Punters do not generate a lot of excitement. Most are only known for two reasons: 1. They do their job exceptionally well (like Travis Dorsch) or 2. They screw up royally and draw the ire of the fan base. Our current punter, Chris Summers, is unfortunately closer to the second category, but he has still done an admirable job. For a former walk-on (majoring in engineering, no less, so he does have a hefty class load) he has done everything we have asked of him. He has a bowl-winning kick on his resume, and his 41.4 yards per kick average is still an improvement over last year.
I mention this because Chris will be gone next year, and it appears we inked his replacement today in Cody Webster. Webster is a 6'2", 180 pound punter from Central Dauphin East High School in Harrisburg, PA. This may sound familiar to those that have read my regular scouting reports on the incoming recruits. Wide receiver Jeremy Cornelius and his Bishop McDevitt team played Central Dauphin East on September 18th. It can also be confusing, as there is a Central Dauphin and Lower Dauphin on Bishop McDevitt's schedule as well as Central Dauphin East.
As is expected with most kicking recruits, he is currently unrated by both Scout and Rivals. His Rivals profile does have video. Central Dauphin East is currently 0-5 on the season, so he has had plenty of practice at punting. The Panthers are giving up more than 55 points per game and are scoring less than 20.
Cody also has some highlights on YouTube. This clip is particularly impressive, as the snap goes over his head, yet he recovers in time to get a hell of a punt off from over 30 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
What a play, by a punter!
I like this because it shows he is both athletic and has a cool head under pressure. He reminds me a little bit like Miami's studly punter Matt Bosher. Bosher handles both punts and placekicks and has set records for weightlifting at his position. He is not afraid to hit guys if he has to make a tackle.
Webster plays a little bit of wide receiver on his team, and I have also found that he plays some basketball. This follows the trend, even at punter, of Danny Hope going out and getting athletes. He does not limit himself to one specialty, which is good. You never know when that athleticism will be needed on a fake punt, a botched snap, or a botched hold on a place kick. Sure, we don't call on it all the time, but it is nice to know it is there.
I leave you tonight with a more complete highlight reel. He can handle placekicking as well. Wiggs appears to have that job locked up for the next two seasons, but it is nice to have a plan B in reserve just in case.