Scouting Report: A.J. Reed

Duke landed kicker AJ Reed last week. After letting the dust settle, we spoke with the coaches at One on One Kicking to get an idea of what kind of player the Blue Devils are getting.

According to Coach Mike McCabe and the staff at One on One Kicking, head coach David Cutcliffe and company are getting quite an accomplished high school specialist in A.J. Reed. The coaches have worked with him over the past few years and have seen him continue to improve each year.

“His ball is consistent in terms of rotation and trajectory,” said McCabe. “He’s also gained a lot of mass, and [during the camp] he has been 9-of-10 inside 45 yards. Going forward, one emphasis for him to work on would be to get a little bigger in his lower half while maintaining flexibility.”

Some kickers struggle as they transition from kicking off a block to kicking off the ground, but that’s something that Reed has already overcome according to McCabe.

“He gets excellent height on impact, which limits the defense’s chance to block it.”

When looking to classify kickers, some are more powerful while others are more accurate. When asked where Reed falls on this sliding scale, the answer is more to the middle with good ratings in both categories according to McCabe.

“I think that is what separates him from most of his contemporaries. He hits the same ball from 20 yards as he does from 50. There’s no draw to the ball as he backs up. It is on a line with excellent up and down rotation, which will limit the way the wind will affect it.”

Like most young kickers, Reed is a former soccer player who found his way to the football field as a specialist. And while the disciplines are similar, sometimes soccer kickers need to unlearn some habits that may help on the pitch, but hurt on the gridiron. That’s where the work at One-on-One has come into play says both player and coach.

“Drill work is key. Working on toe depression and driving the ball up and through the target is the main thing,” said McCabe. “Soccer swing and kicking a football differ in minimizing hip torque and driving through the ball instead of across his body. He has mastered this. He has incredible technique from the muscle memory drill work we use to train our players. We only allow them to kick 30 balls a sessions in order to keep them fresh and more accurate.

About One on One Kicking
One On One Kicking is the TOP elite training facility and camp for kickers, punters, and long snappers in the country. rated them as ‘The #1 Training Facility for specialists’, stated that ‘they are the Best of the Best’, and ESPN Radio said that they are ‘the best camps for kickers and punters in the country.’  In addition to year-round training in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and New York, they travel to camps throughout the country to prestigious colleges and universities like Ohio State, Miami (FL), Ole Miss, Kentucky, Texas A&M, amongst others.  In 2012, both the Ray Guy and Lou Groza Award Winners for Top Punter and Kicker in the country, Ryan Allen and Cairo Santos, were trained by One On One Kicking – the first time EVER that a training facility trained both in the same year.  Notable current NFL trainees include Pat McAfee (Colts), Johnny Hekker (Rams), Marquette King (Raiders), Ryan Allen (Patriots), and Caleb Sturgis (Dolphins). 

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