Originally posted on The Duck Stops Here  |  Last updated 1/31/12

Jackson Rice, the thinking fan's punter, who has proved to be a weapon for the Oregon defense with his laser-accurate shots inside the ten yard line, graduates after the 2012 season. The Ducks may have picked up a great candidate to succeed him in Dylan Ausherman, who made his verbal commitment Monday after a weekend visit.

6-3 180 from College of the Sequoias in California, Ausherman is rated the #2 punting prospect in the country. He wowed scouts at a Los Angeles area kicking clinic last July, and can regularly reach 60 yards and five seconds of hang time in tryouts. A full qualifier after high school, he the athletic kicker has a redshirt year available, three years to play two.

Last season he had eight punts downed inside the 20 with just one touchback.


Scouting notes:

:11 punt near own goal line

handles the snap calmly first punt of the season, quick step, gets it away under some pressure. Has some snap in the leg. Nice hang time over the returners head and down by his coverage team, no return, about a 49-yard punt.

:33 Good set up. Arms in ready position and relaxed, athletic stance. Gets a punt off in one thousand one, good hands--could double as a holder, looks poised. Very consistent technique. Fair catch, no return.

:52 High snap. Very calmly and athletically adjusts, takes the ball in his hands and resumes his normal footwork. Again, great poise. Has the returner backpedaling again, excellent hang time, no gain on the return.

1:21 Another slightly high snap and he's unbothered, takes a little crow hop and gets off a nice punt without hesitation or loss of rhythm. Great fundamentals, leg extension, makes good contact across his shoelaces and turns the ball over beautifully, a good crisp boom off the foot. Returner again takes it over his shoulder, manages a four-yard return.

1:45 fair caught at the 10, good hang time.

1:54 punt fumbled at the eight after about 4.5 seconds of hang time. He's a Jackson Rice quality punter, with well-coached fundamentals that foster wonderful consistency. Has a composed, confident air about him taking the football, an athlete rather than a kicking nerd.

3:00 Drops one of those wedge shots that dies at the five. Has mastered a variety of kicks. Like Rice, a thinking fan's punter, won't just mindlessly boot the ball into the end zone. Recognizes that good punting is a defensive weapon. A perfect fit for Oregon's special teams philosophy and the goal of zero returns. Has the leg, the skills and the football intelligence to pin an opponent deep, and give his defense opportunities to pressure them.

3:05 Pooch punting near the opponent's 40. Off-line snap and he adjusts like a shortstop taking a low line drive to his left. Stays balanced and true to his fundamentals and sets the ball down at the two, where it takes a nice high bounce for his coverage team.

3:20 Another off-line snap from his own 48 with some pressure. He adjusts, stays in his rhythm and puts the ball down inside the five, downed there, 50 yard punt.

4:35 high snap, he leaps, brings it down, sees he can't get off a punt, evades the defender and makes a 20-yard scramble for a first down, looking like an athletic quarterback, adapting and seeing a lane. An unplanned fake and a brilliant adjustment.

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