Ben Sherman/Inside Carolina

Stage Set for Daly

The redshirt freshman punter will start against South Carolina next Thursday.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Corbin Daly arrived at North Carolina with U.S. Army All-American honors after turning in one of the nation’s top punting performances during his senior season at Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, N.C.

Despite averaging 48.7 yards on 49 punts in 2013, Daly was able to redshirt and work on his craft last season, thanks to the presence of two-time All-ACC punter Tommy Hibbard.

Hibbard has since graduated and Daly has since locked down the starting punter job for the Tar Heels in 2015.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder showcased his kicking ability during UNC’s spring scrimmage in Charlotte, booting his first attempt 45 yards despite a poor snap and drilling a 60-yarder later that forced the returner to turn and run backwards to field the kick (watch those punts here).

“The key has just been getting my consistency down,” Daly said. “I’ve just been working all summer, all training camp, to kick the ball the same way every time. That’s my main goal. One after another, it’s got to be perfect.”

The UNC coaching has not tinkered with Daly’s mechanics since his enrollment. The focal point has been more about speeding up his timing. Get-off time is a constant talking point in special teams meetings, according to Daly. The goal is a 2.0-second get-off time from snap to kick.

“We’ve been hitting that pretty well,” Daly said.

Daly noted that his average hang time ranges from 4.7-4.9 seconds, while he consistently hits punts 45 yards.

For comparison purposes, Mike Thomas holds the school record for punting average by a freshman with a 43.1 yards-per-punt mark. Brian Schmitz holds the UNC career punting average record at 44.4.

Daly’s predecessor, Hibbard, ranks fifth on the career list with a 41.6 yards-per-punt average.

With less than 10 days until the season opener against South Carolina in Charlotte, the enormity of the opportunity has not been lost on Daly.

“it’s going to be a life-changing experience,” Daly said. “I’m still trying to soak it all in and get as many first-team reps as possible. I’m still trying to do everything right that I can, but in the back of my head it’s growing bigger that I’m about to be playing on a huge stage.”

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