SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – One of the most dangerous weapons on this new-look Jenkins Warriors team likely won’t catch a single pass or run the ball at all this year.
His name is Michael Becton and he’s one of the best punters in the state of Georgia.
“I think they can trust me, knowing I can pin the offense back and put the defense in a good position,” Becton explained. The junior specialist has a boot that can blast a ball 40 yards and recently showcased his accuracy with a coffin corner punt against Johnson last Friday night.
“It feels great because it gives our team an advantage that many teams in this area don’t have,” Becton said, when asked what it’s like to pin an opposing defense back.
Becton was in an interesting situation last season, playing for a 2020 Jenkins team that was known for not punting the ball.
“I put a lot of work in before last season and continued to put it in during the season, even though I wouldn’t get any punting reps,” Becton. “Now that I did that, look where I am now. You can’t just say ‘oh well’ and then stop doing what you did. That won’t help you because you don’t know what could happen.”
His patience is paying off. Jenkins hired Tony Welch to take over the head coaching duties and the Warriors are back to punting the ball when the situation is right on fourth downs. Becton said he welcomes the added reps and the pressure that comes with them.
“They love when you do well, but when I do bad no one likes it,” Becton admits with a smile. “I try to do my best all the time and, when I do, the defense loves me. They give me handshakes and high fives when I kick a great ball.”
Becton’s hard work has earned him some national recognition. Before the season, he was given a 4-star ranking by Kohl’s Kicking — a company renowned for training high school kickers and getting them ready for college football.
“It shows me that you have to put everything into it. You can’t put what you want into it, now, if you want to be good at something, you have to put your all into it,” Becton added. “Some days, I wonder ‘Man, should I still punt?’ but then I look where I am and I shouldn’t stop now.”