(VIDEO) 2013 Underclassman Challenge Recap
Every January, Kohl's Kicking Camps holds an invite only camp that features the best kickers, punters and snappers from the 2014 and 2015 class. This year, the 2013 Underclassman Challenge hosted a talented group of specialists chosen from the national Winter Showcase Tour in December. Tampa, Florida served as the venue to this prestigious event where athletes were able to compete inside the Tropicana Dome following the Under Armour All-America Combine, as well as in an outdoor setting at Farragut High School in St. Petersburg. The difference in venues showed who could compete on any type of surface, in sometimes overwhelming atmospheres. Most that are able to handle the differences in venues and high pressure situations showed their true colors.
Top Performers from the Underclassman Challenge
One of the most talented combination specialists at camp was Tennessee native Gary Wunderlich. Wunderlich's name can be found in the top 3 of all six kicking and punting charts. He was a consistent top performer with an explosive leg in all phases of the game. Wunderlich went lights out during the 10-kick field goal charting session at Farragut High School as well as capping the kickoff and punt charts as well. He is no doubt a top division 1 prospect who should be competing at a very high level of college football next year.
Combo specialist JK Scott from Colorado had an outstanding performance at camp also. He excelled in both kicking and punting throughout the Underclassman Challenge. Compared to everyone else, Scott's hang times in punting and kickoffs were far superior to anyone else at camp. He showed up as the winner of the punt competition with punts that received an applause from the crowd of campers and parents. He also only one point behind the kickoff competition winner. His consistency in all phases will only improve over the next year.
Aaron Medley is hands down one of the most solid field goal kickers in the class of 2014. Medley is a level headed kicker that will be able to handle game-winning field goal situations better than anyone in his class. He's a college ready athlete who's coordination and abilities are far above his years. He's also a good punter as well.
Photo: Athletes get ready to compete in the Tropicana Dome before the Under Armour All-America Game
Another great combination kicker and punter is Kyle Bambard. Bambard separated himself on field goals at the Underclassman Challenge. He hit a number of field goals in a row leading back to 60-yards out where he made one to cap the field goal competition in front of the whole camp. He also appeared in the final four during the camp-wide punt competition. Bambard is an athlete who has improved from the last time he's attended a Kohl's camp and is expected to have a continued refinement over the next year.
One of the fastest legs in the 2014 class is Adam Centers. He capped the kickoff competition with some of the biggest kicks at camp. Most of his kickoffs during the competition traveled over 75 yards with more than a 4.00 seconds hang time. If Centers can refine his field goal kicking off the ground, he will be a hands down division 1 prospect.
Ben Rice has progressively gotten better with each camp. The Underclassman Challenge was no exception. Ben hit on 8 of 10 field goals during day 2 of charting, and had a college level hang time on kickoffs.
Oklahoma native Trevor Moore has risen to the division 1 college scholarship ranks. He's continued to impress over the years and has proven his work ethic with the positive results that are obvious when he performs. He hits a clean ball off of the ground on field goals and has elevated his abilities on kickoff as well.
Zach Schmid and Kyle Haan were two punters that stood out over the weekend. Both showed superior leg strength at their position. Schmid has refined his ability to control the ball with his hands and has become more consistent as a result. Kyle Haan has made himself more compact and repeatable by shorting his steps to a 2-step approach. Both of these athletes will continue to improve upon their skills and should be top prospects in the 2014 punting class.
Landon Scheer proved he could repeat his motion on field goals and kickoffs. He had a great charting session at the high school where he connected on 9 of 10 field goals, as well as connecting on 4 of 5 in the Tropicana Dome session.
In the Snapping Division, Ike Powell might be one of the most college ready snappers to come through Kohl's Kicking Camps in the past four of five years. Not only does he have the consistency and velocity on his snap, but he has the overall body type to hold fast up front blocking on the line. He showed well in charting as well as performing well in the finals of the camp-wide competition.
Steven Gabbard had a great Underclassman Challenge showing well in the charting portion of camp by finishing as the overall point leader. Gabbard also excelled during the drill work phase of camp showing the work ethic it takes to play at the next level.
Zach Wade and CJ Keller also separated themselves from the others snappers at camp. Both were finalists in the snapping competition, where Keller capped the contest with three snaps in a row on target. Both snappers have the velocity and consistency it takes to snap a football at the next level.
Photo: CJ Keller is applauded by his peers after winning the camp-wide snapping competition
Full Camp Results: Underclassman Challenge Results
Photo Album: Best in America - 2013 Underclassman Challenge