Top punter on West Coast?

Every year prospects fly under the radar screen until they are noticed at combines and camps during the spring and summer months. South Hills HS kicker/punter Kyle Petersen (6-5, 210) is one of those recruits in 2005.

Petersen earned All-League and All-State honors in 2004, but was unknown until he attended a national kicking combine in Las Vegas, Nev. Former Bruin kicker Chris Sailer, who ran the combine, said Kyle has the strongest leg of any kicker in California.

The combine in Las Vegas was the first camp or combine Petersen attended. Th until they saw how well he did competing against other great kicking prospects.

"I asked Chris Sailer after the combine was over, `How good is Kyle?' Marlene Petersen said. "I told him I didn't want him to sugar-coat his reply and I wanted an honest answer. Chris said, `You don't know?' He said Kyle could be one of the best punters in the country."

USC punter Tom Malone was one of the instructors at the Vegas combine.

"It was amazing getting help from Tom," Petersen said. "Tom Malone is someone I look up to and have watched closely the past two years. He told me to make sure I follow through straight ahead. I had the tendency to fall off to the right. Tom told me practicing the proper technique is the most important thing I can do."

Petersen attended a kicking camp at Arizona State on June 5 and three of their coaches met with his mother and said, "Where the hell has he been?"

Petersen will attend Cal's camp June 25-26 and USC's camp June 27-28. He is looking at USC, Cal, Stanford, ASU, Washington, Columbia and Oregon State. The Trojans are his favorite.

"If USC offered, I'd commit right away," Petersen said.

Football isn't the only sport at which Petersen excels.

"I play basketball and I swim," Petersen said. "I'm the captain of both teams."

He made the Olympic Development Soccer Team when he was 13. Much to the surprise of his family, he gave up soccer shortly afterward so he could play basketball.

Petersen has a 3.7 GPA.and wants to go to a school that provides an excellent education. "I want to be a lawyer some day," Petersen said. "It's not all about football for me. It's one of my top priorities right now, but getting a good education is very important, too."

Kyle's mother said he was getting 18 pieces of mail a week from colleges before his performance at the kicking combine in Las Vegas. He now receives more than 30. That's a lot of recruiting mail for a kicking prospect.

Click on the link below to view Petersen's video.

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