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December 3, 2013
Deep kicking game talent at STS College Exposure Camp
All one needs to do is look at recent college football action to see the importance of the kicking game. And with no shortage of talent in the Garden State looking to parlay their skills to the next level, many of New Jersey's top high school specialists recently competed at the College Exposure Camp hosted by Special Teams Solutions indoors at Superdome Sports in Waldwick on Sunday November 24, 2013.
The 10th Annual event featured instruction from current and former division one specialists, recruiting and sports psychology seminars, a college and pro player demonstration and head to head competition.
"The quality of talent was particularly high this year with about 60 specialists from across the northeast competing for the title of top kicker, punter and snapper," says Lee McDonald, former Rutgers kicker and head of Special Teams Solutions. "Several big time prospects emerged and will soon find themselves on the recruiting boards of DI college programs."
Six kickers finished a perfect 5 of 5 with a long of 47 yards in the opening round of the field goal competition including Davis Brief (Warwick, NY 2016), Gavin Haggerty (St. Joe's Montvale, NJ 2015), Jarry Jones (Lenape, NJ 2015), Matt Murphy (Seaford, NY 2014), Nick Pritchard (New Egypt, NJ 2015) and Frank Raggo (Randolph, NJ 2014). Murphy took top honors during the head to head field goal competition while the remaining five finalists shared runner up honors after posting similar results through two additional rounds.
"Although Frank Raggo stands out for his excellent ball strike and lift, every one of the finalists has division one ability with very good accuracy and leg strength," says McDonald.
On kickoffs, Michael Caggiano (Manalapan, NJ 2014) blasted his way to a 68 yard, 4.0 hang time average.
"Caggiano continues to impress on all three skills and is one of the best prospects in the northeast for 2015," says McDonald.
Rory O'Riordan (Tappan, NY 2016) took second place honors after averaging 63 yards and 3.7 seconds of hang time per kickoff. Caggiano, Haggerty, Jones and Pritchard are part of a deep division one talent pool among 2015 New Jersey kickers according to McDonald.
Among punters, Michael Cintron (St. Joe's Metuchen, NJ 2014) led the way in the opening round with a 48 yard, 4.2 seconds of hang time per punt average.
"Michael Cintron is without a doubt a diamond in the rough, an under the radar division I punting prospect," says McDonald.
Seven additional head-to-head finalists averaged more than 40 yards a punt, including John Bowers (Bergen Catholic, NJ 2015), Davis Brief (Warwick, NY 2016), Michael Caggiano (Manalapan, NJ 2014), Ethan Cordaro (Don Bosco, NJ 2016), Matt Paul (Monroe-Woodbury, NY 2014), Nick Pritchard (New Egypt, NJ 2015) and Frank Raggo (Randolph, NJ 2014). Caggiano took top honors during the head to head punt finals with Brief the runner-up.
"Each one of the finalists brings a high skill level in terms of consistency, leg strength and poise," says McDonald.
The long snapping proved to be just as competitive with two snappers taking top honors. Carson Vey (Peddie School, NJ 2015) averaged .79 seconds per long snap while Frank Rizzolo (Seton Hall Prep, NJ 2014) averaged .82 per long snap.
"Vey has a great frame with a super quick release and pin point control," says McDonald. "Rizzolo boasts solid snap speed, accuracy and technique, " adds McDonald, who insists both snappers will land at the division 1 level.
For complete camp results, statistics and film, visit stscamps.com
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