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Friday, January 9, 2009

Miami of Ohio Jake Richardson

Jake Richardson, Miami of Ohio University senior punter was in Scottsdale, Arizona for 3 days of One on One Punting Lessons.

Jake's agent called me two weeks ago inquiring about pre-combine or draft training. Jake got an invitation to play in the East / West Shrine Game next weekend and this was perfect timing for Jake to get some instruction.

Jake was 4th in the nation in punting this past season. When I viewed his highlight tape he hit a bunch of long punts. However, many of the hang times were 4.0 to 4.5 seconds. Too low for NFL standards.

Jake is a big strong young man with a lot of potential and very coachable. However, he is the product of a college coaching system telling and asking him to use poor fundamentals and mechanics. Jake told me he felt many of the things he was doing might be wrong but he was just trying to do what his coaches told him.

For three days we spent time on basic fundamentals and drills. Stance, drop progression and One Step Drill.

Jake was taught to place the ball outside his hip and wipe a spiral. In the photo below Jake is placing the ball directly in front of his punting leg.

Jake was power stepping hard into his punts, and using a lot of ground causing him to drive the ball down field. Plus, pushing the ball out and away from him didn't help much either.

We raised Jake's drop and tried to get him to think: 1) walk down field, 2) drop the ball to your foot, 3) drive straight up and through the ball and 4) walk down field.

All of a sudden Jake was starting to hit 4.6 to 4.9 hang time punts with excellent distance. He was now punting up and through the ball rather than at it. In the photo below Jake hits a 50 yard (SNO) spiral nose over, Power Zone Punt with a 4.88 hang time.

I believe Jake was very happy with his three days of training and now knows what he needs to do to get better and acquire the proper muscle memory.

Jake was a pleasure to work with and I wish him the best of luck in his pursuit of an NFL career.

Click below to listen to Jake Richardson's testimonial working with Coach Zauner.

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