Top Punter Pledges to Texas A&M

Texas A&M has struggled in the punting game for two years ranking near the bottom of the NCAA in punt yardage per attempt. That looks to change in 2011 with the verbal pledge from one of the top punters in the nation. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop interviewed the Aggies' latest 2011 commitment.

Over the past two seasons, Texas A&M has struggled with its punting. In fact, the Aggies have ranked No. 119 out of 120 FBS teams in the NCAA for both the 2009 and 2010 seasons. So it comes as no surprise that head coach Mike Sherman hit the recruiting trail to land a strong-legged punter that can help the Aggies protect field position in 2011. On Monday night, Sherman got his man when Walsh Jesuit High School (OH) punter Drew Kaser called the Texas A&M coaching staff and verbally committed to play for the Aggies.

"It's true. I'm an Aggie," Kaser said late Monday night. "I talked with my parents and we compared and contrasted my options and it felt right. I was pretty sure I wanted to go to A&M after my visit, but I wasn't 100% sure until I talked with my parents tonight."

The 6-foot-2, 222 pound Ohio native is considered one of the best punters in the nation averaging 46.3 yards per attempt. Nationally acclaimed kicking specialist Chris Sailor rated Kaser as one of the top five senior punters in the nation. His options included a scholarship offer from Central Michigan and the potential of an offer from Ohio State. Then, Texas A&M called last week to invite him on an official visit, which he took last weekend. It was his first trip to the lone star state.

"I had no idea what Texas was like," Kaser said. "You hear a lot about Cowboys and the typical stuff you hear about Texans, but that was it. I didn't know what to expect."

But once he landed in College Station and spent some time with the coaches and players, he felt very comfortable in the heart of Texas.

"I liked it all. The basketball game was great. I felt very comfortable with the coaches and players," Kaser said. "The facilities were some of the best I've seen and all of the traditions of the university are interesting."

But his interest level in the Aggies is also tied to the opportunity to come in as a freshman and compete for the starting job. Kaser sees a chance to help out Texas A&M in 2011. His 46.3 yard average is over 10 yards a kick longer than the Aggie team average from 2010, and that equates to over 50 yards of field position a game on average which could be the difference in a close Big 12 game.

"Coach Sherman said they need improvement at the position right away and they want me to come in and compete for the job," Kaser said. "Having the opportunity to earn playing time immediately was a big factor in my decision."

But even after a great visit to Texas A&M, Kaser and his family needed time to digest the possibility of leaving home and going to school a long distance from home. To confuse matters even more, a coach from Ohio State visited with Kaser on Monday to discuss the situation with the Buckeyes.

"Coach Tressel visited with me last week before my trip to Texas A&M and another coach stopped by today," Kaser said. "They wouldn't know whether they would have a scholarship for me until after the weekend. They are recruiting seven players in front of me and have only two spots left. But Coach Sherman said he needed an answer by Friday at the latest."

While the thought of playing for the Buckeyes in his home state sounds like a dream come true, Kaser said that his experience at Texas A&M and the opportunity to make an immediate impact on the team was too strong to ignore.

"It just felt right and I didn't want to wait," Kaser stated. But what if Ohio State does call Sunday with an offer, will that cause Kaser to reconsider his college plans?

"This ends the whole process for me," Kaser said. "I'm done. I'm an Aggie."

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