The specialty positions in football are naturally the most underrated and often overlooked aspects of the game. While kicking, punting, and long snapping do not quite meet the standard for brute force and blazing speed on the gridiron, all three play a pivotal role in the success of a team.
On Sunday, nationally-renowned specialist Mike McCabe and his One On One Kicking staff made their way to Kentucky’s campus as a part their nationwide collegiate camp tour.
Providing necessary technical training, McCabe, a former Illinois State punter and first team All-American, worked with special teams players from around the country and the Lexington area at UK’s Nutter Training Center.
“Kentucky’s got a lot of talent. We saw a few kids who have a lot of talent, and a few kids who still need some development and training,” McCabe said. “There are some athletes in the state of Kentucky who can play Division I football.”
One On One Kicking has developed specialists at an elite level, more so than any other training facility. This past season in college football, the training facility produced both the Ray Guy and the Lou Groza award winners for top punter and kicker in the country. McCabe and his staff have several current NFL trainees including Garrett Hartley (Saints), Pat McAfee (Colts), Johnny Hekker (Rams), Marquette King (Raiders), Ryan Allen (Patriots), and Caleb Sturgis (Dolphins).
UK’s kickoff specialist, Joe Masour, and punter Landon Foster are both participants in One On One Kicking’s year-round program. Mark Stoops and his staff at Kentucky have another potential kicking star, Austin MacGinnis, who just arrived on campus as part of the Cats’ 2013 signing class.
McGinnis, who came out of Prattville High School in Alabama, is the No. 3 kicker nationally in the class of 2013. As a senior, he hit seven of 10 field goals, including a 50-yarder. He also sent 76 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. Through his training with One On One Kicking, he could be a contender for more than a few post-season awards in the coming years at Kentucky.
But it would come as no surprise to the coaching staff at One On One Kicking as award-winning seasons have become the norm throughout their training facility:
-4 Ray Guy Award Winners 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 (11 in Finals & 22 Semi Finalists)
-4 Lou Groza Winners 2000, 2006, 2011, 2012 (9 in Finals and 28 Semi Finalists)
-2 Super Bowl Players
-13 NCAA D1 BCS National Champions
-College – 28 All Americans and 14 Freshman All Americans
-High School – 20 All Americans