West Virginia fans can rest assured this season on fourth downs, as Jonn Young, a freshman punter can handle both punting and kicking duties for the Mountaineers! I talked to Jonn about his decision to play for West Virginia, kicking camps, and more:
By: Peter Elliott – NFL, MLB, and NCAA writer – @PelliottSports
Peter Elliott: What made you choose West Virginia University?
Jonn Young: A few reasons. It’s a program that emphasizes special teams and has the confidence to use them, the opportunity to play in a challenging conference yet remain relatively close to home, and a campus with great academics [felt] like a good match for me.
PE: How did Kohl’s Kicking Camp help your career?
JY: I think the various national kicking camps are a huge benefit for kickers and punters. Our high school programs don’t really enable our skills to be compared or evaluated. Rarely was I given the opportunity to kick a field goal, but I proved at camps that I was one of the best.
PE: Did being able to punt as well as kick help with your recruiting?
JY: Yes, it did. Some teams recruited me for punting and some teams recruited me for kicking.
PE: You had competed at a kicking challenge with a bad ankle. Has it healed?
JY: Yes, that was in January of 2015. I actually had some bone spurs removed, but I recovered by May of last year. Going through an injury like that makes you consider the long-term goals and gives you more determination coming back.
PE: What are you doing to prepare for the upcoming season?
JY: I’m going to work more on focusing my form and lifting more. As well as staying as consistent as possible. Hitting everything from 45 [yards] and in and making those, rather than going out to kick for distance.
PE: What is one quality you possess as an athlete that you’d like people to know you have?
JY: The one quality that has made a difference is my strong work ethic. I never give up. I’m always trying to master every technical detail about a kick.
PE: What player do you mold your game after or look up to?
JY: [Indianapolis Colts punter] Pat McAfee.
PE: Is there anything you would like to say to the West Virginia fans?
JY: The fans are awesome, and their passion was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to play for West Virginia. They make that stadium electric on game days, and even more so during night games. I really can’t wait to play there and am excited to represent the state when we travel.
Thanks to Jonn for a great interview! You can follow him on Twitter @Jonnboyyoungg.