Alabama Football: Kicker and punter shakeups ahead

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.] /

Alabama Football is in great shape at placekicker with Will Reichard returning. Throwing aside the aberration of Reichard’s missed field goals in the A-Day game, the Crimson Tide has never had a more accurate, big-leg kicker.

At a proficiency of 85.7 percent, Reichard eclipses the next two on the Alabama Football career list. Leigh Tiffin at 74.8 percent and Philip Doyle at 74.3 percent are No. 2 and No. 3.

Contrasting the improved Tide field-goal kicking, ushered in by Reichard, punting has been disappointing since J. K. Scott. Not only did Scott average 45.6 yards with precision, but the hang time on his punts was outstanding. Last season, J.K.’s brother, Charlie Scott averaged 39.2 yards. Also punting some in 2020 was Sam Johnson with a 35.4 yard average.

In the 2019 season, four Crimson Tide players punted a total of 33 times. The best average among the quartet was Ty Perine, at 44.7 yards, but he was hampered by inconsistency and muffed a snap, causing a turnover. Mike Bernier stepped in for Perine and stabilized the punting and averaged 42.3 yards on 10 punts.

Mike Bernier was not so good in the 2018 season. As J.K. Scott’s replacement, he averaged 38 yards. Skyler Delong was expected to replace Scott in 2018 but managed an average of only 34.4 yards on 16 punts.

Charlie Scott only had one season remaining of eligibility when he joined the Crimson Tide. Due to COVID, he can return, but he has an obligation to the Air Force that would have to be delayed. Alabama football insiders state the Air Force is yet to give Scott approval for another season of college football.

Given the doubt of Scott being allowed to return, Nick Saban needed another punter. Thanks to the Transfer Portal, that problem has been solved by Nick Saban adding Troy transfer, Jack Martin. Martin was outstanding in his sophomore season with Troy. On 25 punts, he averaged 46.1 yards. More impressive than Martin’s distance; his net punting number of 45.8 yards was best in the FBS. Martin also handled kickoffs for the Trojans.

Check out his video highlights.

Based on the stats and the video, Jack Martin should win the punting job. If Charlie Scott is allowed to return there will be competition, but Martin could turn Tide punting into the weapon it was with J.K. Scott.

There should be no impact on scholarship numbers because Martin is believed to be a walk-on. The only scholarship kicker or punter for the Crimson Tide is Will Reichard.

Next. A Much-Improved Crimson Tide Defense. dark

Jack Martin is another example that Nick Saban has mastered the Transfer Portal. Saban warned other coaches about free agency by saying the rich will get richer.