For the past four years, kicking duties were held down at Boston College by Nate Freese, now of the Detroit Lions. Alex Howell, a noted high school punter who found his way up north to Boston College, waited patiently for his turn.
2014 just might be the year that he is finally put to good use.
Prior to shipping up to Boston, Alex Howell enjoyed a very productive high school career in northeastern South Carolina. As a senior, Howell was all-state, second team for his kicking abilities and was South Carolina Division 4A Kicker of the Year. Amongst other honors, Howell played in the National Underclassmen Combine’s All World Gridiron Classic in 2010.
Howell arrived at Boston College in 2011, promptly redshirting as Freese had things under control at kicker and Ryan Quigley was still punting in maroon and gold. Then, curiously, he was passed over for starting jobs twice: in 2012, Gerald Levano got the call as the Eagles’ starting punter, and in 2013, Steve Addazio let Nate Freese do all the kicking and punting.
Does this mean Howell is the odds-on favorite to take on one or both roles in 2014?
Alex Howell #42: Fast Facts
- Position: Kicker, punter
- Hometown: Florence, South Carolina
- High School: West Florence High School
- Measurements: 6-foot-5, 208 lb.
- Class year & age at 2014 opener: Junior, 20
- BC games played: 2
Alex Howell #42: 2013 Season
- Backup at kicker and punter behind Nate Freese
- Games played: 1 (Advocare V100 Bowl); no starts
- Cumulative statistics: 1 kickoff, 63 yards
- Appeared on Spring 2014 roster
The answer is a very qualified “maybe.” Chances are that Alex Howell is going to get one of these roles, if for no other reason because the roster is very light on these positions. As a matter of fact, Howell is the only punter on the roster with none inbound as freshmen. Mike Knoll, a new freshman for this season, is a kicker who may redshirt himself or may get the kicking honors as a true freshman like Freese did before him.
Right now, it would seem that both jobs are Howell’s to lose.
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