In Control

Jon Peattie is a redshirt freshman from Clearwater who has assumed the kicking duties for this year's team. Being named the team's kicker was a decision head coach Larry Coker took down to the wire. Mark Gent and Peattie battled during fall practices for the kicking duties and it wasn't decided until the day before the opener.

Peattie plays football, but is a soccer enthusiast. He was the captain of his Countryside High School team and earned three letters. Ask him about the English Premiership League and he'll tell you all about it. Don't be slighted though, he really likes football. More importantly, he really enjoys playing for the Miami Hurricanes.

In the opener against Louisiana Tech, Peattie missed a 42-yard field goal attempt. It was his first career field goal attempt.

"The Louisiana Tech game was awesome," said Peattie. "Before my first kick, I was looking around in amazement. I had never kicked in front of more than 100 people. I was pretty nervous, but I tried to hide it well. I felt pretty comfortable after my first couple of extra points. I missed that field goal, but I didn't kick it as hard as I could. I just finessed it through. But then I started kicking like I usually do. I was very relaxed after that one miss."

Worried about Peattie being nervous? Don't sweat it. Peattie is a cool cat. He knows his duties as a kicker and is willing to take on the responsibilities that come with it.

"The best part about being a kicker is that it's good to be the man when you make a game-winning field goal, but it's the worst if you miss it," according to Peattie.

Is Peattie ready to kick a game-winning field goal? That is yet to be determined. However, during the game against Florida the Hurricanes trailed 33-32 with less than five minutes left. The Hurricanes had the ball and started moving up field. Peattie started to warm up and told coach he was ready.

"I was real nervous before the Florida game, but I was real comfortable during the game," said Peattie. "You know when you are in the zone and you feel like you can't miss. That is what I felt like when we were driving."

The Hurricanes marched down the field and scored the eventual game-winning touchdown. After the game Peattie approached Coker and said, "I wished I could have kicked that field goal to put the team ahead."

Coker replied, "We were going to let you." On the season Peattie is 5-6 on field goals and a perfect 17-17 on extra points. His longest field goal is 38 yards. In high school, Peattie made a game-tying 57-yard field goal to send the game into overtime against their rival, Clearwater High.

Peattie is a high-spirited individual who enjoys having a good time with his friends. His closest friends on the team are the other kickers, his roommate Brad Kunz and former roommate Anthony Wollschlager. Like most young people, they enjoy telling jokes and just hanging out. Very seldom will you see Peattie without a smile.

After a spring practice, Peattie talked with Coker. "I told him I was coming for the job. I just had to show him. You can't talk if you cant back it up. I knew I had to back up what I said to him."

So far, so good.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@grassy.com.

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