Parkey Working On New Rules for New Season

Auburn junior kicker Cody Parkey discusses his preparations for the 2012 football season.

Auburn, Ala--After finishing third nationally last season with 38 touchbacks, Cody Parkey is probably not going to want to match that total this fall as a junior even though it will be easier to do.

Due to a change in college football rules that brings touchbacks out to the 25-yard line instead of the 20, the Auburn kicker expects the strategy for kickoffs to change for the 2012 season.

"I think you will see a lot more shorter kicks from me because if it is in the end zone I think a lot of teams will take a touchback since the ball goes out to the 25 this year," Parkey says.

He notes that means he has to concentrate on launching the football higher and not as deep, especially with another rules change. By changing the kickoff yard line from the 30 to the 35, the end zone is now 65 yards away on kickoffs, not 70.

Parkey notes that he believes he will be ready for the new rules when the Tigers open the season on Sept. 1st against Clemson.

"Everything is going good," he says. "I am working on different stuff like getting the ball higher on kickoffs and not as far. We are doing some new stuff and trying to pin them deep.

"On field goals I working on getting the ball high and straight," he adds. "You never want to get a kick blocked. I am trying to improve off of last year and give my team the best chance to win."

Still another rules change involves onside kicks. "You can just do the one-hop any more," Parkey points out. "It has to bounce twice so we have been working on different stuff to try to throw off the onside kickoff return team. We will have that ready."

Last season, his first as the starter for the Tigers, the former Jupiter, Fla., High star made 13-18 field goal attempts and was 41-42 on PAT kicks.

His holder, Ryan White, is back this year, but Auburn must replace steady Josh Harris as the deep snapper for extra points, field goals and punts. A pair of walk-ons have been competing for those assignments.

"Jake Lembke and Forrest Hill have both been interchanging on punts and field goals," Parkey says. "I am still not really sure on that (who will be the starter). It is still a work in progress."

The junior is sure that it is important he have enough hang time on his kickoffs to give the coverage team plenty of time to do its job. "Every time I kick off we want it to be over four seconds," he points out. "My personal goal is 4.3 seconds because I think that will give our team the best chance to be successful."

Parkey notes that if he can accomplish the 4.3 hang time, the Tigers "will definitely have a great chance" of accomplishing their goal of making the opposing offense start its possession inside the 20-yard line.

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