2018 Season Countdown: #45 Will Hart

2018 Season Countdown: #45 Will Hart


July 15, 2018

Will Hart (image via Twitter)

Name: Will Hart
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 196 lbs.
High school: Hunting Valley (OH) University School
Position: Punter
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #17
Last year: I ranked Hart #84 and said he would be a backup punter. He punted 13 times for 490 yards (37.7 yards/punt) with 1 touchback, 5 fair catches, and 6 punts inside the 20-yard line.
TTB Rating: N/A

Last season was an odd year for punters at Michigan. Michigan brought in freshman Brad Robbins late in the recruiting cycle, and he was expected to be the guy. However, Robbins struggled. Michigan didn’t let strong-legged Quinn Nordin pull double-duty as the kicker and punter. So they turned to Hart, who was very inconsistent. At times he hit some decent punts, but he never averaged over 40 yards/punt in any contest throughout the year, and his 37.7 yards/punt average for the entire season was less than stellar. (It would have been last in the Big Ten if he had enough punts to qualify.)

This year I expect Robbins to be the guy, and he averaged 40.4 yards/punt (#11 in the Big Ten). However, he has not proven to be consistent enough to ward off Hart permanently, and it might be important for Hart to give Robbins competition and keep him on his toes. There’s a chance Hart won’t punt a single ball this year, but based on last season, this is still a question mark for the Wolverines.

Prediction: Backup punter

2 comments

  1. Comments: 1149
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Jul 15, 2018 at 7:49 AM

    Having tried it, I can tell you that crushing punts ain’t easy. I’m thinking that even if you can do it while residing in your own personal little safe spot, hanging out with your boys and your coach banging out punts on some sunny spring day, crushing one in front of 100,000 plus people with 5/600 lbs of defenders running at your grill is a whole nuther ballgame. That almost mystical thing, “the good drop”, is significantly harder to make happen.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 402
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Jul 15, 2018 at 8:26 AM

      This is absolutely true. Your average spectator has little idea what it’s like to field a long snap that comes in with some zing on it, orient the laces properly, maintain concentration and form in the face of the oncoming rushers, execute a good drop, and (very important) follow-through on the kick. It’s not easy.

      A good punter is a valuable asset. Yeah, you’d rather not punt at all, but that’s unrealistic against good competition. So if you have to punt, it’s nice to have a punter that can flip the field.

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