Bradwell Institute is coming along under new head football coach Greg Hill and his staff. The players worked diligently through the spring and summer to build speed and strength. They are competing for starting spots left open by departing players in the quarterback, running back and wide receiver spots.
One position the Tigers are looking to fill requires a different set of skills — the kicker.
Robert Miller kicked for three years on the varsity squad, replacing his older brother David Miller who was the varsity kicker for four seasons and later kicked at Georgia State University.
Robert Miller graduated in May, leaving BI’s spot wide open.
Stats for Miller’s first two seasons were not available. According to maxpreps.com, he played in nine games last year and made 34 kickoffs for 1,497 yards and three touch-backs. His longest kick was 60 yards. He also punted 21 times for 617 yards, including one for 49 yards. Five punts landed inside the 20 yard line. Miller was a perfect 3-of-3 in field goals and 21-of-21 point after attempts.
Sometimes the punting unit brought out Hubert Anderson to do the job. He had 12 punts for 449 yards, including his longest for 54 yards. Nine of Anderson’s punts landed inside the 20 yard line.
Hill said the search continues.
“Right now we have a couple of skilled players that are trying out for the kicking position,” he said. “They are not traditional style kickers especially in PATs but they are making progress.”
Hill said he knows choosing the right person for the job is vital.
“We know how valuable it is to get that extra point and be able to make field goals. The kicking game in general is important. It can be a game changer,” he said, adding that currently Jeff Andrew and Keith Thomas have been battling for the spot.
Hill said another component in the special team unit receives the ball. He said the Tigers are also working in develop depth there.
“Terrius Crimiel, Lorenzo Brinson, D’Angelo Smith, Stephen Felton all those guys are capable…but we want the guy who can catch the best. We want to gain possession first, and then we will worry about the run after that, especially on the punt return because that is something else that could change the game instantly We want a guy that can field the kick, and if they can run after that then that is a plus,” he said.
Based on the stats posted for last season, Crimiel and Brinson didn’t play special-team. Smith had six kickoff returns for 149 yards; his longest was 79 yards. Primarily a linebacker, Isiah Barnes did return two kicks for 28 yards. Felton returned one punt for four yards last year.
The Tigers have the rest of this week to prepare for a scrimmage at Toombs County High. Hill said the team and staff have been watching film. He is not familiar with the Bulldogs. The new coach said the schedule was set when he arrived in mid-March. The scrimmage is to start at 7 p.m.