ST Coach Joe Robinson/Photo By Steven Chapman

Robinson Excited About Adding Aussie Punter Dominic Panazzolo

Texas Tech special teams coach Joe Robinson fielded questions from local media recently and the subject of his new punter, Australian native Dominic Panazzolo, came up. Robinson made it clear the staff is excited about having signed him last month and about bringing him in before next season.

Raider Power: Coach, what does a guy like Dominic Panazzolo, I know he's not going to be here for spring, but what does he add to the special teams unit?

Robinson: That's great, you got his name right, Panazzolo. That's good. 

Raider Power: I always call him "Shotgun" so I almost did. (Laughs)

Robinson: You know he won't be here this spring so we're really, really anxious to get him here this fall. We think he's going to add a lot to our special teams--lot of toughness, a lot of character things off the field. He's a really interesting, unique person and I think we're all going to enjoy having him in the room being around. Then he brings a really special talent. He does some things that some other people can't do so we'll see if we can find a way to use that talent, fit it into our system.  

Raider Power: I talked to him around (National) Signing Day and he said you really liked his video where he punted it and shot it with the shotgun.

Robinson: I did see it. I did.

Raider Power: (Laughs) I mean you liked it, but what was your first reaction when you saw it?

Robinson: I thought he was crazy.Then I wondered what the gun laws in Utah were all about because I think that was right out behind his apartment. Naw, again he brings a lot of character, he brings a lot of color, he brings some things we need that are always good to have around. Plus, he brings a lot of talent so I've watched a few more of them. I see he's been releasing some things on a pretty consistent basis. He keeps us laughing around here and that's not all bad either.

Rob Verby of FOX 34: How important is it to have someone in that position that's actually a good athlete?

Robinson: Well, critical. Critical. We talk about making big plays and there were a couple last year--a fake punt against Texas and a fake punt against Oklahoma State--I think on both those plays you saw (Michael) Barden exhibit some really great athleticism on both those plays and they can be difference makers. Dom's got to come in here and he has to be a great punter, but also if he can add some athleticism to what we're doing it won't do anything but help us.

Don Williams of the Lubbock AJ: Back on Dom for the moment.

Robinson: He hasn't shot anybody has he? It's going to be breaking news! 

Williams: (laughter) Not that I've seen. What is maybe the one skill that's most impressive about him? Is it leg strength or is it the ability to place the ball?

Robinson: I don't know that I'll narrow it down to one, but I'll say versatility because he can do the rugby style kick, he can do the traditional punt, and he can do those things on the move, sprinkling in some athleticism. I don't think that's one thing, but if you could put all that in there I think it's going to make us more versatile, it's going to make us a little bit harder to read and maybe we can gain a few more yards every time we punt the ball. 

Williams: Obviously when you take a Juco guy is it with the expectation that he come in here and takes the job?

Robinson: Absolutely. We're expecting him to come in here and play. 

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