2019 Preseason All-American Projections: Kickers and Punters

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2019 college football season WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises and the stars of next fall could be the headlining players next April in the 2020 NFL Draft.

First-Team Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia

In 2018, Blankenship was 19-of-23 on his field goals with a long of 53. He was excellent in 2017, connecting on 87 percent of his field goals. Blankenship had a long of 55 yards that season and was 2-for-2 in the 50+ range. He was 4-of-7 in the 40-yard range. With Blankenship’s track record and playing at a high-profile school like Georgia, he has a real shot at being a First-Team All-American.

Second-Team Kicker: Jet Toner, Stanford

Toner was 14-of-15 in 2018, showing excellent accuracy, but his longest field goal was from 46 yards out, so his legs strength was not really put to the test. In 2017, Toner showed an accurate leg, hitting 5-of-7 in the 40-yard range. That season, he was 21-of-26 with a long field goal of 46 yards. Toner has the accuracy to put together an impressive 2019 season that could land him All-American honors.

Third-Team Kicker: Jace Christmann, Mississippi State

Over the past two seasons, Christmann was an accurate kicker for the Bulldogs. He was 12-of-16 with a long of 47 yards in 2018. In 2017, he was 12-of-14 with a long of 45 yards. Christmann may not have as many field goal attempts in 2019 because Mississippi State lost some significant players from offense last year’s offense, which could hurt Christmann’s shot at being a First- or Second-Team All-American.

Kicker Honorable Mentions: Baylor’s Connor Martin, Florida State’s Ricky Aguayo and Michigan’s Quinn Nordin.

First-Team Punter: Blake Gillikin, Penn State

In 2018, Gillikin averaged 44 yards per punt with a long of 74. He was a nice weapon for Penn State’s special teams in 2017, averaging 43.2 yards per punt with a long of 57. Gillikin had a long of 69 and averaged 42.8 yards per punt for 2016. With less talent on the Penn State offense this year, Gillikin could produce a larger average as a senior, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is a First-Team All-American.

Second-Team Punter: Drue Chrisman, Ohio State

Urban Meyer has placed a huge emphasis on special teams throughout his coaching career, so it never is surprising when a school he recently coached at has talented specialists at punter or kicker. Chrisman averaged 43.2 yards per punt in 2018 with a long of 65 yards. In 2017, he averaged 44.2 yards per punt with a long of 62 yards. Chrisman has a strong leg and was a nice special teams weapon for Ohio State. With the Buckeyes’ offense losing a ton of talent to the NFL, his average could increase in 2019 and make him a top candidate for All-American honors.

Third-Team Punter: Adam Nunez, TCU

Nunez averaged 39.5 yards per punt in 2018 with a long of 56. In 2017, he averaged 39.3 yards per punt with a long of 61 yards. As a freshman in 2016, he averaged 39.6 yards per punt with a long of 56. Nunez punts in a friendly environment, and punters with good weather have done well in winning postseason honors.

Punter Honorable Mentions: Wisconsin’s Anthony Lotti, Kent State’s Derek Adams and Old Dominion’s Bailey Cate.

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