Player Profile: Jackson Koonce

Demo profiles one of SMU's MVPs from last year, punter Jackson Koonce in the latest Pony Stampede player profile!

Position: P/K
Size: 6-2, 160
Year: Sophomore
High School: Oceanside High School
Hometown: Oceanside, Calif.

Recruitment

In high school he was a first-team All-League selection, was named the Avacado League Kicker of the Year, and holds a school record for a 52 yard field goal. Jackson Koonce was named a “Top National Prospect” by ChrisSailerKicking.com and was a 2013 Vegas Event Punt Finalist. Koonce chose SMU over Army, Air Force and San Diego.

2014 Recap

Jackson Koonce was the best player on this team last year. I’m not exaggerating nor am I joking. If you just look at the numbers from game one to 12, no one else was more consistent or performed at a higher level. Koonce punted 74 times in 12 games for 3, 017 yard. That’s 40.77 yards per punt. I just want to remind you that two seasons ago, Garrett Gilbert punted six times at the end of the season and was only three yards behind Mike Loftus. Koonce dropped 14 of those punts inside the 20, and had eight punts go further than 50 yards. The game at Tulsa was probably his best performance—he booted a 60 yard punt, plus three 50+ kicks with three inside the 20. Koonce finished fourth in team season records for punt attempts (74) and third for punt yardage (3,017).
Grade: A

2015 Outlook

We can expect Koonce to keep punting at a high level. Outside of any potential injuries he should improve a little from last season. Kickers and punters are those guys you don’t always appreciate until they are gone. Right now SMU has a reliable punter and that is invaluable when your team is struggling to find its feet—maybe the offense isn’t getting it done early, and you are punting a lot. If your punter can make the opponent drive the length of the field, your defense will be better off for it. We don’t know how this team will actually perform against other teams, and if they struggle early it’s definitely not a bad thing to have a good punter. SMU did bring in kicker Josh Williams into the fold so it will be interesting to see how he competes with Koonce in the future with the place kicking and field goal duties.


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