Commitment Impact: Cameron Van Winkle

Mount Si (Snoqualmie, Wa.) K Cameron Van Winkle committed to Washington last week after head coach Steve Sarkisian extended an offer and today, takes a look at how his decision impacts the roster as well as the rest of the 2013 recruiting class...

Scouting Report - At 5'11" and weighing 170 pounds, Van Winkle isn't one of the bigger kickers out there, but he's got a very strong leg and he's accurate, hitting 16 of his 18 attempts including a long of 49 in a game and has the range to hit from over 60.

Aside from natural talent, a lot of kicking is mental and Van Winkle has hit several pressure-filled, game-winning kicks during his three years as a starter for the Wildcats.

"Cameron is simply a great kicker," kicking guru Chris Sailer told earlier this year. "He is very smooth and extremely consistent off the ground. He has a great leg and gets excellent height on his ball. His kickoffs are D-1 ready and he is also a very talented punter. He's a big time D-1 all-around prospect."

Things to work on - While he's got the ability to be a very good punter, when seeing him in three games this past fall, it was obvious that he needs more work on his consistency and fundamentals, at least to this untrained eye.

He gets very good distance on his kickoffs, but you'd like to see him get better hang-time. That is an area he seems to have improved upon since the season and will likely get even better as he gets stronger, but it's definitely an area that he can improve in as well.

Where he fits - While Washington signed both Korey Durkee and Travis Coons this past February, they have told Van Winkle they would like him to enroll next spring in order to challenge for playing time.

With his natural kicking abilities, Van Winkle will probably battle Coons for the place-kicking duties and Durkee and Coons to see who kicks off.

The most likely scenario seems to be that Van Winkle would have a chance to come in and, while redshirting, get stronger and prepared to be a four-year starting kicker for the Dawgs beginning in 2014.

That being said, the Husky coaching staff loves competition and won't hesitate to start the best player. That means, if Van Winkle is the better kickoff man, you could see Coons as the place kicker, Durkee at punter and Van Winkle as the kickoff man in 2013.

It would be a surprise if that happened, but it is possible if he's better than the other two.

Effect of commitment on 2013 class - It would be a huge shock for the Huskies to go after another specialist in the class. With his punting and kicking abilities, he could fill both positions in a pinch for the Dawgs, although the ideal situation calls for him to just focus on one, and with Washington likely taking less than the max of 25 in this class, scholarships are going to be at a premium.

Because he's a kicker, Van Winkle likely won't be rated higher than a three star, but make no mistake, he is one of the top kickers in the country and a special talent. Washington is very lucky to have a player like him in their back yard and, as long as he's as advertised, he should minimize the need to look at kickers for the next four years.

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