Gulf Coast (Naples, FL) punter/place-kicker Conor Goulding has accepted Virginia Tech’s offer of a recruited walk-on spot. The 5-10, 170-pound senior, who took an official visit to Tech on the weekend of December 12th, informed the coaching staff of his decision a week ago.
“I was leaning towards Virginia Tech for a long time,” said Goulding, who enjoyed an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech for the Miami game earlier this year. “I have a couple of family members up there. They live up in the area. My uncle is really into the football program. On my official visit, I liked pretty much everything, from how everything was run to how the coaches interacted. It sealed the deal. I like the huge family environment there.”
Gulf Coast’s starter at punter and place-kicker for each of the last three seasons, Goulding will head to Virginia Tech expecting to compete for the starting punting job vacated by departing senior Brent Bowden. As a junior, Goulding averaged 41.2 yards per punt with 14 punts downed inside the opponent’s 10-yard line. He averaged 43 yards per punt this season.
“He’s a weapon,” said Gulf Coast head coach Frank Tudryn said of Goulding, who was a team captain this past season. “One of the things that is unbelievable is the hang time he has on the ball. He is great at directional kicks and putting the ball inside the 20.”
Goulding kicks three or four times a week and will continue to do so to prepare for his freshman year at Tech. He also plans to lift weights. He hopes to be as prepared as possible for his first season, which presents the challenge of trying to earn a scholarship.
“I’m going to go in there and relax,” Goulding said. “It is a little pressure, but I don’t think there will be too much pressure. I’m going to go in and see what happens. I’m pretty excited for it, actually.”
In Goulding, Tech is getting more than just a good prospect. It gets an excellent student as well, as Goulding carries a 4.0 GPA.
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