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May 8, 2014

Beamer still searching for Tech's 2014 field-goal kicker

By: Jimmy Robertson

Following the spring game, Tech coach Frank Beamer was asked if he felt comfortable playing a true freshman at kicker.

“Did Shayne Graham play as a true freshman?” he jokingly asked.

When informed that Graham played as a true freshman, Beamer said that he, indeed, would feel comfortable playing a true freshman at kicker.

“I would. I think if a guy has got it, then he’s got it,” he said. “It takes a special guy to be a great field-goal kicker. I really believe that. Confidence is one thing, but looking forward to the big moment … you want a guy who can’t wait to celebrate instead of a guy who goes, ‘Whew, I hope I make this.’ You want that guy who can’t wait to celebrate. If we’ve got that guy, then we’ll be OK.”

Beamer wasn’t sure that he had that guy coming out of spring practice. Ten days prior to the spring game, Michael Branthover stood atop the depth chart at kicker. Then a couple of days before the game, Beamer cited the kicking of Remington Hinshaw, a transfer from the University of Richmond, and listed him as the top kicker. Eric Kristensen made a 28-yard field goal in the spring game, so Beamer has three potential candidates, but no sure thing.

“None of them have separated themselves, and that’s what I was hoping would happen,” Beamer said. “All of them have had their moments, and all of them are good kickers, but none of them have separated themselves.

“We’ve got two coming in here [this summer], and I’ll give them a chance to separate themselves. If a kicker has it, he can come in there and play quickly. Experience helps, there is no doubt about that, but if you have the ability to be a kicker – and to me, it’s the hardest thing in football because you’re going out there and making a very exact motion and then you run off the field – but the guy that has that feature about him can be our kicker this upcoming fall.”

Beamer has less concerns at punter, where A.J. Hughes returns after an All-ACC season, and at snapper, where both Eddie D’Antuano and Joe St. Germain possess experience snapping the ball. Mitchell Ludwig or Branthover figures to be the kickoff guy.

But finding a kicker is paramount. The Hokies missed 11 field goals last season, including seven from 40 yards or less.

Like with the quarterback position, the search will continue in August – and will take on just as much importance.

2014 SPRING DEPTH CHART (as of April 22)


2 Remington Hinshaw (5-8, 178, r-Jr.)

22 Eric Kristensen (5-11, 162, So.)

14 R.J. Warfel (5-10, 164, r-Fr.)

38 Michael Branthover (5-9, 202, Sr.)

30 Mitchell Ludwig (5-11, 195, So.)


27 A.J. Hughes (6-1, 212, Jr.)

30 Mitchell Ludwig (5-11, 195, So.)


59 Eddie D’Antuano (6-6, 265, r-So.)

65 Joe St. Germain (6-0, 220, r-Sr.)

48 Colton Taylor (6-0, 207, r-Fr.)