The Kohl's Texas Showcase was a very talent-rich gathering, bringing many of the best kickers, punters, and snappers from an eight-state region on Saturday. Still, one player stood out among the pack
Nick Rose, a 2012 kicker/punter from Highland Park, Texas, opened everyone's eyes at the event and was easily the most talented kicker at the camp. He hit multiple 4.2s and even scratched a 4.3-second hangtime on a couple of his kickoffs. He was pure on his field goals off the ground. While he still needs some work technically, the ball flight was consistent and amazingly accurate. This is very rare for a strong-legged high school specialist. Normally, someone with Nick's leg speed will be all over the map on his field goals.
Camp MVP: Nick Rose
Best punter: Sam Fowler
Best snapper: Ryan Kowalewski
FG competition winner: Keegan Carter
Punting competition winner: Chris Callahan
KO competition winner: Nick Rose
Snapping competition winner: Sam Boyd
Rose told New Orleans Saints K/P Thomas Morstead after the camp that he was the fastest player (ran a 4.4. 40-yard dash) on his football team and recently his coaches had him playing cornerback in addition to kicking. Rose's ability to stay calm in the drill work and charting session was impressive and the fact he's still relatively new to football (he's been traveling around the country with his family, who serves in the military) makes me even more excited about his potential. There's no reason he can't continue to develop and compete for a spot in the Under Armour All-America Game.
Jaden Oberkrom, a 2012 kicker from James Martin High School, Texas, had another D-I performance on his field goals at camp. His leg speed and FG rhythm are very impressive for a high school kicker. Oberkrom did not kickoff up to his potential, but some might have been equipment issues as he was consistently slipping with his plant foot.
Sam Fowler, a 2012 punter from Crosby, Texas, had a solid day punting into the swirling winds. His ball was the most consistent and repeatable at camp. He is a bigger athlete who should draw interest from multiple schools in the weeks and months ahead.
Stephen Brauchle, a 2012 k/p from Gulfport, Miss., was a pleasant surprise. The ball jumped off his foot very fast and his tempo and rhythm at times looked like an older college level kicker and punter. His drop needs a little work but he showed college level ability at camp.
Ryan Domangue, a 2012 kicker from Covent Christian Academy in Houma, La., drove eight hours to get to camp so he could show that he is a high level college prospect. He was outstanding at times, hitting a 4.2 second hang-time on a kickoff and showed some decent punting skills as well. His field goals off the ground are still a work in progress.
Zane Gonzales, a 2013 kicker from Deer Park, Texas, was impressive during the drill work phase at camp. His long rangy frame and natural ball striking skills will make him an excellent prospect in the years to come.
Jules Murphy, a 2012 kicker from Massachusetts got the award for most miles traveled. It was worth the trip as he showed he could compete with the guys from Texas. Murphy needs some technical refinement but the leg strength is college level.
Luis Sanchez, a 2102 kicker from Houston Westfield HS, had the best FG charts by making 9 out of 10 kicks and Keegan Carter (2012 kicker from Edmond, Okla.) stepped up in the field goal competition to win the field goal contest. Chris Callahan (2012 kicker from Houston) showed well at camp by winning the punt competition and showing very good ball handling skills in the punt drill work phase of camp. Luc Swimberghe (Lindale HS, Texas) might be the best pure field goal ball strikers in the 2013 class. Branden Welch (Germantown, Tenn.) is one of the best in the 2013 class and kicking it off the ground, and fellow 2013 classmate Elliot Fry showed good talent at camp.
Long snapper notes
Ryan Kowalewski (Sugarland, Texas/Travis) has been a Kohl's regular and showed on Saturday that he once again deserves to be at the top of the 2012 class. The drill work is where Kowalewski proved to be at his best during camp. Ryan's ball catches the eye as he was consistently in the upper .60's and low .70's the entire day. The footwork portion of camp also proves that Kowalewski will be able to fit a spread punt scheme and also a pro style scheme that asks for protection responsibilities.
Sam Boyd (Highland Park, Texas) did a great job during camp at making adjustments and focusing on what he needed to do to improve as camp went on. He has the ability to be an outstanding snapper for the 2013 class through continued repetition and commitment to the craft. Boyd caught the eye of multiple staff members during the live drill work with the punters. His velocity is very good and with a few mechanical adjustments with his long frame, her will be able to improve his velocity even more.
Kaleb Smith (Aledo, Texas) was the most consistent from set to set and was the overall snap challenge winner being the first to connect on two pressure snaps with the entire camp watching. Smith will continue to improve and proved that he will be striving to make a name for himself in the snapping field for the 2013 class.
Overall, it was a very quality gathering of many of the guys who will be battling for the college scholarships in the months and years to come. That is why this event is called a Showcase Camp. It showcased many of the best specialists Texas had to offer.