Kyle Brindza looks like he’ll hold down both the place kicking and punting job this season. But come 2014, he’ll have some competition. Georgia punter Tyler Newsome committed to Notre Dame Friday afternoon, less than a day after being offered a scholarship by the Irish staff.
“Officially committed to the University of Notre Dame,” Newsome wrote on Twitter. “What a blessing.”
Two recruiting cycles after signing a long snapper, the Irish coaching staff saw fit to offer Newsome a full ride, after punting and kicking for the Irish coaches. Newsome has the ability to kick off and punt, and likely closes the door on any specialist for the next two seasons.
If you’re into the “geek speak” of kicking and punting, here’s what the staff at Kohl’s Kicking said about Newsome:
“Tyler has huge upside, one of the best athletes in the 2014 class, ball explodes off his foot, showed a lot of talent at the Southern Showcase in Dec of 2012. Can hit some huge punts, won punt competition at Southern Showcase in May of 2013, Tyler was one of the finalists in the kick off competition at the UC Challenge, made 10-10 FG in May of 2013, D1 KO/P, FG are improving as well.”
The commitment of Newsome might feel inconsequential when you consider the elite prospects on campus, but this season is a true test for the Irish special teams. While Ben Turk was hardly a Ray Guy candidate, the Irish staff is putting all its eggs in Brindza’s basket, and the results during the Blue-Gold game were hardly reassuring. With Daly, a redshirt freshman snapping, and Brindza handling both kicking jobs, getting good performances out of the kicking units will be key.
Newsome makes it a dozen members of the ’14 recruiting class, currently tabbed “The Golden Army.” For a look at his work at kicking camp, see below for a highlight video.