It was a big week for former Crimson Tide punter JK Scott. The Packers held their rookie camp over the weekend and Scott made a big impact. The weekend began with Scott signing his first pro contract. Terms have yet to be released but it is slotted to be around $2,460,000 over four years. Next, the rookies went through workouts.
When asked Saturday about the team’s direction at punter. Packers coach Mike McCarthy replied “I think it’s obvious.”
Reading the writing on the wall, incumbent punter Justin Vogel asked for and received his release from the team. Vogel signed with the Packers as an undrafted rookie last season. He finished seventh in the NFL with a team-record 41.6 yard net average but consistency was a big problem. His 44.4 yards per punt average ranked 25th in the NFL. He had only 19 punts inside the 20 yard line, good for 29th in the league.
Consistency was a strong suit for Scott in his four seasons at the Capstone. Asked about his success at his craft, Scott believes he’s consistent because he employs a technique of simple two steps, big leg swing, and a plant foot that never leaves the ground. “I don’t have a lot of wasted motion,” he told interviewers.
He keeps it simple with the statistics, too, targeting his distance and hang time to match up numerically as best he can.
“If you’re going to hit a 45-yard punt, (you want) at least a 4.5(-second) hang time,” he said. “You don’t want to be hitting like 55-yard punts with a 4.5, because that’s when you start outkicking your coverage.
“The higher the distances, usually the higher the hang. If I’m going to hit a 50-yard punt, I want to hit a 5.0, at least.”
Another key to Scott’s success is his demeanor, and playing in the spotlight of college football’s premier program – and in three national championship games no less – never fazed him.
The critics out there point to certain college stats but the most important one to the Packers was the one that showed Scott had only five punts returned against him last year. That success comes with knowing the situation and stats-be-damned.
GROWING UP CHEESEHEAD
For those Packers fans who were not won over by the choice during the draft, a bit of JK’s history might sway them over. Scott grew up in Colorado, but the family has a summer lake home in Wisconsin with several relatives on his dad’s side still residing in the state. His father was a pole vaulter for the University of Wisconsin.
“We were big Packers fans growing up,” Scott told the Green Bay media during a conference call. “This is crazy because like we have probably 10 cheeseheads at home. It’s crazy how this happened.”
Even before this information hit Twitter, many fans are sold on the pick.
Ok, I laughed at selecting a punter in the 5th round, but after watching JK Scott.. he might be my favorite pick of the draft lol pic.twitter.com/kQB8fWxPmn— Jake (@SeedsofJake) April 29, 2018
JK Scott is the best punter I've seen in CFB. He's also the only CFB punter whose name I have learned. Do with that what you will— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) April 28, 2018
This is an interesting Tweet from a Milwaukee sports radio personality. At first he mocks the pick but then he backs off his stance once others “educate” him.
PICK IS IN #Packers select a punter, JK Scott, Alabama. A punter. A punter. A punter?— Mike Clemens (@MikeClemensNFL) April 28, 2018
An interesting tidbit in the JK Scott story is who he chose to be his agent. Alexa Stabler is the daughter of the late great Kenny Stabler.
A native of Alabama, she graduated from the University of Alabama in 2009 and received her law degree from Alabama in 2012. She had been practicing law for about five years before she founded Stabler Sports, which she based in Mobile because she felt there weren’t enough player representatives in her state, even though it is home to the nation’s preeminent college football program.
Alexa Stabler is having a successful career as a sports agent for the NFL. Read the article to learn more about how she has overcome challenges and helping athletes fulfill their aspirations.https://t.co/rHtNZ5aRPT pic.twitter.com/9EMRWH08nl— PhxWomensSportsAssoc (@PhxWomensSports) May 4, 2018
Former Auburn and Jacksonville State running back Roc Thomas is also a client. He was undrafted but signed as a free agent by Minnesota.