West Coast Kicking Academy is based in Orange County had 20 athletes attend the kicking camp on Friday as a Tribute to Joe Danelo and his wife Emily. Alan Bohn commented, "It's a chance to come to USC, show their talents and enjoy the surroundings. The West Coast Kicking Academy has kids from the 5th grade through college. We are in our 5th year and have about 14 athletes in Division I football."
The West Coast Kicking Academy is training some of the best kickers in California.
Bohn continued, "Some of our kids attending the camp included: Vince D'Amato from El Toro High School who was offered by Army and Air Force last week but anticipates more offers. He was punching 65-yard field goals barefoot on Thursday. Mike Bowlin (K) from Aliso Niguel attended. Mike Loftus (K) whom has drawn interest from USC was also at the camp. "
About West Coast Kicking Academy
Bohn described the Academy, "We've changed the way kids train. We use computers and a lot of video. We teach a style that keeps the kids from being injured. We teach a style that is physiologically perfect so they get their torso and body out of the way so that the leg can come through. It makes the ball go higher and straighter."
He spoke about the state of recruitment, "Recruiting kickers is in a state of flux right now, because the NCAA moved the kicking tees to the 30-yard line and the tees dropped from two inches to one inch. Now colleges are looking for kickers with a ‘huge leg' that can get to the endzone, which means to have a ball not returned, they have to kick the ball over 75 yards with pretty decent hang-time."
When describing today's kickers, he said, "It's pretty amazing. The field goal record in the NFL is 63 yards right now and we have ten kids that can kick 65 yards right now. College coaches are looking for kickers who can kick that hard but who can also be accurate. It's pretty difficult to combine those two aspects, so if you can find one who can, he's a gem. They also would like a kid who can also punt."
"What separates kids right now is work ethic. Some kids think they are already good, but what separates the great ones is continuous work. Kickers have gotten incrementally better every 3-5 years for the last 15-20 years. Kids kicking in college 15 years ago aren't as good as kickers in high school today. This probably holds true for every position on the football field."
In conclusion, Bohn said, "Accuracy is very important. Mario Danelo was 33-35 in two years. I'm not sure he had a leg ‘big' enough to kick a long field goal, but he put some points on the board every time. Accuracy is most important. We teach the kids all the time, the ‘money ball' is between 25 and 44 yards, they're not 60-65 yarders."