Punters, kickers and specialists turn switch on with SEC schools


If you think quarterback recruiting is quirky, wait until you see the recruiting process of finding punters and kickers. It’s even nuttier.

Case in point: No punter or kicker had committed to an SEC school publicly until this weekend. Then three national top five specialists came aboard with SEC schools literally within hours of each other.

Late Tuesday, Tarpon Springs (Fla.) placekicker Daniel LaCamera (rated the No. 3 PK in the country) got Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin to Tweet “#YESSIR!!!” when he joined the Aggies’ 2015 class. Not surprisingly, at 6-foot-4, LaCamera is also a very strong punter. So stay tuned on that.

Then over the weekend, Orlando (Fla.) native Tommy Townsend came aboard with Tennessee and Franklin (Tenn.) native Corey Fatony committed to Missouri. Townsend (6-1/175)  is rated the No. 2 punter in the nation and Fatony (5-11/190) the No. 3 punter. Earlier in the process, the No. 2 and No. 3 long snappers came aboard with SEC schools when Blake Ferguson committed to LSU and Riley Lovingood decided to go with Tennessee. They’re the lone two long snappers already attached to SEC classes.

“It’s definitely a different kind of recruitment,” Ferguson told Saturday Down South. “It’s almost opposite in a sense. With most positions, the recruiting is done by the college coaches, but as a specialist, you are recruiting them and selling yourself.”

Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to recruiting rankings are to 247Sports.com industry composite ranking.


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  • Getting a player that can punt and start at another position seems like a huge advantage. And still a significant advantage if they can even play a few downs at another position. Or even perform consistently on a second special team. There must be some good punt coaching going on in Tennessee?