Thursday, February 16, 2012
Best Kicker in Tennessee Still Not Getting Respect
Yesterday I made the drive from Nashville to do kicking lessons in Chattanooga, TN with Baylor School senior kicker Henrique Ribeiro and talented sophomore kicker Rafael Gaglianone. Henrique won the Tennessee Mr. Football Kicker of the Year Award this year. During the season he kicked field goals of 57, 52, and 50 yards, but has still not gotten a scholarship offer. How does something like this happen? I tried to figure out what was lacking for Henrique.Was it Height? Weight? Did he do something wrong? I have been trying to get to the bottom of this...
Lets do an exercise here...
Kicker #1: In 2011 he was 67 of 70 on extra points & 17 of 25 on field goals with a long of 50 yards.
Kicker #2: In 2011 he was 47 of 50 on extra points & 7 of 10 on field goals with a long of 51 yards.
Kicker #3 In 2011 he was 40 of 41 on extra points & 8 of 11 on field goals with a long of 57 yards
Of these 3 kickers which one has the best resume?
The answer is clearly Kicker #3, which is Henrique Ribeiro. The other two kickers are Adam Griffith and George Bullock, who just signed scholarship papers to Alabama and Tennessee respectively.
Obviously stats are not the entire part of the equation for a kicker and so this story is incomplete. Kickers are evaluated heavily by their performance in camps and also by their effectiveness on kickoffs.
The knock on Henrique has been that his kickoffs lacked the necessary hang time and he didn't attend any kicking camps. I love the quote by Maya Angelou that says "I did the best I could at the time and when I knew better I did better." There was no way for Henrique to have been aware of these issues that coaches had with him.
Henrique was never told to kick the ball higher because he was helping his team by kicking the ball in the endzone. Also, he was a transfer from Brazil and had never even heard of a kicking camp before. How was he suppose to know that some camp was going to be the determining factor in his college kicking chances?
Yesterday was the third lesson I have done with Henrique. I work with kickers at Southern Miss, MTSU, Arkansas St. and I have worked with Tennessee's current kicker Michael Palardy and current signee George Bullock. Also, as a kicker myself I have competed against some of the best kickers in the world and I know talent when I see it. Henrique Ribeiro is a kicker that deserves a college scholarship.
I came to Chattanooga yesterday to prepare Henrique for the National Camp Series Super Camp in Orlando, Florida. This camp has some of the best kicking talent in the country and there will be many top kicking coaches in attendance including the founder of the National Camp Series, former NFL kicker Michael Husted. Henrique is now trying to get out to the camps and get the exposure he didn't get last Summer.
During the lesson yesterday I worked with Henrique on his field goals and kickoffs. He has made a seamless transition to kicking off the ground as you can see in this 30 yard field goal (video below). Also, after about 20-25 minutes he was kicking his kickoffs with the hang time that college coaches said that he "lacked". Hang time can be developed by using the proper technique and Henrique can easily hit kickoffs with 4 second hang time.
In closing, Henrique Ribeiro may have to take the long road to get a college scholarship. He may walk on to a campus near you and pay his own way for a year but it won't be that way for long. This is a kicker you will see on Saturday afternoons as you enjoy watching College Football with your friends. He will be hitting big field goals and towering kickoffs. Maybe then Henrique will finally get the respect he has earned!