Gamecocks land commitment from star kicker

South Carolina entered the 2008 recruiting class with plans to sign one kicker, and they landed their man on Tuesday night, as Katy (TX) standout kicker/punter Ryan Doerr committed to Coach Fred Chatham and the Gamecocks. Read inside for all the details.

The 6'3", 185 pound Doerr, who chose the Gamecocks over offers from Kansas State, Rice, Army and Air Force, is considered one of the top kickers in the country and has a bright future ahead of him, according to Katy High School Head Coach Gary Joseph.

"Ryan is about as good of a kicker/punter combination that's ever come through this school, and we play 5-A football," said Joseph. "He's a hard working kid. He plays wide receiver for us, so when he gets to the next level and can specialize (in kicking), I expect him to be even better. If he continues working, he's got a chance to probably play at the next level after college. He's got a big time leg."

"He's one of the best I've ever coached, if not the best. I definitely think he has the most potential. Right now he's punting it as well as any high school punter in the country. A couple weeks ago against Woodlands, he was kicking about as good as anything you'll see on Sundays while just warming up and punting the ball. He's that good. He gets that kind of height on the ball and the kind of stuff everybody's looking for."

The Gamecocks recruited Doerr to handle both kickoff and punting duties, and he has shown this season why he is considered one of the nation's elite prospects in both of those areas.

"He's averaging about 44 yards a punt. He's had four of them killed inside the 5 (yard line), and 65% of his kickoffs have been unreturnable. He's done well for us. Actually, up until last week he was averaging 47.8 yards per punt. He's only punted 12 times this season," said Joseph. "He's good at whatever he needs to be good at. If not, he'll work hard to be good at it. We're very pleased with what he's done, and we're looking forward to seeing what he can do (at the college level)."

According to Joseph, his star kicker has a long list of accolades after winning competitions at a number of prestigious kicking camps over the summer.

"He won the kicking competition at the Pelfrey Camp. He won the kicking competition at the Ray Guy Camp, and he won the kicking competition at the Randy Roger's Kicking Camp here in Texas."

Doerr, who set a Katy high school record with a 76-yard punt last season, visited South Carolina back in September when the Gamecocks played S.C. State, and he felt at home in Columbia, which played a key part in his decision to commit to USC.

"Ryan committed to South Carolina last night," said Joseph. "He went out there to visit, and I think he really enjoyed the area and everything else. He got recommended there by some of those people at the kicking camps too, and South Carolina became very high on him. They did a good job recruiting him."

Doerr projects as a full qualifier with a 1500 on the SAT and a sterling 3.95 GPA.

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