Oklahoma State football: Quinn Sharp adds 'sky kick' to menu of specialties
With Sharp, the Big 12's reigning Special Teams Player of the Year, there always seems to be another tool for some occasion
STILLWATER – Quinn Sharp's vast array of skills resembles a football version of the Swiss Army Knife.
Punter. Kickoff man. Point-after and field goal specialist. Sharp even ran for a 23-yard gain and a first down last year against Arizona, probably one of his proudest moments as a Cowboy.
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With Sharp, the Big 12's reigning Special Teams Player of the Year, there always seems to be another tool for some special occasion.
Like now, with the NCAA seemingly marginalizing his mighty advantage on kickoffs, instituting a new rule that makes it easier for all kickers to reach the end zone – an area previously dominated by Sharp – moving the ball from the 30-yard line to the 35.
So the Oklahoma State senior might be debuting his latest tool: the “Sky Kick.”
While the new rule results in touchbacks bringing the ball to the 25-yard line, the extra five yards of field position don't figure to dissuade most teams from kicking the ball into or through the end zone whenever possible.
But most teams don't have Sharp, whose powerful right leg can apparently be put to use lofting high kickoffs just outside the goal line, presenting his coverage team with a chance at swarming enemy return men deep in their own territory.
“You saw some NFL teams do the sky kick (last season) and approach the corners and stuff,” Sharp said. “It's not a bad idea.”
It is, however, a dilemma for Cowboys coach Mike Gundy.
Sharp has led the nation in touchbacks each of his three years at OSU, highlighted by last year's total of 61, which were 23 more than his closest competitor.
Giving him an additional five yards is like moving Tiger Woods up to the senior tees.
“I have reservations about ever telling him to do anything other than just kick it as hard as he can,” Gundy said. “We have discussed different things to do, and we have that capability. We're not for sure what we're going to do, based on who we're playing and what their return team's like, that sort of stuff.
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