Penn State Gets 8th Verbal

Jeremy Kapinos, a punter from West Springfield High, in Springfield, Virginia, committed to the Nittany Lions on Tuesday.

Name: Jeremy Kapinos
Position: Punter
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 220 pounds
Bench Press / Squat: 250 pounds (bench) / 515 pounds (squat)
School: West Springfield High School, Springfield, Virginia

Penn State, realizing the importance of a successful punting game, was willing to offer a scholarship to a deserving punter.  That punter was Jeremy Kapinos from Springfield, Virginia.

"It's a full scholarship," Jeremy said.  "They offered me last weekend when I got a letter from Coach Paterno asking me to come there.  I had my official visit scheduled a pretty long time ago, but I hadn't received the offer yet.  When Penn State played Virginia, I got the offer that same day.

"I went up there this weekend for my official visit, and I committed yesterday (Tuesday).

"I had a 40.8 yard average, 37 net yard average, 9 punts within the 20-yard line, 9 fair catches and 2 touchbacks.  I had a long of 72 yards.  The longest of my career is 75 yards."

Already, Jeremy can punt the ball about 60 to 65 yards in the air.

"I can punt for distance if I need to.  If I'm in the end zone, I can get it out of there.  I'm really good at hanging it up there and dropping it inside the 20, and also directional punting.  I can do pretty much everything.  I practice hanging it, I practice driving it, and I practice dropping it inside the 20, so I'm pretty versatile.

"In high school, I really didn't do much directional punting.  I tried to punt it with about a 4.8 hang time to make the guy fair catch it or make him move out of the way and let it roll down to the 5.

Jeremy takes a lot of pride in his ability to hang the ball in the air.

"Every other day, I go out and punt and we time my hang time.  If I'm going to drive it, I'm probably going to hit about a 4.4 to 4.6.  If I really want to hang it up there to make them fair catch the ball, I could probably hit 4.8 or 4.9, maybe even 5.0 with good technique.

"I kicked off too, just because we had a vacancy in the spot, but I'm a much better punter."

Penn State is the only school to offer Jeremy a scholarship so far, although that is primarily because Jeremy let it be known very early that he was most interested in the Nittany Lions.

"I pretty much let my coach know that I liked Penn State.  I had a lot of schools that were waiting, that I knew I could just send a video to and they had scholarships out there.  Maryland, Michigan State and Marshall all needed punters, and I was in a pretty good position to get those scholarships if I wouldn't have received one from Penn State.  James Madison also said they'd offer if Penn State didn't.

Jeremy was confident he would receive a scholarship offer eventually.

"I really never thought of not getting one.  My coach, Bill Renner, has put a lot of punters in college on scholarships and I've worked real hard, so I thought I was capable of getting of getting a scholarship.  I wasn't expecting it, but I worked hard enough, trained, and was focused enough that I believe I should have received one.

"I really like Penn State.  I met with them several times and I really like what Penn State stands for.

"My coach also likes the Penn State coaching staff.  He trusts them.  He runs a lot of camps and a lot of colleges call him for punters, so he lets them know who the best ones are."

"I've been talking to Penn State since probably February or March.  They came to the school one day.  Coach Larry Johnson came into my weight training class and watched me lift.  Then he gave me his card and let me know that they were looking for a punter on scholarship.

"At that time, I wasn't really that interested in them.  Later, I went up for a Prospect Day in July and met with the coaches and really liked it, got a taste for it.  I also went to the Miami game, the Michigan game and the Ohio State game this year.  I really liked it because Penn State has probably the biggest audience, and to get to the next
level, I want to showcase my talents as much as I can.

"I started playing football in 10th grade.  I played soccer up until then, but I stopped playing to focus on football.  I moved to Virginia in 10th grade and that was the first time I've ever kicked a football.  That year, I received All District and All Regional
honors.  This year is actually my lowest average because I've been hanging it up there and placing it.  Last year I averaged about 40 yards.

Jeremy can also make the tackle when the need arises.

"I made 4 tackles this year in 4 attempts.  No one returned a kick on me for a touchdown this year.  Our opponents' punt return average was, I'd say, no more than 5 yards."

Jeremy thoroughly enjoyed his official visit to Penn State this past weekend.

"Dave Royer was my host.  Both of my parents went up with me.

"Friday, we just got up there and ate at the dining hall.  After that, Dave and I went out and saw State College and met other football players.

"Saturday, I woke up early and went to breakfast at the Corner Room restaurant.  Then, we took a tour of the football facilities and talked to some academic people.  For lunch, we went to a nice restaurant and talked to a couple of teachers.  After that, we took a tour of the campus.

"At night, it was like a coat and tie affair at the stadium.  We also were able to tour the sports museum they have there. After that, we went out on the football field.  It snowed that day, so the field was covered with snow.  They turned on the big screen and we watched a highlight video from this year which was pretty cool.

"The next morning, we had brunch at the Nittany Lion Inn where my parents were staying.

"I let Coach Johnson know there that I really wanted to go to Penn State, so he gave
me Coach Paterno's number and told me to call him when I'm sure.  I called him yesterday (Tuesday) and committed."

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