Jersey Shore Kicker Talks Rutgers Visit

St. John Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.) kicker Anthony DiPaula won the field goal competition at Rutgers camp two months ago, and Tuesday he was on campus for an unofficial visit to talk to the coaching staff and watch practice. After leaving campus, DiPaula spoke to about the visit, which schools are recruiting him and what the Scarlet Knights think of him.

Teddy Dellaganna is a senior and walk-on Tyler Thomas transferred in the summer, so Rutgers is in the market for a punter for next season and one possibility comes from the talent-rich Jersey Shore.

Anthony DiPaula of St. John Vianney (Holmdel) has been on Rutgers' radar for a while, and Tuesday he made the trek to campus for an unofficial visit to speak with the coaching staff and watch practice.

"(Special teams) coach (Robb) Smith wanted me to come up," DiPaula said. "He talked to my coach and said he wanted me to come to practice, so I came practice."

DiPaula kicks field goals, punts and handles kickoffs for St. John Vianney. He won the field goal competition at Rutgers' special teams camp in June with a 49-yarder. Kicking guru Chris Sailer has DiPaula rated No. 18 among kickers in the 2011 class.

"The only two schools I've been talking to are Rutgers, and I've been talking back-and-forth with Miami," said DiPaula, who does not hold any offers. "They both want to see more film."

Although DiPaula won the field goal competition during the Rutgers camp, it was a mixed day.

"I won the field goal competition and I bombed my kickoffs," he said. "In punting, I lost in the semifinals. I didn't have that great of a punting day there. It was something I should have done better."

DiPaula was 3 of 5 on field goal attempts as a junior, with his misses coming from 47 and 57 yards. He kicks without a tee as he tries to show colleges there won't be much of a transition once he leaves high school, but the Scarlet Knights' interest isn't in his field goal kicking.

"I'm a combo, right down the middle," DiPaula said. "(Rutgers and Miami) are both looking for combos, but I guess Rutgers is looking more as a punter and kickoff guy. I want to do kickoffs and either punt or field goal. It doesn't matter which. It's whatever the coach wants me to do."

DiPaula, who lives in Manalapan, grew up attending Rutgers game with his local Pop Warner organization, so he knows plenty about the Scarlet Knights.

Dellaganna has handled kickoffs and the punting for Rutgers the last two seasons, so the Rutgers coaching staff is comfortable with having their punter also kick off.

As a junior, DiPaula averaged approximately 37 yards per punt.

"I'm not a guy of distance," he said. "I'm more of a guy for hang time."

Scarlet Report Top Stories