In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet a player with a famous last name and a booming leg: P Zach Feagles.
A very talented kicker with a good leg and plenty of potential, Zach Feagles comes to Miami from Ridgewood (NJ) HS. The son of 22 year NFL vet and Canes alum P Jeff Feagles, Zach has been around the game of football his whole life. I’m sure that Jeff started Zach punting at an early age, which has led to his advanced skill in this area.
But, Feagles did more than punt in HS. He was the starting/starring FB in Ridgewood’s run-based offense, totalling more than 1800 yards and 33 TDs over his final 2 years of HS football. Feagles has good size at 6’2 210lbs, and used it well as a runner. Even with that kind of success at FB/RB, Feagles’ future is in the family business of punting.
On the 247sports composite, Feagles is a 3-star prospect, the #5 Punter in this class, the #44 player in the State of New Jersey, and the #2065 player in this class overall. While you may think that this is super low, kicking specialists such as Feagles rarely carry 4-star or 5-star rankings. Instead of looking at the overall, I’d look at the position ranking. Feagles is a top 5 punter in this class, and that talent should bear itself out on the field in years to come.
Feagles picked Miami over an offer from Rutgers, and interest from North Carolina. He would have had more offers, but the fact that he’s a Miami legacy probably made teams shy away from him in their recruiting process.
Feagles as a player
A good friend of mine — APDirtybird on twitter — is always excited when there’s kickers (of any kind) mentioned in recruiting. With the success Miami has had at punter in recent years, with NFL standouts Matt Bosher and Pat O’Donnell already in the league, and 2nd team All-ACC punter Justin Vogel soon to follow, Feagles could be the next in a long line of great Miami Hurricanes punters.
While Feagles played FB/RB in high school in addition to his punting duties, we’re going to look at him exclusively as a punter from here on out.
Feagles averaged 40 yards per punt as a junior, and similar stats (a slight improvement, I believe) as a senior. Here is an eval of Feagles as a punter from Kohl Kicking, one of the top kicking training camps in America:
Feagles has had very solid showings at multiple Kohl's events in 2016. His strength is his rhythm, he can get hot and stay hot when punting. He has continued to increase the command of his drop. His leg strength has improved dramatically in the last six months. Feagles is doing a great job of figuring out his body and how to adjust it to hit different types of punts. He is one of the best athletes in the 2017 class and has huge upside!
Miami loses 2nd team All-ACC punter Justin Vogel to graduation, and likely the NFL. As such, there’s an opening for a new punter, and that might be Feagles.
Feagles will compete with RS sophomore Jack Spicer — a UF transfer just like Vogel was — for the punting job. Special Teams is a place where freshmen could definitely come in and have a role. On top of that, this staff has proven it will play freshmen at any position if they’re worthy.
Chance for a redshirt: 5/10
I think it’s a 50-50 battle for the punter spot between Feagles and Spicer. If he doesn’t win the job, then I expect Feagles to redshirt.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruit Notebook.