One guy handling punting and placekicking?
Yet there’s the distinct possibility redshirt senior Kaare Vedvik will indeed handle both the Thundering Herd’s punting and placekicking chores during the 2017 season.
How in this day and age of specialization ad infinitum can this happen? I mean, there are third-down running backs, pass-rush specialists and a nickel back just for obvious passing downs. Why, Marshall even has two defensive line coaches – one for the tackles and one for the ends.
Yet Vedvik is going to handle both the punting and placekicking? Why? One reason.
After MU’s Amoreto Curraj went 4 for 10 on field goals in 2016, the position needed an overhaul. So, Marshall recruited high school sensation Cole Phillips, who was expected to be the “Boy Wonder.” But early in preseason camp, Phillips sustained an injury and hasn’t been competing.
Enter Vedvik, stage upright.
Ever since, the 6-foot-4, 207-pound native of Stavanger, Norway, has been laying the “Norwegian Wood” to his kicks. I probably could count his missed field goal attempts on one hand.
And since Vedvik averaged 40.0 yards on 70 punts with a long of 72 yards in 2016 … well, everything fell into place for him to become a “Renaissance Man.”
Just for kicks, of course.
So, what does Vedvik think about the double-duty?
“I mean, if me doing that would help the team,” he said, “it would be awesome. It would be a great thing. I think it would be cool just to help out the team in any way possible. If the coach says do one thing and we just try it and see if it works and it works … it works.”
Actually, Vedvik ascended to this role rather naturally. As a redshirt freshman, he handled Marshall’s kickoff duties. Then, as a junior, he was the punter. So now it’s time to add placekicking to his rsum.
It isn’t like Vedvik hasn’t done all this before.
“In high school,” explained Vedvik, who kicked for McPherson (Kan.) High School as a foreign exchange student, “I was a placekicker and did the kickoffs, and then they would have me do the punting as well.
“Imagine playing sports all your life with just your feet. Feet are what I use in sports. That’s what I am best with. I played soccer until I was 18 years old in Norway, then I moved to the States my exchange year and quit soccer and joined the football team. It took a lot of training to translate it, but as soon as I got used to kicking a football it was easier.”
OK, time for a layman’s question.
Can punting screw up the mechanics for placekicking or vice versa?
“I don’t believe so,” said Vedvik. “In soccer, you kick the ball so many different ways. You use a different part of your foot on every kick. When you play soccer you are versatile with your feet. So, punting, placekicking and kickoffs have different mechanics, but if you are used to those mechanics …”
Only one question remains.
What’s his range on field goals?
“Well, I hit a 70-yarder before,” said…