November 29, 2021
"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

Diamond In The Rough: Austin McCready

In today’s Diamond in the Rough, I will be highlighting John Curtis’ Austin McCready. He is the top specialist in the state and former 1st team All-American punter by Max Prep. At 6’2 and 185lbs, Austin has good size for his position(s) and utilizes it on the baseball diamond as a pitcher and first baseman. Along with his great size  he is strong, with a max clean of 225lbs and squat 325lbs. In the classroom he maintains a 3.6 GPA and with a 20 on the ACT. On the field, he excels as a punter and kickoff man along with being a reliable kicker. Austin’s punts consistently have good hang time and distance. On kickoff, he has the ability to get the ball out of the endzone, with his shorter kicks landing between the 5 and goal line. In all three phase he has good technique and you can tell he knows the ends and outs of his craft through conversation. Here are a few snippets from our conversation below.

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How did you get introduced to football?

  • I was about six years old and my Dad gave me a pair of shoulder pads and a helmet and told me to go have fun on the football field and compete. And yeah I just loved it ever since. When I was about 8 years old, after practices I would just goof off with my teammates and the coaches would be watching. And I would just put the football on the ground or on the tee and just kick it, The coaches that were watching told me to start kicking and when I turned 10 I was the starting kicker and quarterback for my pee wee team. At the time I was the only kicker in our league.

Why do you still play football?

  •  I just love being apart of a team and I just love the sport. I love being out there with guys from my school who I hang out with everyday. I’m going to have a relationship with those guys for the rest of my life and be good friends with them and go play college football with them.

Who or what has impacted you the most in your life?

  • Definitely my parents. They’ve definitely impacted me the most in my life. They push me to be the best punter and kicker. Coaching wise my Dad has helped me out with that a lot. My Mom really helped me with school work and makes sure I keep my grades high. And definitely coach J.T., he pushed me to work hard in the weight room and on the field. He basically pushes me to be the best football player I can be. Like say I hit a bad punt, coach J.T. will come talk to me and give me some instructions to improve and motivate me to good on the next kick or punt. Also he’ll call me out of class to see how I’m doing with school and ask about my grades.

Which is more difficult? Punting or Kicking?

  • I definitely think punting because with kicking your kicking a still ball but with punting your kicking a moving ball that’s coming down. Like with punting, there is so much more repetition involved and mental focus, technique, and body control that goes into it. I can do both at the next level, but me personally I love punting with all my heart. And I feel like I’m athlete, I good enough athlete to that [both],

How do you deal with the pressure that comes with kicking field goals?

  • I really feel like I don’t feel pressure. Because I’ve been coached and trained well enough to go out there  and execute what I have to do. And I know I have the mentality to do it.

Do you feel like your position isn’t valued as much in comparison to other positions? Why or why not?

  • Yes and no. Punter and kickers dictate field position and put points on the board, but we don’t get on the field a lot. But we definitely help the team out a lot. When I think about it I do feel like we are undervalued. We put points on the board and contribute to a lot of hidden yardage within a game. And with opening kickoffs, it sets the tempo for the game. Sometimes I feel like people don’t really see that at times.

Random question. Pancakes or Waffles?

  • Oh wow I actually just saw a poll for that on twitter. I’d have to say I’m a pancake person.

What do you plan to major in once you get in college?

  • Business. Business that has to do with sport administration and sports management. I’m looking to become  sports agent. I find that their job is interesting. I like the exchange of communication between people and like making agreements. I want to stay in the sports world.

Goals for the upcoming season?

  • Mainly just to improve as a kicker/punter and to improve myself. I plan to get into a lot of drill work, weight room, and watch film on coverages and alignments. And to help my team win another state championship.

Personal Thoughts:
Austin is down to earth kid who love what he does. He is an intelligent and social kid who represents himself well. He his attitude and passion should help him succeed at the next level.