David Lonie had starred in the pole
vault and water polo, worked as a plumber and in construction, and ran a surf
shop before he came to the U.S. as a water skiing instructor.
"I could boom the ball, but I didn't think much of
it," said Lonie of outkicking the man from Drake before going on to play
semipro soccer in England the next two years.
Lonie returned to the U.S. in 2001 and hooked up with
former Cincinnati kicker Doug Pelfrey. The video that Pelfrey sent out of
Lonie earned him plenty of interest from colleges. He committed to Ohio State
but complications with his transcript forced him to Ellsworth (Iowa) Junior
College. From there, Lonie was recruited by many Division I schools and wound
up at California, where he punted and kicked off the past two seasons.
Lonie, who averaged better than 41 yards per punt at Cal,
is a serious threat to incumbent Derrick Frost, who averaged 40.4 yards a kick
thanks to plenty of roll, after joining the Redskins in Week 3 last year.
"Derrick has to be more consistent and show more
power," Redskins special teams coach Danny Smith said of the two-year NFL
veteran. "We haven't had him for a whole year so he has some
However, Smith was more upbeat about his newest project,
whom the Redskins signed as a rookie free agent the day after the draft.
"David has some technique issues like any punter
coming into the league, but he's got good power," Smith said. "A lot
of guys have powerful legs, but they don't have the full game. That's why the
Tom Tupas, Bryan Barkers and Sean Landetas punt for so long. They've got the
total game. Most punters and kickers in this league get recycled, so with
David's maturity level, we may be able to bypass a step. At the same time, he
has only been punting for four years so you can still mold him. And he's
played pro soccer so he's been in the heat of a battle. He's got some
intangibles that you can't coach."
Australian Darren Bennett was a novelty when he won San
Diego's punting job in 1995, but Bennett (since cut by Minnesota), Dallas'
Matt McBriar and the New York Jets' Ben Graham all punted last year so it's
not unrealistic that this Aussie could take Frost's job.
Judge Leonard E. Glick, who took over the case when Judge Mary Barzee was transferred to the civil division last month, granted the request for continuance from the state's attorney office, which recently changed prosecutors. The defense agreed to the continuance.
The 23-year-old Taylor, Washington's first-round pick in the 2004 draft and a two-year starter, could be sentenced to up to 46 years in prison on three felony assault charges and a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from an incident last June 1 in Miami.
The trial was first scheduled for Sept. 12 and had since been continued to Oct. 24, Jan. 17, Mar. 20, April 10, April 17 and then to May 8. Glick is due to move to another division on July 1 so Taylor might end up with a third judge before finally going to trial.
--It's good that Justin Stull is about to receive a degree in history from Princeton because the rookie free agent is trying to make history repeat. Last year, Princeton linebacker Zak Keasey came to rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis and wound up making the opening day roster. Keasey is now with San Francisco.
"It's definitely encouraging to know someone who made it this way," said all-Ivy League pick Stull, who started next to Keasey for two seasons.
--Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery, Washington's fifth-round pick, sat out the last two days of rookie mini-camp after pulling a hamstring on Friday. Cornerback Chris Hawkins, one of eight rookie fre agents signed the day after the draft, strained a shoulder during special teams work on Saturday and didn't practice on Sunday.--Mike Espy, a tryout receiver from Mississippi who had some of the camp's nicest catches, is the son of former Clinton Administration Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy.