Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida State punter Shawn Powell not lacking confidence

FSU punter and holder Shawn Powell, left, watches as Dustin Hopkins kicks the winning field goal against Clemson last week.

Associated Press

FSU punter and holder Shawn Powell, left, watches as Dustin Hopkins kicks the winning field goal against Clemson last week.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Florida State junior punter Shawn Powell realized that Maryland's Tony Logan would test him and the coverage team during Saturday night's ACC game.

Logan was third in Division I-A with an average of 19.4 yards a return.

"We're going to kick it to him, have our net out there and do what we've been doing all season," Powell said last week. "If we come out and do our fundamentals and what we've been taught, it doesn't matter who you really have out there, No. 1 or 101."

He's that confident in his leg.

He's that confident in the legs of the Seminoles' special teams players.

Entering the game, Powell was averaging an ACC-leading 45.2 yards per punt with 16 of his 39 attempts traveling at least 50 yards. FSU's net average was 38.8 yards (21st nationally). Opponents had a total of 129 yards on punt returns, and that's had a "huge impact" on the team's fortunes, coach Jimbo Fisher said recently.

"The collective effort on special teams is something that I haven't seen since I've been here," Powell said. "There's guys who want to be out here and not just, 'Oh, gosh. I have to be out here.' "

As much as that has motivated him, so too did the challenge he received from Fisher, who said Powell had the potential to be dominant after he averaged 41.6 yards in his first full season as the starter in 2009.

That was solid, to be sure, but not spectacular, and with a young defense learning a new system, the Seminoles needed their special teams to be very special.

"I'm glad he actually said that because it came up to me that they know you can do something, now prove it to them," Powell said. "It made me work harder and become the best punter I can be."

He embraced the challenge from his predecessor, Graham Gano, who handled kicking and punting at FSU, won the Groza Award in 2008 as the nation's top placekicker and is now the placekicker for the Washington Redskins.

Gano told Powell that if he weren't practicing and trying to improve his hang time or his consistency, he could be sure another punter would be; a punter who might end up winning a NFL roster spot instead of him.

"I know everything I have to do to make it to the next level, and I kind of put it on myself to make sure I don't cheat myself because I've been given a gift and I need to take full advantage of it," Powell said.

"He's been super," Fisher said. "He has worked his tail off. He's had a great attitude. What used to bother Shawn at times, I thought in the past, if he had a bad kick or warmed up poorly or something wasn't right, sometimes it affected him for long periods of time.

"What Shawn has done a great job of in my opinion is if something has went wrong, which has been very, very few times, he's forgotten it and moved on. I see it in practice every day. When he has a bad kick, hey, he goes right back and takes the next one. He's taken that challenge."

Florida State punter Shawn Powell not lacking confidence 11/20/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 20, 2010 11:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Blue Jays

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman laughs after Houston Astros' Carlos Beltran reached first on an infield single during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Blue Jays: Looking to make it 2 in a row

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 5:52: Cash said the off-day should have done the Rays good after losing 12 of their last 16 games and 20 of their last 30, with just one day off in that stretch:

    Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.
  3. Commissioner Manfred to visit Trop Wednesday for Rays-Blue Jays

    Blogs

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is slated to be at the Trop on Wednesday.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is slated to be at the Trop on Wednesday.
  4. Bucs running back's gamble pays off for his mom

    Bucs

    TAMPA — When Peyton Barber decided to leave Auburn after his sophomore year, with only one season as a starting running back, it was a risky decision, one he hoped would let him help out his family back home in suburban Atlanta.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber (43) takes the field with an American flag before a preseason game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Armwood vs. Tampa Bay Tech teeming with Division I-A talent

    Footballpreps

    Armwood High School strong safety Caleb Sutherland (18) breaks a tackle to score a pick-six during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.