Posted: 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Hometown: Roanoke, Va
High School: Patrick Henry
Year: RS Freshman
Nicholas Conte is the 3rd string punter. Apparently, he learned how to punt by watching Youtube videos. In HS, he punted for just one season, but was All-district and 2nd team All-Region. He averaged over 40 yards per punt. He was offered a preferred walk-on spot by the Hoos, one of two last year given out to punters.
Conte, along with James Coleman, will spend this season on the bench behind Alex Vozenilek. After the 2014 season, when Vozenilek graduates, Coleman and Conte (and any other punters the Hoos bring in) will vie for the starting gig. As of now, Coleman has the inside track, because has more experience and a bigger leg. There is, of course, more to punting that having a big leg. Being able to consistently collect the snap and get the kick off quickly is as important as getting good distance. A short punt is far better than a blocked punt.
Conte is a good athlete aside from being a punter. He played lacrosse for his HS and was all-District in that as well. That athleticism would give the team options on fake punts. Conte also has good size at over 200 pounds.
There is a pretty good chance that Conte never makes it into a game. Right now, he's behind a classmate on the depth chart. That's never a good sign at a position without much turnover. For now, Conte will continue to work with the special teams and look to take advantage when he gets the chance.