Just for kicks
The best quality that a place-kicker can have is consistency. He must be mentally tough and ready to handle the challenge that a game's outcome may ride on his leg. He has to be able to adjust to all kinds of weather conditions.
Programs want a kid with a strong leg for kickoffs and long-range field goals, though many college coaches will sacrifice long-range field goals for accuracy inside the 40. Because of the mental pressure, you don't see a lot of freshmen making an immediate impact.
Most players at the high school level handle both the place kicking and punting duties, but they are usually stronger at one or the other and rarely handle both duties at the college level.
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