Commentary

Several kickers show versatility at FSU

Originally Published: April 20, 2009
By Jamie Kohl | Special to ESPN.com

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Sunday's Kohl's Showcase Camp drew top talent from seven tates from the Southeastern portion of the US. This camp was a great way to evaluate some Division I kicking and punting prospects for the 2010 and 2011 classes. The grading from this event is a mixture of the charting that took place, the camp drills, the field goal contest with a tee, the field goal contest off the ground, a kickoff contest and a camp wide punting contest. It was a great way to evaluate how an athlete handles pressure and performs when it counts. Sunday's roster of attendees was a good group of athletes. Here are some of the highlights.

Kicker/punter Brandon Tarpley (Palmetto, Fla.) showed he has one of the five strongest legs in the nation. Tarpley knocked multiple kickoffs through the uprights and won the kickoff competition with a 78 yard kick that had a hangtime of 4.03 seconds. (He also charted a 75-yarder with 4.23 hang time.) In his video taping from camp he hit a kickoff that went more than 80 yards -- and over the FSU fence. His punts were exceptional, with some traveling 60 yards or farther with 4.5 seconds of hang time. (Tarpley) needs to continue to refine his technique to reach is potential as a K/P but has great tools to work with. I expect him to get better with his consistency over the next couple of months.

Kicker Pat Baker (Vero Beach, Fla.) also had an outstanding day. Baker's kickoffs have caught up to his field goals, making him a more well-rounded player. Baker charted well and is very smooth off the ground. His kickoff charts averaged 72 yards at camp. He is a legitimate D1 prospect as a FG kicker. He still needs to get a little more hang time on his KO's to complete himself as a kicker.

K/P Sam Myers (Charlotte, N.C./ Latin) had a good day overall. I feel he is a D1 punter and FG kicker. His afternoon was much better than his morning session. Sam did very well in the competitions for FG height and consistency. He had some big hang times on his punts as well. Myers hit a 69-yarder with a 3.91 hang.

Kicker Marvin Kloss (Naples, Fla. / Barron Collier) displayed the overall best combination of consistency and leg strength at camp. Kloss showed great hang time on his kickoffs. He also was the best FG kicker off the ground during multiple afternoon competitions; he was hitting FGs off the ground that were good from 60-65 yards away. Kloss' best KO in the competition was 75 yards with a 3.91 hang. He seemed to handle pressure very well and focused when necessary. He has a great future ahead of him.

K/P Jeremy Tommie (Greenwood N.C.) was a late sign up for camp, and he is glad he made the trip to camp. His brother is a college kicker at Woffard and Jeremy is going to follow his footsteps and play college football. Tommie was second overall in the morning KO chartings and hit a kickoff through the uprights in the afternoon session. His other strength is punting; he finished third behind Brandon Tarpely and Sam Meyers in the morning charting session. Tommie was able to turn the ball over very often during the afternoon punting session.

K/P Billy Thompson (Flowery Branch, Ga.) had another solid showing at camp. He gets great hang time on his KO and finished fifth in punting during the morning session. He was a finalist in the punting competition during the afternoon session as well. Billy has a good athletic frame and can do a couple of things technically to really improve during the summer. His drop needs to come inside his framework and shorten his steps in order to maximize his consistency in punting.

Keenan Adams a 2011 prospect from Bainbridge GA had a great day for an under classman. He finished 4th in punting and 3rd in FG, and 2nd in his class in KO's. He is a young prospect to watch in the next 2 years.

2011 prospect Austin Trevor (Shelby N.C.) had a great showing on KOs in the morning session. His best KO was a 73 yard 4.01 hang time blast. Austin is a solid KO guy and showed well at times on field goals.

Chase Varnadore (Tallahassee, Fla.) had the best showing off the ground during the morning session. He made 9 of 10 FG and was outstanding with his height and ball rotation. He had a better afternoon session on kickoffs than he did in the morning. His best kickoff was a 68-yard blast wit a 3.75 hang time. Varnadore technically could improve his KOs to match his FG. If he can make those improvements, he will be a D1 kicker.

K Maurico Barber (Milton, Fla.) had a great morning FG session, making 9 of 10 attempts. He needs to work on transitioning to a lower FG tee, but he did make both of his 55 yard FG off a 2 inch tee.

Frankie Velez (Ocala, Fla.) won the afternoon FG session by making a 60 yard FG off a 1-inch tee. Velez needs to work on his kickoff steps to catch up with his outstanding field goals; his steps do not allow him to maximize his leg speed. If Velez can improve his kickoff consistency and power, he will be a great college kicker

Final Analysis There were many very good specialists at this showcase camp. As a specialist, the journey is long to a college scholarship. I thought that a couple athletes made great strides today in showing the nation that they belong at the highest level of college football.

Awards

Most Outstanding FG Kicker: Marvin Kloss
Most Outstanding KO Man: Brandon Tarpely
Most Outstanding Punter: Brandon Tarpley

Jamie Kohl is the Director of Kohl's Kicking, Punting and Snapping Camps.