Kiski Area kicker chooses Buffalo
By Bill West
Published: Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, 5:42 p.m.
After months of waiting and wondering when he'd receive his first Division I scholarship offer, Kiski Area senior kicker/punter Adam Mitcheson found validation Monday during a visit to Buffalo.
By late Wednesday, however, the special teams standout realized he had a multiple-choice test on his hands.
The recipient of offers from Buffalo and Youngstown State in a three-day span, Mitcheson chose the Bulls over the Penguins, a decision made official Friday afternoon when he verbally committed to the Western New York university. Recruited primarily as a kicker by Buffalo, he'll receive a full scholarship and expects to contend for both the punting and kicking jobs by his sophomore season.
“I'm definitely relieved,” said Mitcheson, who also received interest — but no offers — from Old Dominion, Temple and Marshall. “A lot of kickers don't know yet. They always say kickers go last, so I was happy to know now.”
Buffalo joined the recruitment race about a month ago, Mitcheson said. Two kicking camp operations, One on One Kicking and the Hammer Kicking Academy, helped put Mitcheson on the Bulls' radar. Facebook communication between Mitcheson and Buffalo coaches established the connection, and calls and letters followed.
Youngstown State wanted Mitcheson primarily as a punter. The senior said he prefers to kick but will specialize in whatever gets him on the field fastest.
Mitcheson, who attended a Youngstown State game earlier this season, said the visit to the Buffalo campus swayed his decision.
“The campus was bigger than I thought,” he said, and noted that it's slightly outside of the city. “It kind of reminded me of Penn State. And everything is new up there. They're renovating everything.”
He also said of the school: “The education, it's great up there. And they have a winning football program. … All the other schools that I was really looking at, I felt like Buffalo kind of topped them.”
Mitcheson's mighty right leg has been on display all year with the Cavaliers. Prior to Friday, he made 9 of 12 field goal attempts, including tries from 46 and 38 yards. He's also converted 21 of 22 extra points, averaged 38.17 yards per punt, and caused 16 touchbacks on 39 kickoffs.
His commitment might put some pressure on classmates and close friends Shane Kuhn and Joey Brungo to take closer looks at their own recruiting sagas. Both Kuhn, a tight end/linebacker, and Brungo, a wide receiver/defensive back, are Division I-caliber players, and the former has at least two offers (Youngstown State, Colgate).
“I think it might've excited them, knowing that it's getting close, signing day and stuff,” Mitcheson said. “Maybe it'll put a little pressure, but it's hard to tell.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
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