2018 NFL Draft

7 Group of 5 Punters That Have a Legit Shot at the NFL

One of the more underrated aspects of college football is the punting game, but any punter able to consistently boot the ball over 40 yards while pinning opponents deep is worth his weight in gold.

Current NFL rosters feature punters from Group of 5 squads like Louisiana Tech (Ryan Allen, New England Patriots), Cincinnati (Kevin Huber, Cincinnati Bengals), Toledo (Brett Kern, Tennessee Titans), and Idaho (Austin Renkow, Buffalo Bills).

With so many Group of 5 punters already dominating in the pros, check out this year’s crop that you just might see booming kicks during the 2018 NFL season.

AUSTIN BARNES – SAN JOSE STATE

The senior has had quite the career over at San Jose State. After making the roster as an invited non-scholarship candidate, Carrizosa enters his final season as a Spartan as the school’s all-time leader in punting average at 43.3 yards per boot.

Carrizosa was named a Ray Guy Award finalist for college football’s best punter in 2015 and earned first-team All-Mountain West honors. He followed that up by earning an All-Mountain West Honorable Mention honor last season while averaging 44.3 yards per boot.

As you can see from this video, Carrizosa has achieved these fantastic accolades while undergoing personal tragedy.

JOE DAVIDSON – BOWLING GREEN

The towering 6-7 Davidson might be one of the most interesting NFL prospects to come out of the MAC this season. He followed up a 46-yard per kick average in 2015 with 45.8 last year, including a long of 82 yards.

Watch Davidson boot bombs on this GoPro video where it looks like he’s towering over his teammates like a mythological giant.

 AUSTIN BARNES – EASTERN MICHIGAN

Mr. Consistency enters his fifth year for the Eagles after receiving a medical redshirt in 2014. Barnes has had a massive hand in EMU’s amazing turnaround that resulted in its first bowl appearance last year since the 1980s.

Barnes has a career average of 42 yards per kick after an astounding 180 boots so far.

Here he is in 2013 showing his appreciation for receiving an offer from Eastern Michigan. We’re big fans of Barnes’ kicking. His rapping? You be the judge.

 COREY BOJORQUEZ – NEW MEXICO

Bojorquez is definitely a punter to keep an eye on in 2017. He averaged over 50 yards per game twice last season thanks in large part to a mammoth 80-yard boot against Colorado State in November.

 YANNIS ROUTSAS – UTSA

Routsas averaged 42 yards per kick last year for the Roadrunners. Interestingly, he’s also a career 3-for-3 passing for 30 yards.

This high school video compilation shows why he received interest from UTSA.

 EVAN PANTELS – UNLV

We recently featured Pantels as one of the biggest dual-threat kickers in the FBS who may end up handling both punting and placekicking duties in 2017.

This funky video shows Pantels hitting from 53 yards out in high school at the Georgia Dome, and he’s carried that all the way from the south to the UNLV campus

 PAYTON THEISLER – NEW MEXICO STATE

Theisler saw a lot of action last year, lining up to receive a long snap 74 times on the season. He averaged 41.6 yards per kick in just his freshman campaign.

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