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Penn State Football: Pinegar Kept Swinging The Leg While Under Quarantine

on June 24, 2020 2:00 PM

Aside from all the things that make kicking difficult, it is not particularly hard to practice. You pretty much need a ball, some uprights and a tee. 

After that the rest is up to you.

For the likes of Penn State's Jake Pinegar and kickers across the country, being quarantined at home wasn't really that much of a step backwards in the training. Because everyone has a high school field they can go to and get up some kicks. You don't need your teammates for that.

So you've quite literally got a leg up on everyone else.

"As far as training and working out things like that, I had access to a field every day so I was able to take full advantage of that," Pinegar told reporters on Wednesday. "I would be there every day, which was a really good opportunity. [I was] lifting weights, I have stuff in my basement at my house and stuff like that that I was able to use."

It also doesn't hurt to live with a fellow kicker too. Pinegar's brother Hunter just so happens to kick at Sam Houston State, someone else who understands the art of swinging a leg. And as Penn State kickoff specialist Jordan Stout is slated to show fans in 2020, a kicker can be a punter too.

"A lot of people weren't weren't able to get too in depth with their training and things like that but kicking all you need is a field goal, and a ball there's not really anything else," Pinegar added. "Just going out there and being able to do that every day I know personally when I was back. My brother was back...so I was able to go him with him almost every other day."

Then there is that business of crowd size, and how big or small they might be this upcoming season. But that's another area where Pinegar and his fellow kickers might have a small advantage. They've kicked in high pressure situations in front of every type of crowd. And to be sure, their teammates have played in high pressure situations in front of various size crowds, but kicking is unique.

And so is kicking in a big moment at Michigan Stadium when the Big House is only a third full. A big moment at Beaver Stadium when the crowd is dwarfed by empty seats.

But according to Pinegar, you face each kick the same way, perhaps why he managed to go 11-for-12 while kicking in 2019. Everything the is the same, every time.

"Obviously you know there's a factor with kicking [in front of different crowds, but I ] don't try to look at it like that, I think, personally I try to take each kick the same," Pinegar said. "The fans, the bands and the noise all that plays a factor. But, you know, the biggest factor for me is putting three points on the board or not putting three points up on the board....I feel like I've been able to block all that out and not focus on that."

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