Monroe Continues Improvement

Brian Monroe is back for his third season as the team's punter after a successful 2004 campaign. A year ago at this time he was concentrating on his consistency and his drop, but now he has other areas of his game he is working on.

Brian Monroe is a 6-foot-2, 202-pound punter from Palm Beach Gardens High School. He has been the team's punter since he arrived on campus prior to the 2003 season.

Last year he averaged 41.2 yards per punt, which ranked him sixth in the ACC in punting average. He also had 20 punts inside the 20 compared to just seven touchbacks.

He improved his numbers tremendously from when he was a freshman. As a freshman punter in 2003 he averaged 36.7 yards per punt with 10 punts inside the 20.

His hard work in the off-season paid off.

"Last year I was just more used to playing than the year before," Monroe said. "I changed my shoe a little bit, which helped. The year I had my freshman year was not the year I expected to have so it was good to have the year I had last year."

So far Monroe has had a productive spring. He is enjoying spring practices and is happy with his progress as a punter.

"It is going real good this spring," Monroe said. "I am pretty happy with myself right now. I am punting the ball pretty good and I can't complain."

On Thursday the team held a scrimmage at Traz Powell in front of 1,500 people. Monroe did not punt in the scrimmage, but was able to offer his own analysis of the team's performance.

"I think it went real well," Monroe said. "Everyone was flying around. Obviously there are some things we need to work on, but that is why you have to scrimmage to see where we are at."

Last year Monroe concentrated on his consistency and his drop, but this year he wants to improve on a different aspect.

"I am trying to get a little bit more flexible," Monroe said.

Punting is very similar to a baseball player in that they have definite statistical goals they want to reach. Monroe has his sights set out on a few very attainable personal goals for 2005.

"My goals this year are being in the top 10 with punts inside the 20, average 43-44 yards per punt or above, and I also hope to be in the top 20 in the country in average."

Monroe also handled the kickoff duties last year and is a candidate for that role again this year.

"They have already approached me about doing kickoffs again this year," Monroe said. "I like doing it."

This spring Monroe has been involved in a new role. Wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson asked Monroe to participate in running routes with the receivers one day. Monroe thought he was joking, but Johnson indeed wanted him to try it out.

"Coach Johnson asked me to come out and run some routes with them," Monroe said. "As of right now that is all I am doing."

Does he see himself getting snaps at wide receiver?

"I have no idea," Monroe said.

Regardless if Monroe will line up at receiver he is having fun with it during practice.

"It is fun and it is definitely something I like doing," Monroe said. "It is something else to do besides punting and kicking."

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor at CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

Canes Time Top Stories