Kickers and punters have unique routines but play an integral part in the outcome of games, including Oklahoma punter Tress Way. Way spoke with The Oklahoman about his routine and the pressure of his position.
When I'm punting during practice for a lot of guys it's a 10- or 15-minute break. They actually like it when I'm out there because it's break time for a lot of them.
All the other players stay so busy with all the meetings and drills. We have more time on our hands. Our mind starts to wander a little bit. We're a little different. We know we have the life. We don't try to deny it. I've heard some friends kick at other schools say they have it hard. No, they don't. Kickers and punters have it easy compared to everybody else. But there is more pressure since we only have a few plays to do something good.
I get some respect (from position players) because when we run punt returns (in practice) I get to scramble out (on a fake punt). The other guys kick field goals all day. I get to mess around a little.
The strength coaches sometimes come over and say, ‘Tress, we know you're into it but you have to stay back.' There's a line we can't go past. That's hard for me when someone like Frank (Alexander) gets a big interception. I'm usually two or three yards onto the field pumping my fist.
We have a three-game season. That's what coach (Bob Stoops) told us during our scouting report on Baylor. We've been fortunate some doors have opened up. Maybe we can win out and still be in the national title race. After the loss to Texas Tech we got that bitter taste out of mouths but had to trust the process, hope something great was going to happen. We've had some luck, but our focus is on Baylor.