Bosher Tries to Get a Leg up on Competition

Miami coach Randy Shannon said at the beginning of the spring practice sessions that every position was up for grabs.

He's kept his word, and there is no clearer example of this then the kicker and punter positions, where several players are fighting for starting jobs.

The early favorite for both jobs is Matt Bosher, a redshirt freshman who was Miami 's first commitment of the 2006 class. Bosher, rated the top kicker in his class, came to Miami with high expectations. This spring practice however, he finds himself in the midst of a position battle not many people could have predicted. Most had him pegged for the starting job as soon as the final whistle of the 2006 season blew.

"I don't know. Right now it's a toss up," Bosher said about the competition. "I'm doing well at everything but so is everyone else so we'll see."

"I'm competing mainly with Darren Daly for both kicking and punting, Chandler Cleveland for kicking, and Dave Strimple for punting. There are a few guys so there's good competition."

If Bosher sounds uncertain about who's going to be handling duties for the ‘Canes in 2007, it's because he has reason to be. Coach Shannon has opened up competition at all positions, and a vague attitude about starting time is not uncommon amongst starters. Bosher, like others, does not seem too concerned about starting.

"I'm just here to play. Whatever the team needs, I'm here for."

One advantage Bosher does have, aside from reputation as a top recruit, is that he got the most reps last season on the scout team. Unlike some of his competitors, Bosher does not need an adjustment period to acclimate himself with the college game.

"I think the biggest adjustment was the speed," he said about last year. "The speed was a big difference from high school coming in. The blocks come a lot quicker. To me that was the biggest hurdle I had to get through."

"You get used to it, you kind of have to. I think I did pretty well. We all did well last year for field goals in practice. I've definitely been better this spring. I'm more consistent now."

So far, practices for the kickers and punters have been relatively simple. At the beginning of spring, Coach Shannon said that he might stop practice and bring in the field goal team for a quick field goal attempt. That hasn't happened yet, but Bosher insists he's ready. Right now though, they're just working on consistency.

"It's been pretty straight forward so far. It's only the fourth practice we've had. I'm just working on my overall consistency. Just making sure I get the ball quick enough, fast enough, and getting good height on it."

Bosher, who is battling for both the kicker and punter jobs, is familiar with handling both duties. Despite concerns that perhaps mechanics may suffer, he insists that he's used to handling both duties. He did them both in high school, and the man he's replacing, Jon Peattie, had some experience doing it as well.

"I've talked to Jon a few times about doing both. Being able to punt and kick is just up the person who is doing it, whatever is comfortable. Whatever I can do best, and whatever the team wants, that's what I'll do. I'm used to it; I did it in high school. I like it, it is fun for me."

In the upcoming weeks, practices will intensify and position battles will be won and lost. Matt Bosher seems like he is the favorite to win at least one of the kicking jobs, as long as he can fend off Daly, Cleveland, and Strimple. The competition is welcomed, however.

"Hopefully it works out. We have a bunch of great guys."

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