Punter Brian Schmiedebusch goes the distance for Falcons

Built like a linebacker yet can kick like a mule, punter Brian Schmiedebusch does not fit any mold.

At a stature of 6’3” and 226 pounds, Schmiedebusch should be out there tackling running backs and receivers yet punted just under a mile and a half this past season in total distance.

Schmiedebusch, from Ottawa, Ohio was a first-team all conference linebacker during his senior high school year as well as a state champion for his basketball team. However, most importantly, Schmiedebusch was a first-team all-state punter in 2009.

Before transferring to the University, Schmiedebusch spent a season playing for the University of Findlay where he averaged just over 41 yards per punt, and earned all conference honors again. He was also named a second-team All-American for the Oilers.

In his first season with the Falcons, he made a name for himself against Idaho in the early 2011 season. He had averaged 55.8 yards a punt and had his furthest punt of his career of 81 yards. He would go on to follow that mark up with punts of 76 against Buffalo and a 73 yard punt against Northern Illinois.

His ability to punt the ball so far was getting national attention for the Falcons as well as for himself. He was named a semi-finalist for the Ray Guy award, given to the nation’s top punter. He would have at least one punt of 50+ yards in 10 of the Falcons’ 12 games this past season, and averaged 45.3 yards per punt. In 11 of those games, Schmiedebusch also added at least one punt inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

So far in this early season he already was quoted as “looking more like a fullback than a punter,” in an article written by Mike Gillslee on ESPN.com. Schmiedebusch had a fake punt during the Falcons game against Florida where he ran for 8-yards and dodged a tackle. During the play he refused to slide and was credited with earning an extra 15-yards due to a late hit by a Florida player. Against the SEC powerhouse he averaged only 38.8 yards due to a shanked punt inside his own endzone. He followed that miscue up with a 54-yard punt to his credit.

In his other two appearances this season he has averaged 46 yards and has hit longs of 51 and 55 against Idaho and Toledo respectively.

In 2011 his average ranked him second in school history, a mark he will be looking to beat this season as he has already been named to the Ray Guy watch list for the second season. His longest of 81, although very far, is still a few yards off of the NCAA record of 99, however his average so far of 45.3 is close to the career record for average of 46.3.

On a team where the kicking game has been under a lot of scrutiny, it appears that something, the punter, is at least consistent.