ND’s punter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dalrymple performs before punting legend

By Angie Ledbetter

Jim Tyler “J.T.” Dalrymple, a senior football player at North Delta School, attended the Ray Guy Kicking Camp on June 22-23 at St. Benedict School in Cordova.

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Guy is known around the country from his high school accomplishments to the NFL’s All-Time Team. His kicking career is the inspiration for his curriculum for the Ray Guy Prokicker.com Academy.  

In his high school in Georgia, Guy won two state championships and had 16 varsity letters in four sports. He averaged 52 yards per punt and his longest was 58 yards.

In college at the University of Southern Mississippi, Guy booted a 77-yard punt in his first game. His senior year, he punted a 93-yarder for the sixth longest in NCAA history. He was inducted into the Southern Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1972.

Guy was drafted in the first round of the 1973 draft as the 23rd pick overall by the Oakland Raiders, the first taken in the round. In his 14 years in the NFL, Guy punted 1,049 times for 44,541 yards with an average of 42.4 yards per punt.

He led the NFL three times, made the Pro Bowl seven times, and recorded 619 straight punts without a block. In the 1976 Pro Bowl, Guy hit the giant TV screen in the Louisiana Superdome with one of his punts.

In 1992, Guy was the first punter to be nominated for the NFL Hall of Fame. In 2004, he became the first punter in history of football to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Guy travels and puts on around 32 camps a year for high school and college kids who are kickers and punters.  This past weekend was his halfway point, making it camp 16 for the summer.

Dalrymple said he really enjoyed the camp both days.  

“It was a good camp and one of the best kicking camps that I’ve attended,” he said.  “There were kickers from the University of Memphis, University of Tennessee, and Marshall University, and punters from the University of Memphis and Marshall University who helped with the camp.”

Dalrymple said one of the things he got out of the camp was that he learned how to kick the ball further.  

“I kicked on Friday and punted on Saturday,” he said.

“Ray Guy is awesome and he knows what he is doing. I know that,” Dalrymple continued. “I would recommend the camp to other people who are real serious about punting or kicking, especially if you want to play at the next level. They put my stats on the database in the computer and it is open to college and NFL coaches to look at. They have all access to it at all times at ProKicker.com.”

One thing Dalrymple did not learn was to put sunscreen on when it is almost 110 degrees on the football field.  He got sunburned on Saturday.

“There is a lack of knowledge in football today,” said Ray Guy.  “There are a lot of coaches out there who know what to do. You look at it from a coach’s standpoint, it’s the time factor. How much time can we allow in practice from coaches to put on the kicking, punting and snappers?”

“That’s why we are doing these camps,” Guy continued. “I’ve been doing it for 14 years now. Basically, I want to give the kids the opportunity to understand the basic fundamentals. What it winds up doing is that the kids end up being their own coaches. They need to understand what they are trying to do, what they are trying to accomplish, and how to do that with the basic fundamentals.”

Guy said more emphasis can be put on the kicking game.

“That is part of the game that is very important and it’s not focused during the whole 60 minutes or whatever because it’s maybe all in one play or one punt,” he said. “But it’s still important.  That one play can make a difference.”

A player must have talent to make a good kicker, according to Guy.

“Just like anything, it is the dedication they have,” he said. “How much time they want to put on it, and how far do they want to go.  You’ve got to be dedicated not only to the kicking aspect, but to the offense and the defense. You’ve also got to want it. That makes a good kicker.”

One of the kickers helping out is going into the NFL.