2011 Lou Groza & Ray Guy Award Winners

In my opinion, it should be a goal for every collegiate kicker or punter to make the Top 20 for the Groza and the Top 10 for the Ray Guy Award.  You have to set goals for yourself, reachable and far-stretched.

Tonight Randy Bullock and Ryan Allen took home the hardware for the nation’s top specialist awards.

2011 Lou Groza Award Winner

Randy stated on national television that he dedicated this past season to his father who was looking down on him.  Congrats to Randy for winning the groza with a pretty stellar season.  He finished 25 of 29 on field goals, with a successful 11 of 14 beyond 40 yards.  He had worthy competitors in Caleb Sturgis and Dustin Hopkins, but with Randy going 3 for 3 in his final game with a long kick as well, I believe stamped his name on the award.  He is the first Texas A&M Aggie to win the Lou Groza.
Hopefully, TJK will be able to get one of these top 3 kickers to a camp in the future as they have great form and the ball just pops off their foot.

Ryan Allen is the first WAC player to win the Ray Guy Award.

Ryan Allen was well deserving of the Ray Guy Award.  This player from Louisiana Tech bombed punts all year, but what was most impressive was the amount of kicks he punt inside the 10 yard line.  My head coach, Brady Hoke at Michigan now, always stressed the importance of field position and stated numerous times — ‘The most important play in football is the punt.’ — Mainly because it determines field position and leverage.
Ryan averaged 46.3 yards a punt with 37 punts going inside of the 20.  Of those 37 punts, he knocked an astounding 20 inside the 10.  Congrats to Ryan for an impressive junior season and winning the award.
For those players that are playing college ball, and for those players aspiring to play at the next level-don’t be intimidated by these awards.  It’s good for you to make goals for yourself before a season.  You can ask my roommate, Alex Moore, who was a linebacker at Ball State and to this day, is my best friend.  Every year before the season I would write on a paper my goals and tape it up in my room, and then would put in my statistics for each game.  There’s nothing wrong with keeping count of your stats, as we all know, kickers and punters are judged by their performance on the field, and the numbers speak for themselves.
Good measuring points and goals for a college season for a Kicker:
Go 100% on PAT’s — At some point in your career, you will need to develop into a leader.  That means take control of your field goal unit and have them understand how important it is with the blocking assignments from every member, especially the right and left upbacks.  A MISS IS A MISS.  Unfortunately, if your timing and trajectory is on point, but a kick gets blocked for a bad blocking assignment or a bobbled snap, if the ball was kicked and didn’t go through those goalposts, it counts as a miss.  The best thing as a kicker is to always take the blame.  Don’t be that guy that says it was his fault, he messed my percentage up.  No sir.
Go 80% on FG’s — A steady field goal percentage is in the 80 percentile.
Go 100% on FG’s inside 40 yards — Make it a perogative in practice to work on the inside 40 kicks.  Those are the most important kicks and have

Brian Jackson with a kick off for the Spokane Shock in 2009.

the highest probability of kicks in that range.  It’s always impressive to say you went perfect inside of 40 yards during a season.

Aim for an average of 65 yards on your kickoffs for the season.  Kicking off from the 30 is difficult and a lot depends on what form of scheme your coaches prefer.  Some coaches are content with a 4.0 hang of 60-65 yards, whereas other coaches like 3.7 hang of 68-73 yards.  Determine what your coach likes and make a realistic goal from there.
Also make goals for your league awards.  There’s nothing wrong with stating it’s a goal of mine to at least receive honorable mention in such and such conference.  As long as you know it’s reachable and you can work to achienve that goal, go for it.
-Brian Jackson
Head Coach of TJK

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