VIDEO: Alan Duncan Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – This is the final part in an 11-part series chronicling each of Carson-Newman's positions heading into the 2018 season. This feature delves into the Eagles' special teamers with help from Alan Duncan.
Carson-Newman has a mainstay among its specialists in longsnapper Dawson Campbell (Travelers Rest, S.C.). An All-SAC first teamer, Campbell and corner Desmond Fairell ride the two longest consecutive start streaks for the Eagles. Both players have got the nod in all 22 games of their respective careers.
Through those 22 games, Campbell has only had one punt blocked, and the lone field goal an opposing team blocked was a line-drive 54-yard attempt.
"Snappers are the kind of guys whose names their coaches forget until they do something wrong," Duncan said. "Dawson's earned that job and has made a big difference. When your longsnapper earns a spot on your leadership council; that says something."
Campbell will once again be snapping the ball to holder Tyson Herron (Bogart, Ga.), who returns after handling those duties all last year with aplomb.
Those are the locked in known commodities. The Eagles will be breaking in a new kicker and punter.
Drew Eudy (Hendersonville, N.C.), a noted fan of the Carson-Newman golf programs, saw spot duty at punter last year, but has worked his way into both roles in the offseason. Eudy punted the ball seven times last year with a long of 45 yards.
He could take his first place kicks since high school this year. In three years as the placekicker for Hendersonville High School, Eudy buried 21-of-23 boots with a long of 45 yards.
In Carson-Newman's first scrimmage, Eudy closed it out by connecting on a 52-yard knock. However, Eudy isn't the only option there. Insert freshman Caden Patterson (Clarksville, Tenn.).
Patterson comes to Mossy Creek after playing for coach Isaac Shelby at Clarksville High School. He made six of the seven field goals he attempted that were from 48 yards or longer. He was 23-for-23 on PATs and had 28 touchbacks on kickoffs.
"Drew has shown real consistency in camp," Duncan said. "He has routinely gotten the ball up and kicked it accurately. Caden was inconsistent with his accuracy earlier, but he's worked at it, and has greatly increased his accuracy, he's a kicker for the long haul. I'm proud of Drew though, he has stayed the course and is where he is today because he's earned the opportunity."
At punter, the Eagles could turn to Craig Koenig. Koenig comes to Carson-Newman after playing at Bryan High School.
"He's got a long, tall punters body," Duncan said. "He has a Ray Guy-like physique. He has great leg extension, and when he gets the ball up high, he has tremendous hang time."
Koenig averaged 43 yards per punt in high school and has a 4.3 second hang time.
Carson-Newman opens the season at No. 2 West Florida on August 30. Kickoff against the Argos is set for 8 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central. Coverage will be available on the Eagle Sports Network an hour before kickoff with the AEC Tailgate Show on Joy 620 (WRJZ-AM, Knoxville), Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.