When Boston College fans look at Alex Howell, they could be seeing their punter of the future.
Or kicker. Whichever.
Howell, a redshirt freshman from South Carolina, just like our erstwhile punter Ryan Quigley, is second on the depth chart at both positions in 2012, but has an upperclassman in front of him in both. Senior Gerald Levano is currently slated to be the Eagles’ punter this year, while junior Nate Freese will continue kicking for the team.
Though Howell can do both, he has particularly excelled in kicking and it’s probably his strong suit. During his senior year of high school, Howell was the South Carolina 4A Kicker of the Year and an all-state second team kicker. He did pretty well at punting as well, averaging a little over 40 yards per boot.
Here’s one possible scenario for the freshman in 2012: he gets little or no playing time, unless either Nate Freese or Gerald Levano get injured (or one of them is so incomprehensibly bad that they have to be replaced). In 2013, Levano graduates, leaving a vacancy at punter; Nate Freese is a senior. Without BC recruiting a punter and playing him as a true freshman, Howell ends up as BC’s new punter during his sophomore season, one way or another. Of course, that’s just one outcome of many; another is that he wrests away the punter’s job outright in training camp.
Could he do both punting and kicking eventually? I doubt it, but as far as seeing Howell playing this season, it’s not implausible. Levano is not a long-term option as he’s only got one year left, but Howell is, so the switch could be made at any time.