Kentucky punter Wilson Berry is faced with the challenging task of replacing a Wildcat legend. Ray Guy Award Winner Max Duffy finished his UK career by averaging 46 yards per punt and capturing the hearts of the Big Blue Nation with his propensity for the dramatic that often times resulted in a net-positive for the Cat’s special teams. KSR had the opportunity to chat with Berry on Media Day. The Australia native didn’t disappoint.
Max Duffy’s Influence
Mark Stoops can credit his former punter for landing Berry on the recruiting trail. “We both come from the same group, ProKick Australia,” Berry said. “When it came to picking a school, Max wrote about this place. Thank God I’m here.”
Duffy and Berry are both former Australian Rules Football players and have a great deal in common. Stylistically, the twenty-four-year-old rookie is working on the rugby style punt as well as the traditional boot that could prove to be beneficial.
“It’s early in the process for me, finding my feet. I can do either at this point. It’s a matter of finding consistency on my part,” said Berry.
“One Step at a Time”
Berry is acclimating to a new country and the game of college football. He’s taking the process one step and one punt at a time.
“One step at a time. Each punt, take it as it is, win me a job and go into the season. Staying healthy and building up that knowledge base of a new sport and new training regimen. Get ready to attack the season.”
The punter is also adjusting to life in Lexington which is much different than Melbourne, Australia. “Yeah, loving it. It’s a great city. Good people. It’s different, I come from Melbourne, a place of five million people to Lexington that’s a big small town.”
What Does All This Mean?
Wilson’s brother Jordan was a punter at Eastern Kentucky and is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The new punter in town is also friends with former Wildcat Max Duffy. Expectations are high for the former Australian Rules Football player. Duffy established a high bar for the UK punt team. It’s unrealistic to expect Berry to be Max Duffy. However, after a glowing endorsement from the former Cat, Berry will be called upon continue the standard that Duffy established in Lexington.
Berry will compete with veteran punter Colin Goodfellow for the starting job during fall camp. Kickoff specialist Chance Poore was also punting during UK’s open practice. The job won’t be given to Berry without a fight. But, the expectation is for the freshman to eventually earn the spot.