Well, we’ve reached the penultimate installment of “Know Thyself, Know Thy Enemy” for 2015. It’s been fun keeping everyone on their toes with these pieces. While it can be difficult to always put our best foot forward, it’s a remarkable feet just to get these out. As I sat down to write this, I got some advice from Irish Elvis:
Moons you need a good hook to draw readers in, then maintain your story arc and you’ll net a good story…if you keep it to 3 good points
I think he’s onto something here. If my placement is even slightly off, things could drift and get away from me in a hurry, so let’s jump right in to talking about kickers and punters:
The Irish: For Notre Dame to get a leg up on the competition in 2015, they’ll have to replace kicker/punter Kyle Brindza who was lost to graduation. The horror of graduating players. Despite a rough senior season which saw Brindza convert just 58% of his field goal attempts, he still ended his career as Notre Dame’s all-time leading kicker. Brindza also finished the season 3rd nationally in touchbacks in 2014 and had a punt average of 41.4 yards. He was a one stop shop for all your kicking needs.
HLS has spent a great deal of time discussing Yoon this offseason. Perhaps kickers are the staff’s Achilles heel, or perhaps we’re geniuses (only time will tell). Andrewwinn toed the line for Yoon naming him Notre Dame’s 9th best player in his countdown of this year’s team. It’s obvious all the other writers who contributed to Keith Arnold’s countdown had cold feet about Yoon. I also set out my expectations for Justin Yoon and compared him to some other recent highly touted kicking recruits. If we split the uprights with these previous predictions, everyone in Notre Dame land should be happy.
There’s not a lot else to say about a kicker who’s never appeared in a collegiate game. He’s got all the tools. As importantly, he’s got an amazing name for kicking. This is where you Loyal Readers come in. There are many opportunities for some great name puns:
- Just-inside the uprights
- Yoon-ever know what’s going to happen when a kicker lines up.
4 years to improve and take advantage of this A+ kicking name. And with #HLSRecap set to return this weekend, you won’t have to wait long to try a few out. In the meantime, here are some highlights of Justin Yoon kicking odd shaped balls:
Punting duties will be handled by another player seeing his first ever game action: Tyler Newsome. Newsome, a sophomore, has two things going for him: 1) He’s from Georgia. I may be biased, but I find Georgians to be remarkably likeable, and they have a decent recent track record at ND (Stephon Tuitt, Darius Walker, TJ Jones to name a few). 2) Please take a look at Newsome’s profile at ND’s official site. The guy’s hair looks like it has some fantastic hang time. Let’s hope his punts follow suit.
The opponent: So…..speaking of amazing names for a kicker, ND will be exposed to some rarefied air of kicking names when they match up with Pitt’s prolific pedi-athlete: CHRIS BLEWITT. This may sound like a name out of a Matt Christopher book or a name made up for an Ashley Madison account, but nope, it’s real, and it’s spectacular. Don’t worry, Chris has already performed his Pitt duties by totally Pitt-ing a game versus Duke last season. If you click on that link, you can see a sampling of what the Internet had awaiting him. Again, Loyal Readers, this is on you…you have MONTHS to prepare for this opportunity. Please don’t (ahem) blow it Blewitt.
The thing you should know about Blewitt is that when his name’s not serving as Internet fodder for the worst of us punsters, he’s actually a pretty good kicker. For his career he’s converted 30/39 attempts with a long of 52. His 98 points tallied last season was 5 points ahead of Brindza’s tally.
As for punter…we’re going to give it to Navy’s Pablo Beltran as he had the best yards per punt average of any opponent kicker ND will see this year. Notre Dame might face 3 or 4 of the best quarterbacks in the nation, but they seem to have successfully tap danced around seeing the nation’s best punters. So who knows, maybe CJ Sanders and Will Fuller (named as the 2-deep at punt returner for Texas) will get a chance to work some Irish magic on the punt returns this year. Leave your snickering for the comments.
Survivor of the Davie, O'Leary, Willingham football eras. Southern. Charming and more often than not the wittiest person at his dinner table (he eats alone quite a bit).
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