Photo courtesy of Paul Kane/Getty Images
It is no secret that University of Kentucky special teams coordinator Dean Hood has shown a liking to rugby style punters. He used several of them in while he was the head coach at Eastern Kentucky University. He also recruited current UK punter Matthew Panton, a rugby style punter from Columbia University. This information was first tweeted out by Duffy’s kicking academy, Prokick Australia. Prokick Australia is the home to former EKU punter Jordan Berry, who punts for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and UK’s own Matthew Panton. In continuing with the rugby style punter, Dean Hood has recruited Max Duffy to punt for the Wildcats next season.
With his commitment, Duffy is the second scholarship special-teams player that the Wildcats will take this year. The other is top rated kicker Chance Poore, from Anderson, South Carolina. Max Duffy offers a unique situation for UK football: a 24 year old freshman. Duffy has played professional rugby in Australia since he graduated and will not come in needing the typical adjustment period that an 18 year old freshman would.
The addition of Duffy indicates that there will be, at a minimum, and open competition for punting duties. Sophomore grant McKinnis is currently redshirting, after a lackluster performance as a freshman. There are also rumors that McKinnis may transfer from University of Kentucky. Matthew Panton has been a breath of fresh air, averaging 42.8 yards per punt.
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