UCLA wrapped up its first Special Teams Camp on Wednesday, and with the Bruins looking to sign a longsnapper and a punter in the 2013 class, a handful of prospects at each position made their case.
Coached by a pair of former Bruins, all-American kicker and punter Chris Sailer and longsnapper Chris Rubio, both Sailer and Rubio pointed out a few players that left the best impression.
From the punters, three players stood out in Duncan (Okla.) punter Jackson Braught,
Thousand Oaks (Calif.) punter Colby Wadman and Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial’s Andrew Antognoli.
“Colby was by far the most consistent on the day,” said Sailer. “He doesn’t hit a huge ball, but everything was 45-plus, and he really proved he’s a D-I recruit. Andrew definitely kicked the biggest ball, consistently kicking 5.0 (seconds of hang time). And the third guy I’d single out is Jackson Braught. Jackson is transitioning from a kicker to punter, and he’s a lefty, so he’s just working on consistency.”
The top two snappers on the day are both top five snappers nationally by Rubio in Glendale (Ariz.) Mountain Ridge’s Reed Buce and Orange (Calif.) Lutheran’s Chase Dominguez.
“Both Chase and Reed were very solid,” said Rubio. “Chase probably did a little better, he’s tall and smooth as can be. He’s not going to knock you down with his snaps but he’s not going to miss. And Reed, I thought he did well. When he’s set, he’s as good as any snapper in the country.”
A couple of under-the-radar prospects also stood out to Rubio in Santa Maria (Calif.) Righetti’s Jacob Hummel and Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame’s Niko Walsh.
“I liked the way Hummel was snapping and I also liked how Niko did and Elijah Richardson caught my eye,” said Rubio.
While UCLA isn’t likely to sign a kicker in the 2013 class, with Ka’imi Fairbairn enrolling this fall, a couple of kickers had good days, including a San Fernando Valley product in Jordan Dascalo from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft and O.C. native Jeremiah Carter from Irvine (Calif.).
“Jordan was by far the best out of the kickers. He was going 65-yards-plus on his kickoffs, and 4.0 plus on hang time,” said Sailer. “Behind Jordan was Jeremiah. He did a great job and really stepped up at the end and won the field goal competition and showed a strong leg and was just a consistent kicker.”