– The Georgetown University football preseason is well underway as the team is working hard to prepare for the 2018 season. As the Hoyas get ready for the season opener at Marist College on Sept. 1, GUHoyas.com will take an in-depth look at each of the team's position groups, with this edition featuring the specialists.
The Hoyas return junior Brad Hurst
(Helen, Ga./White County), who handled all three phases of the kicking game last season. He became just the second Hoya to surpass 3,000 yards punting as he punted 79 times on the season with an average of 41.5 yards per kick, both of which rank second in GU's single-season record book. Hurst landed 17 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line and had 10 kicks that went for at least 50 yards, including a 71- and 69-yard punt that rank third and fifth, respectively, for the longest in program history.
Hurst also connected on five of his nine field goal attempts, including a season-long 42-yard boot in GU's season-opening win at Campbell, and was 12-of-16 in PAT kicks. He was one of the most consistent in the Patriot League in kickoffs, averaging 63.1 yards on 35 kicks, and ranking second in the conference with 18 touchbacks. He was the only kicker in the league to record a touchback on more than 50 percent of his kickoffs, reaching the end zone 18 out of 35 tries.
"Brad has looked good," Georgetown Special Teams Coordinator Maurice Banks
said. "He's again been doing all three phases so far and his leg is strong. We are just trying to keep his reps down so he doesn't wear himself out."
Senior Oliver Hill
(Brooklyn, N.Y./Deerfield Academy [Mass.]) and freshman Zachariah McBride
(Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist) will compete to see the field behind Hurst. Last season, his first with the Hoyas, Hill got into one game as a junior and connected on his only PAT attempt at Lehigh. He will look to back up Hurst in both kickoffs as well as field goals and PAT attempts. McBride, who can also kick in all three phases, has primarily been punting in the first 10 practices.
"Both of those guys are doing a really good job," Banks said. "Oliver has come a long way, and then McBride has a live leg and when he gets hold of it, good things are going to happen for us. We are going to find a role for both of them somewhere to keep the pressure off of Brad in terms of how many kicks he gets in a game and in practice."
The Hoyas will have some new faces in the longsnapping department with the loss of Warren Wynn (MSB'18) to graduation. Freshman Brady Weas
(Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay) will assume the team's longsnapping duties, while fellow freshman Dylan Hatajik
(East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme), who is also a tight end on the offense, will back him up. Junior tight end Isaac Schley
(Littleton, Colo./Chatfield) and senior wide receiver John Schuster
(Newton, Mass./The Middlesex School) will both also take reps in practice.
"We've been really impressed with Brady," Banks said. "He's very athletic, so he will help us in the coverage aspect on punts. His times and location have been really good. We are trying to make sure he gets with the punters and the holders to get that relationship down. Hatajik, who also longsnapped in high school, has been doing a good job in practice."
The Hoyas open the 2018 season on Saturday, September 1 at Marist. Kickoff in Poughkeepsie, New York is scheduled for 1 p.m. The Blue & Gray will play its home opener at Cooper Field the following weekend, hosting Campbell on September 8 for a 12:30 p.m. matchup.