So, what exactly does a punter do at his pro timing day?
That is a question that former Texas punter Michael Dickson found an answer to this week. Dickson worked out in front of representatives from 32 NFL teams at UT’s pro timing day on Wednesday. His pre-draft test differed from the event’s 15 other participants, though.
Dickson arrived on campus around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday. He paced, stretched, did “leg swings for about three hours” and punted countless times against a wall of the indoor practice facility. Dickson, who was UT’s holder this past season, also worked on handling snaps. He eventually went outside and showcased his punting in a steady rainstorm.
Dickson did not lift, run or do any agility drills.
“I was so tempted to get on the bench,” Dickson said. “I saw no benefit in doing it. I didn’t want to hurt myself.”
According to ESPN, only two punters who left school early have ever been drafted (Chris Gardocki in 1991 and Bradley Pinion in 2015). Dickson, who was a junior this past season, is attempting to become the third.
Dickson won the Ray Guy Award in 2017, and he set a school record with his 47.43 yards per punt. Dickson’s average of 47.37 yards in 2016 is the second-best mark in UT history. The unanimous first-team All-American capped his collegiate career by being named the MVP of the Texas Bowl.
“He’s the best punter I’ve ever seen, let alone had on my team,” Texas coach Tom Herman said. “I’ve said it ad nauseam, to have that kind of weapon… he kept us in games and helped us win games, there’s no doubt.”
In the run-up to next month’s NFL Draft, Dickson’s name has appeared in some in mock drafts. Last week, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter had the New York Giants selecting Dickson in the fourth round.
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