Confidence, Skills Make Up for Inexperience

It may be one of the most popular clichés in football, but the sound the pigskin makes when it comes off the kicker's foot is the most telling sign of what type of season he is going to have. When you enter the ASU football training facility during spring practice, a large boom can be heard coming from the field and look no further than kicker Thomas Weber to find that sound.

"It fells great to practice again," said Thomas Weber. "Everyone is working hard and it's good to be back on the field." The kicker is entering his second year at ASU after he transferred from Michigan State. Weber was deceived when he joined the Spartans, as he was told he was going to be the starting kicker. Yet another freshman was also brought in, leading to a position battle "I wasn't too pleased there," he recalled, "and one of the former coaches here got me to come over to ASU."

Weber who redshirted last year was under the tutelage of departing senior Jessie Ainsworth. The ex-Sun Devil spared no compliments when asked about Weber's abilities. On the other hand, Weber credits Ainsworth for teaching him invaluable lessons of the trade. "Kicking everyday and being able to watch him - that's a lot," he stated. "I learned from him on how to have proper form and how to react to kicking in a game."

Weber remarked that the main difference between the present coaching staff and the former one is that special teams' drills are done in the beginning of practice rather than at the end. Cornerbacks Coach Al Simmons has been also assuming the special team coaching duties, along with Head Coach Dennis Erickson.

The last thing you want in your kicker is for him to question his ability. A shaken confidence is usually a recipe for missed opportunities, especially when the game is on the line. In practice, Weber seems unwavering, as he hits 40-yard field goals with ease. He aims for targets between the posts, so he can improve his skills, which he feels are right where they need to be. "I think my kickoffs are really good and my field goals are doing really well right now," he noted. "Jason Perkins the long snapper is doing really well and Jonathan Johnson as the holder is great. I'm felling more confident, and I just need some more game situations."

The last time Weber was part of a game situation was his senior year in high school. Thus, no player on the team is looking forward to this season more than him. He knows he is the guy, the sole kicker on the team, the one that needs to help these Sun Devils win games. He admitted that he is feeling a little pressure right now, but make no mistake – he's up for the task.

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