Meet Bryant Hahnfeldt

Vanderbilt's kicking game was a sore spot last season... enter Bryant Hahnfeldt, the top prep kicker in Tennessee last year, who's quietly moved into contention this fall for both the placekicking and punting jobs. Can the true freshman from MBA be the answer to the Commodores' kicking woes?


VandyMania: Bryant, you didn't have to come very far in order to come to Vanderbilt! You've been at it for a couple of weeks now. Tell us what it's been like for you. Has it been tough physically?

Freshman kicker Bryant Hahnfeldt: Yeah... well, being a kicker, it's not all that tough physically, but mentally it's been draining, because I have to kick in almost everything we do. I've been trying to compete for all the positions, so my leg is getting tired a little bit. Physically and mentally, I have to keep myself prepared for everything so that I don't fall behind with my leg. It's been fun. It's been tough, but I'm getting through it. I'm just now getting over those nerves that I had in the beginning.

VM: It's kind of pressurized for you, isn't it, even when you're just kicking field goals in practice, and you know everything including your technique is being watched?

Hahnfeldt: Oh sure, it's pressurized. Everybody's been kind of standing around watching me to see what I'm going to be able to do.

VM: As a freshman, you get to eat at the renowned Vanderbilt training table. What is the biggest thing that's surprised you so far, and what's the best part about it so far?

Hahnfeldt: The best part is definitely eating those four meals a day! We are definitely being fed well. I guess the biggest surprise I've had is how little free time we've had. But I don't mind it-- it's fine. In camp, everything is centralized. It's right here. You're not really allowed to leave. Dore Jam was about the only real outside contact we were allowed to have.

VM: Could you go home at night if you wanted to?

Hahnfeldt: I guess I could, but I haven't really wanted to. We're getting back to the dorms late at night, about 10 or so, and you're tired, and you want to go to bed. And you have to get up early the next morning. So there wouldn't be much point.

VM: Kickers are not always the best athletes on the team, but I notice your arms look very muscular. It's pretty obvious you've been doing some lifting, and you must be in pretty good physical condition.

Hahnfeldt: Yeah. I like to lift, and I like to be in shape. Coach Sisk and everybody here is great, and they've had me working hard in the weight room.

VM: What's your favorite thing to do away from football?

Hahnfeldt: Right now it would be sleep! (Laughs) But I just like hanging out with the guys, and hanging out with my friends. You're with the team so much, sometimes it's just nice to get away.

VM: Some of your MBA buddies have gone off to other schools. Are you comparing notes with some of them by cell phone and stuff?

Hahnfeldt: Yeah, I am. Joseph Birdsong went to Wake Forest, and I've been keeping up with him. I've been getting some of the inside stuff as to what's going on over there. Nick Lynn went to SMU the other day, one of my good friends. I try to keep up with as many as I can, but Birdsong is probably the one I keep up with the most.

VM: There's an outside chance you guys could both play in that first game, right?

Hahnfeldt: You never know. We'll see what happens.


Photos by Brent Wiseman, copyright 2005 for Top Stories