Yes, it’s still early in preseason camp. No, when it comes to kickers and punters, we don’t exactly know what’ll happen at Southern between now and the Sept. 3 season opener at Tennessee State.
But for now, the nuttiness continues.
Manuel Cantu re-joined the team Monday afternoon, and Tuesday, he and strong safety Demetric Rogers were sharing the field during special-teams periods.
A refresher: Cantu was part of the team last season, but didn’t see a single snap. That’s because he didn’t need to; freshman kicker William Griswold and senior punter Josh Duran handled the job very, very well.
Griswold went home to Tampa, Fla., and never came back. Duran completed his eligibility.
Now the Jaguars have two newcomers in Jamie Galvin, a freshman, and Matthew Hill, a junior-college soccer player who hasn’t kicked or punter before.
As punters, Galvin and Hill both struggled during the first week of camp. That led to Rogers — a former quarterback/safety/punter at Northeast High — volunteering his foot to the cause.
Tuesday morning, Cantu punted using the conventional method, while Rogers continued with SU’s experimental rugby-style punts.
The final verdict isn’t in yet, but here’s what Stump Mitchell had to say afterward:
“I really like what Matthew Hill is doing. I think he gives us a little more consistency. Manny, I think, might be the better of the punters. So it’s going to be a three-headed monster. I’m going to definitely use Demetric Rogers with that rugby-style. I’m thinking right now that it’s going to be Manny as the main punter, Matthew Hill as our place-kicker and Demetric Rogers as the rugby punter as well.”
If it seems like we’re just using this for training-camp filler, think again.
Remember, in any game, how often a punter can pin the other team inside its 20-yard line. Or how often a bad punt and give the other team good field position. Or, the scariest situation of all: When a team needs a field goal in crunch time, and the place-kicker trots out, with all the eyes in the stadium focused on him.
Yeah. No big deal at all.