to 67 yards.
Three punters that impressed were Kenny Allen, a 2012 punter from Fenton High School in Michigan, R.J. Bain, a 2012 punter from Michigan and Sean Decloux from Canada. Allen's smooth mechanics and long frame should draw college interest in the years to come. Bain showed college potential in the drill work phases and Decloux proved he could play college football in the United States.
The top snapping performers at camp were Derek DeVee from Ann Arbor, Buddy Becker from Romeo High School in Michigan, Christian Manns from Glen Oaks High School in Ohio and Levi Mehl from Big Rapids High School in Michigan. Manns and Mehl were both 4 for 10 during the long snapping charting session, and Becker was a solid 8 for 10 on his short snaps. Manns recorded the best average snap time of .75 seconds from a 14-yard distance. However, DeVee was the overall winner of the snapping challenge.
Jamie Kohl is the director of Kohl's Kicking, Punting and Snapping Camps.