Notre Dame Lands Walk-on Punter

Notre Dame got an important addition to its 2013 class when San Joaquin High (Fresno, Calif.) punter Andrew Antognoli accepted a preferred walk-on offer.

Notre Dame wanted to bring a punter in the 2013 class, and found when Thursday when San Joaquin High (Fresno, Calif.) standout Andrew Antognoli told the Irish he would come in as a preferred walk-on.

He was previously committed to Harvard, but changed his mind Wednesday night and alerted the Irish coaches about it Thursday.

"The kid is a Top 10 national prospect," said kicking guru Chris Sailer, who runs a nationwide kicking/punting academy. "I have him as a 5-star punter and it is one of the reasons we selected him to the Semper Fidelus All-American Bowl. He has the skills and the intangibles to be at the highest level. He can come in and compete to be a punter that is there for three to four years."

Sailer, who punted at UCLA, said it may be unrealistic to be ready for the 2013 season, but he should be fine for the long haul.

"You can't expect any college freshman to be the guy in any way," Sailer said. "He has to get used to the speed of game, and get used to mental aspect of game. He works hard, he's very coachable."

Antognoli punted 30 times and average 43.1 yards per attempt. He had a long of 69 yards and also had seven punts inside the 20.

"He's got a big leg," Sailer said. "He can get up to a five-second hang time. He's got the leg and hang-time ability, and with anyone who is a freshman coming in, it's about the consistency and getting used to the speed of it."


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