“Punting really wasn't my specialty,” Sharp said. “I worked a lot with both of those guys and got progressively better in the punting game. I just kind of rolled with it. It ended up being a big success. In a sense, I kind of surprised myself.”
The first-team All-American converted 22 of 25 field goals last season. Sharp's 63 touchbacks led the nation, 21 more than any other kicker. The Mansfield, Texas, product is among a handful of kickers who handle all three roles — kickoffs, extra points/field goals and punts.
“It's the way you manage them each day,” Sharp said. “Kickoffs and field goals, the leg swings are similar. Punting is completely different. There is a lot more technical stuff to it.”
One adjustment is DeForest left to join Dana Holgorsen's staff at West Virginia.
“He was definitely a big influence,” Sharp said of DeForest. “He's one of the top special teams' coaches in the nation. That's why our program has consistently been ranked high.”
Sharp said it's an honor to a candidate for the Groza and Guy awards.
“It's a goal, something I'm shooting for,” Sharp said. “I'm very appreciative to get the opportunity to do all three. Most kids don't get that chance.”
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QUINN SHARP'S CAMPAIGN SLOGAN
“Sharp as a Tack”
After contemplating jumping to the NFL, Quinn Sharp is back for one more season as the Cowboys' do-it-all kicker. And he's an early candidate to capture both the Ray Guy and Lou Groza Awards, which go to the nation's top punter and kicker.
QUINN SHARP'S CAMPAIGN ENDORSEMENTS
* OSU receiver Charlie Moore: “As a kicker, he has the hair like the mane of a lion, which somehow puts the power in his leg to hit 80-yard punts. It's the farthest I've ever seen a human kick a football.”
* OSU defensive back Justin Gilbert: “I've never seen anyone with a leg like his.”