Kohl Helps Players Get Kick Out Of Camps

Jamie Kohl of Kohl's Professional Kicking Camps has been working with the Pitt coaching staff for a number of years now, and he evaluated several recruiting prospects for Panther Digest Thursday during the Panthers Specialists Camp.

"There's some good kids here, and I have a great relationship with Pitt,'' Kohl said. "Coach Wannstedt has been great. It all started with Coach Rhoads and Coach Partridge, and I have a good relationship with Chris LaSala. Conor (Lee) is one of my guys, and Dave (Brytus) has been working with us.''

Lee was extremely successful last fall for Pittsburgh, and he was effusive in praising Kohl.

"It really helps guys to get someone watching their techniques and working with them in a one-on-one basis,'' Lee said. "That's different from when I got started. These guys get a lot more attention than I ever did.''

Kohl, his brother, Andy, and father, John, basically run 37 camps around the country. Jamie kicked at Iowa State and for the Seattle Seahawks, while Andy was a kicker at New Mexico State and was in the Steelers camp in 2001.

"So, the players have two guys who have had a chance to kick professionally, and we have a great staff of about 25-30 guys who help us out,'' Kohl said. "We have two camps in Pennsylvania, with Coach Palko at West Allegheny and in the middle of the state at Manheim Central.

"But we really enjoy coming to Pitt. The facilities are awesome, and the staff is great. We want to give Pitt a chance to see some kids with some good legs, and I think we did that today.''

The three top kickers at Thursday's camp were Drew Evangelista from Cedar Grove, N.J. High School, Brandon McManus from North Penn HS in Lansdale, Pa. and Chad Christen from Red Land HS in Lewisberry, Pa. near Harrisburg.

"All three have Division I potential,'' Kohl said. "Drew probably is the smoothest on his field goals. That's good for him that he kicks off he ground. He'll be ready for college. Brandon, the big guy, has unbelievable leg speed. And Chris, he's strong with good leg strength. They all were kicking off inside the 5-yard line off a one-inch tee, and had good hang time. They really hit the ball well.''

With Kohl working with them, all three have a chance to play at the next level.

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