University of Miami

Miami’s punting situation might finally improve. The Canes are bringing in a JUCO punter

UM’s Mark Richt talks about his latest recruiting class

Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt speaks to reporters about how his team did on National Signing Day at the University of Miami's Schwartz Center in Coral Gables on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.
Up Next
Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt speaks to reporters about how his team did on National Signing Day at the University of Miami's Schwartz Center in Coral Gables on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.

For the past two seasons, one of the Miami Hurricanes’ most persistent weaknesses has been its punting game. Miami expected some growing pains for punter Zach Feagles as a freshman last season, but the situation hasn’t significantly improved this year.

The Hurricanes might finally be ready to move on. Miami extended a scholarship offer Sunday to Louis Hedley, a junior college punter from Australia, and immediately landed his oral commitment. Hedley announced the decision on Twitter.

Hedley was a virtually unknown prospect until special teams coordinator Todd Hartley reached out with a scholarship offer. The Hurricanes are the only school to offer Hedley, who is currently a sophomore at the City College of San Francisco. Hedley is redshirting this season, which means he’ll have three seasons of eligibility remaining when he arrives in Coral Gables.

Hedley flashed some promise as a freshman in San Francisco. The specialist punted 45 times with an average of 38.6 yards, good for eighth best in the California Community College Athletic Association. Hedley also landed eight punts inside the 20-yard line and boomed a season-long of 59 yards. A former Australian rules football player, Hedley is a good athlete for a punter and ran three times for 75 yards as a JUCO freshman.

Hedley is currently unranked by all the major recruiting services and didn’t have a profile on most sites until Sunday. Miami is picky about giving scholarships to kickers and punters, though, so it seems Hedley will have a real shot to take over as the starter when he arrives in Florida next year.

Feagles has split punting duties this season with fellow punter Jack Spicer, a walk-on. Feagles has punted 24 times for an average of 38.1 yards. Spicer has punted 17 times for an average of 38.5. Miami’s average of 32.6 net yards per punt ranks 125th nationally among 129 eligible teams.

Hedley’s commitment came just a few hours after the Hurricanes lost a major commitment. Marcus Crowley, a three-star running back in the 247Sports.com composite rankings, flipped his pledge from Miami to the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday after spending the weekend on an official visit in Columbus.

Sports Pass for $30 per year

Get unlimited access to all Miami Herald sports stories and videos for $30

#READLOCAL

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments