Simple Kicking is a podcast hosted by James Hairston. Hanging out with the best field goal kickers, punters, and long snappers, on the planet, stories also come from coaches, recruiters, and agents.
Isaac Pearson, University of Texas Punter
The Texas Longhorns added their 3rd Aussie punter in the past decade or so: Michael Dickson, punter for the Seattle Seahawks, current punter Ryan Bujcevski, and the newest arrival is Isaac Pearson from Australia. He learned how to kick from ProKick Australia.
Texas has some of the best specialists in the Country. Justin Tucker, Austin Westlake High School, Baltimore Ravens, Cameron Dicker, Lake Travis, just to name a few.
Hailing from New South Wales, Pearson joined the Simple Kicking Show for an in-person clinic.
Here we talk about technique, mindset, and the art of punting, it was a ton of fun.
Overview of the session: Overview of the first set, Punting in Windy Conditions, mindset of punting. What has it been like traveling from Australia to compete in American college football. Expectations for the session 50 yards, 5.0 seconds hang time punt
Nick Folk, New England Patriots Kicker, on making solid contact. Practicing real game scenarios, deliberate practice. Focus on the process not on the results. Reviewing Data on the Simple Kicking App. Two things I am thinking about: be relaxed and make smooth contact on the ball. Punting in Windy Conditions, Austin McNamara Texas Tech Punte. How to get out of a punting slump. Adjusting the mindset. Let the ball do the talking.
Nick Folk, University of Arizona, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New England Patriots Kicker
check out that podcast here:
You may also find the Simple Kicking Punting Tracker, or Punt tracker app on the App Store helpful in charting your kicks and punts:
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Cairo Santos, NFL Kicker
Cairo Santos is an NFL Kicker who had a breakout season for the Chicago Bears in 2020. A 8 year NFL veteran, Santos was signed as an undrafted free agent for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014 Tulane University.
Santos’ NFL career has made stops in the National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC) with 4 franchises: the Chiefs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Tennessee Titans. Statistically 2020 was his best season, as he converted 93.8% of his kicks with 3.4º precision according to the Simple Kicking App. Santos credits punter Pat O’Donnell (The University of Miami) who held for him.
Cairo Santos is the first born Brazilian to play in the NFL.
Santos was a soccer player growing up and his heroes were Neymar, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo.
Folk did not have childhood aspirations to play in the NFL, and this episode covers topics of how hard it is to stay in the NFL and how he sustained a long career despite multiple injuries, and roster cuts. This story is a lot like Nick Folk’s. was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice in 2020 for his game winning field goals vs. the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals.
Santos was named the NFC special teams player in Week 6 victory at Carolina Panthers. Santos was named the NFC’s special teams player of the month for December 2020 making all 12 field-goal attempts from Weeks 13 through 17 through the Pro-Posts except for one.
He is the best kicker in Chicago since Robbie Gould.
Thomas Fletcher, Long Snapper, Alabama
Thomas Fletcher was the Long Snapper at the University of Alabama. A two-time national champion, Fletcher was selected as the 2020 Patrick Mannelly Award Winner which is presented annually to the nation's top long snapper.
Fletcher was recruited by Head Coach Nick Saban, and former special teams coordinator, Jeff Banks who has begun a career at the University of Texas as of January 2021.
On his special teams unit he played with Green Bay Packers punter J.K. Scott, and Simple Kicking's own, Will Reichard. He follows a lineage of excellent long snappers in Tuscaloosa like Carson Tinker (New York Giants) and Cole Mazza (Los Angeles Chargers).
Fletcher played in 3 college football playoff national championship games, winning the 2021 CFP National Championship over the Ohio State University and the 2017 CFP National Championship over the University of Georgia.
In this episode, Fletcher shares how his hard work throughout his career allowed him to become the best he could. Treating each moment as if it were a game he follows a specific process.
He shares his recruiting journey on how he earned a college scholarship as a long snapper to the University of Alabama, and tips he would give young long snappers who are attending kicking camps, showcases, and combines.
Drew Meyer, Special Teams Analyst University of Virginia
Drew Meyer is a Special Teams Analyst at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. This episode covers his outlook on kicking and punting. The episode covers how the late Nebraska punter Sam Foltz and Michigan State Punter Mike Sadler made an impact on how he recruits kickers and punters. Meyer highlights that he is looking for characters that resemble the remarkable qualities of two souls that left us too soon.
Meyer walked on as a punter at the University of Wisconsin and he shares how his playing experience has transferred to coaching and recruiting kickers as a Division 1 special teams college analyst.
Early in his coaching career, Meyer is taking lessons learned from college teammates Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) Monte Ball (Denver Broncos) and what he learned from top punters at camps like Thomas Morstead, Tommy Townsend, and many others. Not only does he have 4 seasons under his belt coaching at the highest level of college football, but he has deep relationships with the best punters and kickers in the game.
This episode covers what attributes he looks for in a kicker, memorable stories from Kohl’s Kicking Camps, and gratitude.
Meyer drew insight from listening to the Podcast with Thomas Morstead, who is the punter for the New Orleans saints. You can find that episode here:
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/simple-kicking/id1521447540?i=1000499982952
Google Play: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/jack-fox-nfl-punter-detroit-lions/id1521447540?i=1000499982952
Nick Folk, NFL Kicker
Nick Folk, NFL Kicker by James Hairston
Pressley Harvin III, Georgia Tech Punter 2020 Ray Guy Award
Pressley Harvin III is currently one of the top punting prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft. He is the former punter for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. He finished atop the NCAA for gross punting (minimum 20 punts). He was named the winner of the 2020 Ray Guy Award, an annual award given to college football’s top punter.
Here is the most impressive thing about Harvin’s season. According to the Simple Kicking Punting Index he is the most improved punter in college football from 2019 to 2020. He improved 16.6% in a single year.
On 45 punts he averaged 48 yards per punt and net 44.8 yards. His 2020 season ranked 12th best since 2013: here are the others on his list:
1) Mitch Wishnowsky, University of Utah, San Francisco 49ers
2) Michael Dickson, University of Texas, Seattle Seahwaks (also holds #10)
3) Max Duffy, University of Kentucky, 2021 NFL Draft Prospect
4) Dane Roy, University of Houston, NFL Free Agent
5) Braden Mann, Texas A&M, New York Jets
6) Tom Hackett, University of Utah (also holds #7)
7) Jimmy Smith, University of Cincinnati, NFL Free Agent
8) Cameron Johnston, Ohio State University, Philadelphia Eagles
9) Tyson Dyer, University of New Mexico
11 Joseph Charlton, University of South Carolina, Atlanta Falcons
The two other finalists in 2020 Ray Guy Award were Jake Camarda (University of Georgia Bulldogs) and Lou Hedley (University of Miami.)
Harvin made his way to Atlanta after graduating from Sumter High School in Alcolu, South Carolina. Thanks to Kansas City Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker, there is a game called Punt Golf which started under kicking Coach Joe Struniolo at Westminster in Atlanta. Harvin loves to play Punt Golf, playing his saxophone, and working on his Dodge Dart.
In Harvin’s free time he loves retrofitting cars, with dreams of opening his own custom car shop one day. And one more fun fact, he loves to play the saxophone.
Harvin has aspirations to play in the NFL, and this episode covers topics of growth in college. His freshman year he was named All-ACC which was the first time a Georgia Tech freshman had received the honor other than Calvin Johnson. Harvin shared how he experienced the most improvement in 2020 again which was 16.6% year over year. Also he named to the all ACC team in a year when ACC punting talent was stacked with Lou Hedley, (University of Miami Hurricanes ) and Kirk Christodoulo (Pitt Panthers) Ben Kiernan (University of North Carolina Tarheels) and Porter Wilson (Duke University Blue D) This was his second naming to the All-ACC team. Additionally, in 2020 Harvin was named first team all American according to the AP.
Awesome insight into the unique world of specialists
Simple Kicking does a great job of laying out what it's like to succeed as a specialist - from a physical and mental point of view