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Britton gets brotherly kicking advice

Britton Colquitt hasn’t kicked competitively since 2002, his senior year at Bearden High School.

Next stop, Rocky Top, as Britton is about to become the fourth Colquitt to punt at the University of Tennessee in 30 years.

“It seems like forever since I’ve played. ... I can’t wait ...,” the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Vol redshirt freshman said.

“Every time I hear ‘Rocky Top,’ anything ... like that I get butterflies and realize I’ve been a fan my whole life. And finally, it’s here, after all this time of waiting.”

Performance-wise, so far so good.

“I’ve got some big shoes to fill but I’m doing well right now and hope to keep being consistent, I’m averaging around forty-five yards a punt,” the 20-year-old said about following the likes of his father, Craig (1975-77), cousin Jimmy (1981-84) and most recently his brother, All-SEC punter Dustin Colquitt, now a rookie with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.

Based on Dustin’s advice, the younger Colquitt has changed the way he maneuvers his feet for a punt.

“He’s changed a little bit [about] his steps, and he’s had me do that, too,” Colquitt said, adding that in addition to the two-steps before a punt, “[the Chiefs have] got him, with his left foot, to do a little jab step before the two steps, and all that does is get your momentum going. It’s not like I’m taking a longer distance or more time, it’s just getting me going, ready for that kick. ... It definitely has helped.”

Comparing Britton and Dustin, “I think they’re a lot alike personality-wise,” UT special teams coach Dan Caldwell said. “To be honest with you, it doesn’t seem like a whole lot bothers them. They’re kinda laid back. Hopefully the pressure won’t bother him in his first game.”

Come UAB and the season-opener Sept. 3, “It’ll be a lot of pressure, I’ll be out there for that first punt and everybody’s expecting me to hit a bomb like Dustin did,” Colquitt said. “It might happen, it might not, but I’ll be nervous the first couple of games, probably, I’m sure. But after the first punt I’ll loosen up a little bit and realize God’s put me out there and it’s real easy.

“I remember in the Orange and White game, I was real nervous,” Colquitt added. “And my punt I hit real well and the second punt I hit real bad. Who knows? I feel a lot of times I’ve done well in pressure situations in my life and everything. ...

“I’ve been working hard enough to where, sub-consciously, my body knows what to do.”

As for the live fire of facing major college punt rushers, as the Vols No. 1 punter, Colquitt looks ahead to The Swamp.

“Especially, right now, Florida, because I watched some film on Florida and Urban Meyer [new UF head coach] was at Utah last year and they blocked twelve punts,” Colquitt said. “Florida’s’ going to be big. I’m not really worried about it. I’m just going to go out and do what God’s given me to do and work harder and just concentrate on the basics.”

“It’s my job to lose,” he said. “That’s how it was, like, at Bearden. I was, like, the only kicker and everything. I kind of like it like that way. I don’t feel like I need pressure right here on my team. In kicking and everything, your biggest enemy is yourself.

As for kickoff duties, Colquitt said he’s more than willing. “Definitely. We really haven’t worked on kickoffs yet. I could kickoff if I needed to.. If something happens, I’m there. ... I think I can put it into the end zone consistently. I don’t know how deep, I haven’t really worked on it. They [coaches] always want ‘em to the corner in the end zone, and I feel like I can do it consistently.”

Steve Caldwell, Vol special teams coach:

“It looks good so far, I’m anxious to get a little pressure on him,” Caldwell said. “He’s been hitting the ball real well so far.”

Though Caldwell said the plans “right now” are for Colquitt only to punt, “he’ll be our back-up kick-off guy, probably. ... He is in a situation where we work on that with him every week.”

Britton said Dustin’s NFL experience “is just totally different. It’s really a job out there. Like here, you can miss a few punts in practice and it’s not a big deal. But up there, every punt they want you hitting it, nailin’ it perfect and everything. ... it’s a lot harder, it’s the real deal.”

Britton Colquitt, red-shirt freshman, s, age 20


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