Top punter/place-kicker prospect Bradley Pinion trekked to Virginia Tech last Saturday to compete in Tech’s first one-day camp of 2011. The Northwest Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.) rising junior, considered by chrissailerkicking.com as the nation’s #1 kicker in the 2012 class, discussed his performance in Blacksburg as well as where he currently stands on Tech’s target list.
“I felt like I did pretty good,” Pinion said of his performance in Blacksburg. “My field goals could’ve been a lot better. I didn’t have good field goals at all, but I thought I did a good job punting and on kick-offs.”
On the next level, Pinion says he projects more as a punter and kick-off specialist rather than field goal kicker. In those areas, he averaged 39.7 yards per punt in 40 tries last season as a sophomore. Seventeen of 20 punts ended up inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. And he booted 37 of 50 kick-offs for touchbacks.
“Everybody tells me I have really good hang time as a punter,” Pinion said. “For my age, I have really good hang time. I’m also really good at pinning the ball deep. I’ve been doing a bunch of corner kicks. My coach also tells me the ball is really hard for players to catch. There were four dropped punts against us last year.”
Pinion has now camped at Georgia and Virginia Tech. He’ll head to Georgia Tech this Thursday and follow that up with UNC next Wednesday. He has not received any verbal scholarship offers at this point.
“I had just been picking schools to camp at. I’ve always liked Virginia Tech. I’ve always been a fan,” Pinion said of why he chose to camp at Virginia Tech. “I like that Coach Beamer personally coaches the special teams. I figured it couldn’t hurt to go up there.”
Pinion, who stayed in Blacksburg Saturday night and returned home Sunday, added, “I loved the campus. I think it would be a good fit.”
Working closely with head coach Frank Beamer “was very nerve wracking,” Pinion admitted. “I was not expecting to work with him so close. Once I started getting used to it, though, it was good. He is a nice guy and a good coach. He told me what I need to do on my punts to make my steps faster and that helped me.”
Pinion, who did not name a favorite, will be one to watch on the recruiting front in the 2012 class. Where does...
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