Special teams players help teams win games. Why it's so hard to get an offer if you're a place-kicker or punter is a question many specialists ask themselves. When a specialist gets an early offer it is special indeed.
Kyle Peterson (6-4, 190, 4.7) from West Covina (Calif.) South Hills is one of the nation's top punter prospects and he has received his first offer.
UTEP was the first school to offer the strong-legged punter with a written offer.
Peterson has helped his stock by attending several kicking camps this summer. Beside working hard with kicking guru Chris Sailer, Peterson has attended the USC, Cal and ASU kicking camps.
Getting that offer was a culmination of lots of hard work.
"Coach (Mike) Price wrote to tell Kyle that he has a full scholarship offer," South Hills coach James Escarsega said. "In the letter they wrote that they (UTEP) thinks that Kyle is the best punter in the nation and that's why they offered him a scholarship."
Peterson recently attended USC's camp and impressed the USC staff.
"The entire USC coaching staff was very impressed by Kyle," Escarsega said. "They said they loved his strong leg and the entire package."
"USC just want to see him in action in as game a senior before they offer," Escarcega said. "USC was very impressed by Kyle's hang time and distance."
Peterson primarily handled the punting and kickoff chores for South Hills in 2004 but this season he will handle all the kicking chores. Meaning he kick field goals and PAT's in addition to punting and kicking off. Peterson was selected second-team all-state underclass and second-team all-CIF D-VII as a punter as a junior.
The strong legged Peterson had the longest punt in the Golden State as a junior with an 85-yard effort. The kick went 60 yards in the air and received a very kind roll for the other 25 yards.
On the season, Peterson had 14 punts that were downed inside the 20-yard line. When kicking off Peterson racked up 22 touchbacks. Now that is what we call a weapon.
To give you an indication on how athletic Peterson is he will be in the mix as a wide receiver in addition to manning the kicking responsibilities.
Peterson also participates in basketball and swimming.