Gent Ready For Spotlight

At 6-1 and 185 pounds, redshirt sophomore Mark Gent is on the fast track both on and off the field. He will graduate with a degree in Marketing this December and he is competing with redshirt freshman Jon Peattie for the kicking duties with the departure of senior Todd Sievers.

Gent, who is credited with one extra point attempt a year ago, is poised to take over the kicking duties this fall. He performed solidly this spring despite being ill leading up to the start of spring drills.

"My strength was a little down in the spring due to a stomach flu I had right before the start," said Gent. "I lost 10 pounds in two days so it was tough but I was happy with my accuracy this spring."

Despite the illness, Gent was solid in the spring highlighted by his 52 yard field goal in the Spring Game. He assesses his spring along with that of Peattie.

"I'm happy with my spring," he said. "I think [Jon Peattie and I] could have done better but that is always the case is whatever you do. I think we were really even throughout the spring."

Gent is now fully healthy and participating in all offseason workouts with the team and will focus mainly on the workouts and less kicking until fall camp approaches.

"I'm working with Doug Blevins from the Dolphins once a week now and right before two-a-days start I'll probably work with him two to four days a week," said Gent. "Most of the summer will be spent working out so I'm usually pretty tired after that to then go and kick a whole lot."

Gent says that the team must improve on special teams this season and more focus was made on special teams this past spring and that will also be the case this fall.

"We did not perform as well as we needed to a year ago on special teams and that is not just kicking but coverage and everything," he added. "I have seen more emphasis on special teams from coach Soldinger as well as from coach Stoops and coach Hargreaves. We did a lot more this spring on special teams then we have in the past and I expect that to continue this fall in two-a-days."

Along with improved special teams as a team, Gent has a few goals for himself as well.

"I want to improve my leg strength more than anything, especially on kickoffs," he said. "Right now my kickoffs are inside the five yard line but I want to get them in the front of the end zone and also with good hang time to give the coverage time to get there. If I can get the hang time where they can be inside the 20 when the ball is caught we're going to be fine."

With freshman Brian Monroe slated to come in and immediately compete for the punting job, Gent was asked if he had any interest in competing for that spot.

"No, I'm a kicker only," he laughed. "I've never punted in my life and that will be between Jon [Peattie] and Brian."

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