|Height: 5-11 | Weight: 202 | College: Maryland|
Regarded by many as the best athlete in the country at the punter's position, Podlesh (pronounced PAHD-lesh) gave the Terrapins an extremely consistent kicker with not only a powerful leg to boom his punts, but one with great directional kicking skills.
The only four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection in school history, Podlesh finished his career ranked second in school history and ninth in Atlantic Coast Conference annals with an average of 43.1 yards per punt. Each of his averages from his four seasons at the school rank among Maryland's top 10 in the record books. His ability to angle his kicks saw 38 percent of his punts downed inside the 20-yard line, with 16 percent getting placed inside the 10.
Podlesh lettered three times in football at Pittsford Sutherland High School, where he competed as a punter, fullback and linebacker as a senior. He was named first-team All-State as a scholar-athlete by the New York Coaches' Association and earned All-Region honors from Super Prep. He also received first-team All-State honors as a punter/kicker from the New York State Writers Association in 2001. As a senior, Podlesh connected on 4-of-6 field-goal attempts (including kicks of 47 and 37 yards) and punted for a 40.7-yard average.
In addition, 86 percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. He also totaled 92 tackles, five sacks, 638 rushing yards and nine touchdowns while playing on both sides of the ball. He was selected first-team All-Greater Rochester by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and first-team All-Monroe County. He also competed in track, posting the fastest 200- (21.58) and 400-meter times (50.5) in the state as a junior. He also ran the third leg of the state title-winning 4x100 relay team in 2000.
Podlesh enrolled at Maryland in 2002, choosing the school over scholarship offers from Penn State, Syracuse, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Stanford. He spent the season on the scout team, but won the starting punter's job in 2003. He was a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and a Ray Guy Award semifinalist. He finished the regular season second in the ACC (36th nationally) with a 42.3-yard average per punt, which ranks eighth on the Terps' single-season record list and best ever by a freshman.
In 2004, he averaged 43.7 yards on 63 punts for 2,755 yards. Podlesh had 21 kicks downed inside the 20-yard line and 14 punts for 50 yards or longer. The second-team All-ACC pick and Ray Guy Award semifinalist ranked seventh in the nation with a net punting average of 39.4, as he dropped 33 percent (21-of-63) of his punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
As a junior, Podlesh was a second-team All-ACC and first-team Academic All-ACC pick. He ranked second in the ACC and 13th in the nation in punting average at 43.6 yards, gaining 1,920 yards on 44 attempts, with 17 kicks downed inside the 20-yard line and 10 more that went for 50 yards or longer.
During his final season at Maryland, Podlesh punted 56 times for 2,400 yards (42.9 avg) with 23 downed inside the 20-yard line. He was an honorable mention All-American choice by Pro Football Weekly and a second-team All-ACC pick. He ranked 22nd nationally and second in the ACC in punting average, as 23 of his 56 punts (41 percent) landed inside the opponents' 20-yard line. He was also a semifinalist for the Draddy Award, honoring the top student-athlete in the nation.
In 48 games at Maryland, Podlesh punted 216 times for 9,314 yards (43.1 avg), the second-best total in school history that also ranks ninth in Atlantic Coast Conference annals. He had 83 of his attempts downed inside the 20-yard line, including 35 he placed inside the 10-yard line. Ninty-two of his 216 kicks were returned for 1,008 yards and three touchdowns, as he finished with a 38.45-yard net average. He also recorded six tackles (4 solos).
Positives: Has good upper body definition with a thick chest and good arm muscles Possesses outstanding leg strength and runs down field faster than his coverage unit, as he is one of the quickest punters in the collegiate ranks (4.43 40-yard dash) Even though he has smaller-than-ideal hands, he field the ball cleanly and has the body flexibility to adjust to the poor snap Catches the ball away from his frame and can generate excellent power to gain distance and height on his kicks Demonstrates the proper leg swipe and swing, getting good explosion on contact Has solid directional type quickness and shows good ball control and spin on his punts Able to kick in poor weather conditions, adjusting to handle the elements and has the leg strength to kick into the wind Smooth open-field runner who shows toughness and aggression as a tackler on special teams Hits the ball squarely and is consistent in his approach and rhythm, getting good rise in an instant (has never had a punt blocked) Shows accuracy on his punt attempts, with the ability to control and place the ball on pooch punts Has the agility and flexibility to field the off-target snaps with ease Two-step punter who quickly adjusts to pressure, showing great coordination and the ability to improvise Has good mechanics and knows how to angle his punts toward the sidelines to take away the field for the returner Consistently turns his punts over, especially when backed up near the goal line Because of his ability to get great height on his kicks, the coverage team was able to get down field to prevent big returns (23 of his 56 punts in 2006 resulted in fair catches and only 18 were returned) With his quickness, he could be a dangerous threat to run with the ball on fake punts.
Negatives: While he has learned to hit the ball squarely, he will every so often hit it flat Struggles some refocusing after a bad kick Has no problems getting off his kicks in pressure situations, but tends to look a bit deliberate in his approach at times Gets decent placement on pooch punts, but needs to work on angling his punts toward the sidelines better.
Compares To: BRAD MAYNARD-Chicago Like Maynard, Podlesh has exceptional speed to get down field and help the coverage unit. He is a master at kicking towering punts, and more often than not his coverage team can break for coffee before his punts land. He needs to work a bit on angling his punts better along the sidelines, but if the opposition can't field them, they are not going to return many of his kicks. He is by far the best athlete at this position since Maynard left college 10 years ago.
Podlesh's 216 punts rank fourth in school history, topped only by Dan DeArmas (268, 1988-91), Dale Castro (224, 1978-80), Russ Edwards (221, 1995-98) and Darryl Wright (209, 1984-87) His average of 43.1 yards punting rank second in Maryland history behind Brooks Barnard (43.7 avg, 1999-2002) Gained 9,314 yards punting. Only DeArmas, (10,627) gained more yardage for the Terps His 2003 average of 42.3 yards per punt rank eighth, his 42.9-yard average in 2006 rank seventh, his 43.6-yard average in 2005 rank fifth and his 43.7-yard average in 2004 rank fourth on the school's single-season record list Became the first player in school history to earn All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors four times in a career Thirty-eight percent (83 of 216) of his career punts landed inside the opponents' 20-yard line and 16 percent (35 of 216) fell inside the 10-yard line Did not have a punt blocked in his career Also served as the holder on place-kicking attempts Earned Iron Terp Award honors with impressive strength and speed numbers, as he set the school record for a punter in the spring with a 325-pound clean and a 4.44 time in the 40-yard dash in 2006 spring testing.
All-American third-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, earning honorable mention from Pro Football Weekly Second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference choice and was a semi-finalist for the Draddy Award, honoring the top student-athlete in the nation Added Academic All-ACC first-team accolades Ranked 22nd nationally and second in the ACC in punting average (42.9) Gained 2,400 yards on 56 attempts, as he had 23 kicks downed inside the 20-yard line, including nine that were downed inside the 10-yard marker Seven of his kicks were ruled touchbacks while the opposition called for a fair catch on 23 other boots Eighteen of his punts were returned for 250 yards (13.9 avg) and a touchdown, finishing with a 38.39-net yard average Also recorded one solo tackle Recipient of the team's won Terrapin Club Award after the season, given to the player that gave the greatest career contribution to football.
|2006 Game Analysis|
William & Mary Podlesh punted four times for 185 yards (46.3 avg), including a long of 58 yards Landed three punts inside the 20-yard line and two punts inside the 10, with one being downed at the 7 and another rolling out at the 3.
Middle Tennessee State The Terps punter booted two kicks for 84 yards (42.0 avg), including a long punt of 46 yards Neither kick was returned.
West Virginia Podlesh finished the game with two punts for 86 yards (43.0 avg), including a 45-yarder Both kicks landed inside the 10-yard line, with his first attempt rolling out at the 4-yard line, as both kicks were not returned.
Florida International Podlesh grossed 298 yards on seven punts (42.6 avg) His longest kick of the day measured 60 yards Three of his kicks were downed inside the 20-yard line.
Georgia Tech Podlesh punted three times for 137 yards (45.7 avg) vs. Georgia Tech, including a long boot of 57 yards in the fourth quarter, as two kicks were returned for a total of 29 yards.
Virginia The Maryland punter totaled 266 yards on six punts (44.3 avg), including a 49-yarder, as four kicks were returned for 28 yards, making a tackle on one of those returns.
North Carolina State Podlesh unleashed four punts for 192 yards (48.0 avg), including one kick that measured 52 yards and was downed inside the 20-yard line State returned just one punt, but it was good for a 65-yard touchdown.
Florida State Podlesh grossed 224 yards on five punts (44.8 avg), including one that traveled 62 yards, as two of his attempts landed inside the 20-yard line FSU returned one punt for 11 yards.
Clemson The Terps punter attempted six kicks vs. Clemson, grossing 260 yards (43.3 avg.), including one that measured 59 yards, as the Tigers managed to return just one punt for 18 yards Two of his kicks were downed inside the 10-yard line.
Miami (Fla.) Podlesh was busy vs. the Hurricanes, punting eight times for 332 yards (41.5 avg), including a long kick of 53 yards Four of his attempts landed inside the 20-yard line, including one that was downed at the 2-yard line Moved into second place on the school's career punting yards list.
Boston College Podlesh punted three times for 115 yards (38.3 avg.) His longest kick of the day measured 53 yards.
Wake Forest The Terps punter booted two kicks vs. Wake Forest, grossing 64 yards (32 avg).
Purdue (Champs Sports Bowl) Podlesh totaled 157 yards on four punts (39.3 avg), including one that traveled 53 yards Two of his kicks landed inside the 20-yard line.
Second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference choice behind Ray Guy Award winner Ryan Plackemeier of Wake Forest Added Academic All-ACC honors, as he ranked second in the conference and 13th in the nation in punting average at 43.6 yards Had 44 punts for 1,920 yards, as five were ruled touchbacks and the opposition called for a fair catch on six others Seventeen of his kicks were downed inside the 20-yard line, including eight that landed inside the 10-yard marker Had 21 punts returned for 255 yards (12.1 avg) and a touchdown, finishing with a 33.98-net yard average .Added two tackles.
|2005 Game Analysis|
Navy Opened the season with 99 yards on two punts, including a single-season long 61-yarder.
Clemson Followed with three attempts for 142 yards (47.3 avg) and a long of 59 that was downed at the 14-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
West Virginia Totaled 232 yards (38.7 avg) on six kicks, including a 54-yarder that was downed inside the 20-yard line.
Wake Forest In the battle between the ACC's top two punters (Podlesh and Ryan Plackemeier), Podlesh came out on top with a career-best average of 49.7 yards on six punts He pinned the Deacons inside the 20 with a 49-yard punt in the first quarter and had another punt downed at the two-yard line by Josh Wilson Booted a 60-yarder in the fourth quarter, his longest of the day Had an amazing 47.7-yard net average on the day, earning ACC Specialist of the Week honors.
Virginia Added 52 & 47-yard punts, as neither was returned.
Virginia Tech Punted five times for 218 yards (43.6 avg) with a long of 54 yards that was covered at the 1-yard line late in the third quarter.
Florida State Had two of four kicks downed inside the 20-yard line, averaging 43.0 yards with a long of 57.
North Carolina Gained 170 yards (42.5 avg), as he pinned the Tar Heels inside the 20-yard line three times on four tries.
North Carolina State Finished the season with five attempts for 212 yards (42.4 avg) with a long of 52 yards, as two of his attempts were downed inside the 20-yard line.
All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team choice Semi-finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top punter Ranked seventh in the nation with a net punting average of 39.4 yards Finished second in the ACC and tenth nationally with a 43.7-yard average on 63 punts for 2,755 yards Seven kicks were ruled touchbacks and seven others were called for on fair catches Placed 21 kicks inside the 20-yard line, with nine of those landing inside the 10-yard marker 27 of his punts were returned for 273 yards (10.1 avg) Also recorded an assisted tackle.
|2004 Game Analysis|
Northern Illinois Began the season with three punts for a 48.7-yard average, including a 50-yarder and a 47-yarder that was downed at the 15-yard line.
Georgia Tech Punted nine times for 447 yards (49.7 avg), as four of his kicks were for 50 yards or longer, including a 59-yarder that was downed at the 10-yard line, earning ACC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
North Carolina State Followed with a career-high eleven punts for 497 yards (45.2 avg) and three attempts for longer than 50 yards, including a 70-yarder that was downed at the 5-yard line in the second quarter and a 51-yarder that landed at the 7-yard line in the third quarter.
Clemson Averaged 40.6 yards on seven tries with three attempts that were downed inside the 20-yard line.
Florida State Had eight punts for 360 yards (45.0 avg), a long of 52 and three other kicks that he downed inside the 20-yard line.
Virginia Had three of his five punts land inside the 20-yard line, including a 54-yarder, as he averaged 42.0 yards.
Virginia Tech Punted six times for 260 yards (43.3 avg) with two kicks downed inside the 20-yard line, including a 47-uyarder the Terps downed inside the 7-yard line.
Ray Guy Award semi-finalist and All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team choice Ranked second in the ACC with 53 punts for 2,241 yards (42.3 avg) and a long of 63 Had 22 punts downed inside the 20-yard line, with nine being downed inside the 10-yard marker 26 of his punts were returned for 230 yards (8.8 avg) and an 83-yard touchdown.
Redshirted as a freshman.
No injuries reported.
Campus: 4.43 in the 40-yard dash 375-pound bench press 435-pound squat 325-pound power clean 34-inch vertical jump 30 1/4-inch arm length 8 1/2-inch hands Right-footed conventional style kicker Right-handed Wears contacts 36/49 Wonderlic score.
Attended Pittsford (N.Y.) Sutherland High School, playing football for head coach Scott Barker Lettered three times in football, competing as a punter, fullback and linebacker as a senior Named first-team All-State as a scholar-athlete by the New York Coaches' Association and earned All-Region honors from Super Prep Received first-team All-State honors as a punter/kicker from the New York State Writers Association in 2001 As a senior, Podlesh connected on 4-of-6 field-goal attempts (including kicks of 47 and 37 yards) and punting for a 40.7-yard average In addition, 86 percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks Also totaled 92 tackles, five sacks, 638 rushing yards and nine touchdowns while playing on both sides of the ball Selected first-team All-Greater Rochester by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and first-team All-Monroe County Also competed in track, posting the fastest 200- (21.58) and 400-meter times (50.5) in the state as a junior Ran the third leg of the state title-winning 4x100 relay team in 2000.
Graduated in December 2006 with a degree in Marketing Son of Jean and Jack Podlesh (pronounced PAHD-lesh) Born 8/11/83 Resides in Pittsford, New York.