June is the month of camps for high school athletes. Kohl's camps will see more kickers, punters and snappers this month than any other time of the year. Here is a recap of the last two weeks.
The Woodlands, Texas
The Woodlands camp gave us an opportunity to see many of the best specialists from the north side of Houston. Ryan Parker will be the new kicker at The Woodlands High School and he stole the show with multiple 70-yard, 4.0 second hang-time blasts on his kickoffs. Ryley Richardson from Kingwood, Texas, won the field goal competition and also showed good promise as a punter. These two are both college prospects in the 2012 class.
There was some tremendous competition and training at this event. Korey Durkee (Gig Harbor, Wash./Gig Harbor) was the most impressive athlete in attendance. His power and consistency got him an offer from the University of Washington, which he accepted. His 6-4 frame helps him travel up and through the ball well and he won the punting competition with a 54-yard, 4.8-second punt. He can kick field goals and kickoffs as well but his strength is punting. Another player who impressed at the camp was 2012 prospect Jacob Bartel (Bellingham, Wash./Bellingham). The 6-6 rising senior hit some of the most impressive kickoffs and punts at camp. His coordination needs to catch up with the speed of his leg, but when he does hit the ball clean, he can create some tremendous hits. Trevor Merrit (Renton, Wash.) also showed very well on punts and kickoffs. He finished in the top three in both charting sessions.
Kohl's Kicking held a camp at Mountain Brook High School just on the outskirts of Birmingham. The campers battled 98-degree heat and many individuals had some tremendous showings. The top performer was 2012 prospect Adam Griffith (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun), who is already committed to Alabama. He has one of the fastest, most athletic legs in the country and his lift on kickoffs and field goals is incredible. He does need to refine his transfer through the ball on field goals, but it is easy to see why he is already committed to the Crimson Tide.
Warren Handrahan (Mountain Brook, Ala./ Mountain Brook) showed very well at camp as well. His consistency on field goals was very impressive, and he also has one of the quickest legs in the state. He has wonderful tempo through the ball on kickoffs, and with some improved consistency on contact will be someone to watch. 2013 prospect Austin MacGinnis (Wedowee, Ala./ Wedowee) had a very good day on field goals and kickoffs as well. His ball-striking ability is well above his grade level and he had some of the most pop and potential at the camp.
Snapper Will Few (Augusta, Ga./Aquinas) tallied an impressive 6 of 10 successful attempts. After missing his first snap, he made 6 snaps out of his next 7 attempts. He finished with an average snap time of .70 seconds. Alex Hopson (Pell City, Ala./Pell City) hit 9 for 10 on long snaps and was successful on 9 of 10 on short snaps. Taylor Polk (Demopolis, Ala./Demopolis) stayed in the upper .60s all day, with his best snap time recorded at .66 seconds.
Despite the hot weather, some great talent was seen. Devon Bell had a very strong showing. He has a tremendous frame, excellent coordination and his ball-striking ability on kickoffs and punts was impressive. Improving his hands and timing will be the big key for him to really reach his full potential. Another athlete who was impressive over the entire day was 2014 prospect Gary Wunderlich. He has great leg strength for his age. His approach on field goals is solid and he has great hands on his punts. He charted well and stepped up the entire camp. He will be someone to watch for years to come.
Nick Ellis (Pickerington, Ohio/ Pickerington) was the overall most impressive athlete at camp. He showed well in all areas. He loved attacking the ball on kickoffs and he created some great hits. His field goals were very solid and his punting was very impressive. Rarely do you see one athlete excel at all three at such a high level, but Ellis will be a prospect who could do all three at the next level. Ben Nanni, from Peterboro, Ohio, also showed tremendous athleticism and power. Controlling his talent will be the key to his success. When he hits his "A" it is very impressive, it just needs to be seen more often.
2013 prospect Andrew Gantz (Centerville, Ohio/ Centerville) was the most impressive athlete at camp. He showed extremely well on kickoffs and field goals by winning both the charting and competitions. He has great coordination through the ball and once his leg is fully healthy, we expect to see big things from him.
Punting prospect John Fuller (Loveland, Ohio/ Loveland) showed very well at times as well. He has a good frame and a very quick leg. Controlling his drop and continuing to improve his timing will be essential for him. His power and leg speed were impressive and when he hit his "A" ball no one could touch it.
2013 prospect David Holtgrave (Prsppect, Ky./Prospect) was the camp standout. He showed good tempo on his field goals and a fast leg on his kickoffs, however, his consistency on his pure ball-striking will need to continue to improve to maximize his true talent. Punter Cameron Scott had a good day as well. He showed tremendous leg strength and power, but consistency will be key for his future
Mikey Kelley (Carbondale, Ill.) showed very well on both field goals and kickoffs. His tempo on kickoffs was tremendous and he displayed great flow and a wonderful buildup through contact. Alex Ward (Murray, Ky.) had a very nice camp as well. He has soft hands, good flexibility, good coordination with his drop on his punts and generates some great speed through his contact on kickoffs.
This camp featured a group dedicated to getting better throughout the entire camp. The field goal winner at camp was 2014 kicker Mark Birch from Olathe, Kan. He hit a 50-yard field goal in the competition to win the event. The kickoff winner at camp was 2012 kicker Nick Bartolotta from St. Louis. He had multiple kickoffs that went more than 70 yards, and his leg strength was impressive all camp long. Austin Seibert, a 2015 kicker and punter from Belleville, Ill., won the punting competition at camp. He also kicked off very well for a younger athlete.
Colby Wickwar, from Nixa, Mo., had an outstanding camp and has shown tremendous improvement to his form and snap velocity over the last several months. Wickwar's mechanics along with his athleticism are going to allow him to be very successful in the long snapping area. He finished camp with an average snap time of .68 and connected on all 10 of his short snaps. He also won the snap challenge to close out camp. Class of 2015 prospects Hunter Brooks, from New Harmony, Ind., and Gunner Harris, from Nixa, Mo., also made great improvements over the course of camp.
Lenana Meekisho (Beaverton, Ore.) earned overall camp MVP honors by winning the FG competition with a 56-yard blast. He also charted the best punts and hammered some on his kickoffs as well. His leg strength and speed were very impressive. He was smooth on his field goals and created tremendous pop on his punts. Another athlete to keep an eye on is 2013 prospect Mitchell Seeley (Demascus, Ore.), who is one of the better field goal kickers in his class. He has great coordination and pop through his kicks. His punting is getting much better and he generated some tremendous hits at camp. He has been working hard on his consistency and it has gotten much better in the past few months.
Two other athletes who showed well were Chad Heerspink (Lynden, Wash.) and Eldon Ralls (Deer Island, Ore.). Heerspink has worked hard on gaining strength and his kicks have definitely benefited from the weight training. His kickoff approach was clean and powerful, and his field goals have great lift and trajectory. Ralls generated great hits on kickoffs and won the kickoff competition with a 70-yard, 3.9-second hit that beat out Seeley.
The Bakersfield camp featured many good young kickers and punters. The top two prospects at camp were Parker Campbell (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Adam Huyck (Frontier, Calif.). Campbell won the field goal competition by hitting a 50-yarder into the wind and showed great leg speed and ability all camp. Huyck displayed the most upside as a punter at camp. He is a big, strong athlete who looks like a linebacker and the ball explodes off his foot when he is in a good rhythm. Reed Robertson also hit some impressive kickoffs at camp and is someone to watch for in the future.
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
The camp held at St. Margaret's High school was a smaller camp, but featured an impressive field goal competition between Franklyn Cervenka (La Canada, Calif.) and Brian Franklin (Dobson, Ariz.). Franklin finally won it with a 58-yard field goal. The best punter at camp was Brian Drulias (Diamond Bar, Calif.). His hands still need to get quicker, but he showed great potential.
We worked with the top talent in the heart of Pennsylvania at legendary Manheim High School. Each year this school is producing top-level kickers and punters. Nationally recognized 2012 kicker/punter Bryant Meyer did not disappoint with a great showing of kickoffs that averaged 71 yards, and 4.0 seconds of hang time. Meyer also punted very well with an average of 47.6 yards and 4.52 seconds of hang time. Bryant has an explosive leg with an easily repeatable motion and should have a great season for Manheim this year again.
Another athlete to watch is 2013 prospect Garrett Long from Mechanicsburg, Pa. He is also a very good combo specialist with powerful kickoffs that averaged 65 yards with 3.7 seconds of hang time. He was consistent on his field goals with a range over 50 yards, and strong on his punts with an average of 44 yards and 3.6 seconds of hang time. The biggest surprise of camp was Austin Hilsher, who is a prospect in the 2015 class. He did a great job on kickoffs by averaging 68 to 72 yards with 3.6 seconds of hang time. He also won the field goal contest with a 51-yard blast.
Michael Shiffert, from Blair Academy in New Jersey, showed great potential at the one-day training camp and closed it out by being the first snapper to put two snaps through the snap target. Shiffert finished camp with an average snap time of .80 seconds. Bern Donahue, from Wyomissing High in Pennsylvania, showed off his accuracy by hitting 7 of 10 target strikes, marking on 3 of the snaps. Donahue also went 9 for 10 on short snaps.
The Indianapolis camp at Warren Central High School featured many good prospects. Ryan Frain (Indianapolis) was the top performer. He has a very polished leg swing, quiet demeanor and takes coaching well. He won the field goal contest with a 54-yarder on a relatively non-windy day. He also averaged 43.25 yards on four punts with an average hang time of 4.23 seconds. Furthermore he averaged 67.5 yards on four kickoffs, having an estimated hang time of 4.10, with one that hit the crossbar. Brandon Dowers (Brownsburg, Ind.) is an up-and-coming 2014 prospect who has a strong body and is willing to listen and work hard in drills. He made it to the finals in the field goal competition, making a 52-yarder off a 1-inch block. He has tremendous form on kickoffs and works well downfield. Zach Autry of Indianapolis won the punting competition, as he hit multiple balls that went over 40 yards and had more than 4.4 seconds of hang time. He also has a very, very fast leg. With some refining and technique work he could be a very good punter.
Jacob Mingear, from Vero Beach High School in Florida, has all the fundamentals to be a very good snapper. He finished camp with an average snap time of .84 seconds and also won the snapping challenge to close out the one-day training camp. Michael Martin, from Champaign Centennial High School in Illinois, showed outstanding accuracy by hitting 7 of 10 targets and going 8 of 10 on short snaps. He has a great frame and long levers, which help him snap the ball as hard as he does. He finished camp with an average snap time of .82 seconds. Seth Crussel, from William Henry Harrison High School in Indiana, connected on 9 of 10 short snaps and finished with a .77 second average snap time.