Punter Drew Lechner Hopes for Kicking Chance

Drew Lechner, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound walk-on punter from Sartell (MN) High, is hoping to try to provide competition for redshirt freshman Justin Kucek as the replacement for Rhys Lloyd. Lechner got a rough introduction to college football as one of his punts was blocked and returned for a touchdown. However, he has showed promise this spring. GoldenSports.Net caught up with the newest Gopher punter after Saturday's spring game.

You are one of the new names on the roster. Talk a little about your background?
 
"I went to Sartell High School near St. Cloud. I started punting there for three years. I was going to come down here regardless of playing football or not. Great school. Can't complain one bit. Had a opportunity to play football and I'm just going with it."
 
What did you do last year?
 
"Last fall, I actually had to sit out. I had a couple of surgeries that prevented me from playing football. After that, I kind of worked on my own and got the chance to play this spring. I have been working out with another walk-on player this spring. My first month or month and a half of school, I could not do anything at all. Then I started lifting and getting in shape to come in here."
 
What has your feeling been about this spring?
 
"Justin Kucek is a great punter, so I'm just trying to get back to where I can be and improve from there and give him a run for his money."  
 
I saw you talking to Gopher recruit Eric Decker and know that you have ties with him as you are both from the St. Cloud area. Did you know any other people at Minnesota?
 
"I have some friends of some friends. I know another kid coming in from Thief Rivers Falls. I've played against Eric Decker since ninth grade in baseball, basketball and football and now we are teammates. Another friend played against Tony Mortensen in the high school All-Star Game. You kind of meet guys and go from there. Meeting the guys is a fun part of it."
 
How far did you guys go in the state tournament your senior year?
 
"We made it to the section finals."
 
What are strengths as a punter. Are you more of a hang time guy or a long kicker?
 
"In high school, I had pretty good hang time. I' ve got to improve my distance. I've got to keep it quick. Today, I had one blocked. You've got to keep it quick, get it up there and let them go get it." 

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories