Gorman: Pitt recruit Blewitt knew it was coming
Chris Blewitt has heard every joke imaginable, mostly from his teammates at Alexandria (Va.) West Potomac High who take delight in torturing their kicker during practice.
“Actually, I haven't heard it from my opponents. They either didn't know my last name or didn't pay attention,” he said. “It's just my teammates. Nobody else has tried to get inside my head. I've been through it all. I'll just hear my name again. I won't think anything of it.”
Even so, Blewitt had an inkling the national media wouldn't, ahem, blow it when he chose Pitt last week.
There were the predictable headlines, such as this gem from Yahoo! Sports: “Pitt signs a kicker with the unfortunate last name of ‘Blewitt.' ” On Friday, he was even mentioned on ESPN's “College Football Live.”
“With a name like that, I guess I have to be good,” Blewitt said dryly. “I just embrace it. I've been living with it all my life. I knew this day would happen eventually. It's nothing new. I think it's kind of funny that it's happening.”
Not only does Blewitt have a sense of humor but also the leg strength and accuracy to go with it. He showed off both at Pitt's skills camp last month, first winning the kickoff competition, then a single-elimination contest for field goals.
“It was a last-second field goal drill,” he said. “You had to run from the sidelines, had 10 seconds to set up and kick it.”
Safe to say, he didn't blow it, making a 55-yarder to win.
Pitt coach Paul Chryst, looking for a replacement for senior kicker Kevin Harper in 2013, offered a scholarship on the spot. Blewitt chose the Panthers over interest from Notre Dame, West Virginia and Virginia.
Pressure is nothing new to Blewitt, who played varsity as a freshman after the kicker broke his leg in the opener. He claims to convert 65-yarders with regularity in practice, despite teammates' taunts, and 82 percent of his kickoffs for touchbacks. He was 10 of 18 on field goals last season.
Six were blocked, including three in one game by Virginia Tech recruit Devin Vandyke, so it probably was his teammates who blew it.
Not that Blewitt wants to play the blame game, let alone the name game.
“It's probably a little bit trying to show people that it's just a name,”he said. “People don't know all the hard work that I've put in, what I'm capable of doing now. All the hard work, I'll just let that show. And that'll shut them up.”