Irish Looking to Improve Kicking Game

The Notre Dame staff didn't plan on signing a kicker in the 2007 recruiting class, but considering the troubles the Irish had with their kicking game all season it appears that the coaches may be changing their strategy. Kicking specialist Brandon Walker of Findlay High school (Ohio) has heard from the Irish and he willing to listen.

The Irish kicking game was erratic at best this season and it appears that the Irish plan on addressing the issue quickly. Notre Dame hasn't offered Brandon Walker a scholarship at this time, but they may do so by the end of the week.

"The special teams coordinator, coach Polian contacted us and asked for a film," Walker responded when asked if Notre Dame had been in touch with him. "We had sent Notre Dame a junior highlight tape and junior stats, but we really didn't hear anything back from them… then all of a sudden they popped up from nowhere.

"Notre Dame obviously has prestigious academics. It's a good school that's close to home. Year in, and year out they're good. This is late in the game, but of course I have interest. No offer has come so I can only play it by ear. I want to hear them out and hear what they have to offer.

Walker committed to Louisville in September, but has been given an opportunity to investigate his options since the Louisville program is going through a coaching change.

"I was hoping to everything done when I committed back in September," Walker explained. "But since there have been coaching changes that has been postponed. I haven't really heard from the new coaching staff, but I have to give them a chance to get in touch with me. I would like to try to get it done as soon as possible."

Brandon has scholarship offers from Pitt, Michigan State, Indiana, West Virginia and LSU. Whichever school does land him on signing day will get a player that is capable of improving a team's punting as well as it's kicking game.

"It seems like most of the schools are looking at me to do both," he said. "I've always been a kicker, or kick-off guy. I've gotten instruction for that. I haven't gotten instruction for punting, but I've averaged around 43 yards.

"I didn't get too many opportunities [to kick field goals] this year and they were all over forty yards. I went two for six. One was blocked and one was a bad snap. My junior year I was nine of twelve with a long of 50 yards. One of my misses was blocked. On extra points I was 44 of 46.

"I have our school record for longest field goal, which was 50 yards during my junior year," he said. "I also hold the school record for punt average for a season, punt average for a career, net punt average for a career and most punts in a career."

Walker has worked hard on his kicking game and he feels he will be able to make the transition from high school to college.

"I went to seven or eight college camps this summer and I kicked off the ground all summer," Walker explained. "I actually like kicking off the ground better. I basically threw my field goal blocks away because they aren't going to do me any good now. I've also been using a one-inch block on my kick-offs because that what I'd have to use in college.

"At the college camps the colleges made me use their balls, so I was using college balls that they issued because the ball flies a lot better if they're worn down and soft. They gave me new balls to kick. Basically I was having a college workout." Top Stories