South Carolina tight end Jacob August wasn’t recruited to that position.
No, he had to work to get there, going through a year of prep school and walking on with the Gamecocks. The Cardinal Newman product was recruited as a punter out of high school, and now he’s getting a chance to dabble at his old spot.
“The old coaching staff knew I was punting, but the new coaching staff didn’t,” August said. “I went up to coach Coleman Hutzler and I said, ‘Hey, just to let you know, I came in as a punter, I was recruited as a punter in high school. What do you think of me starting to punt again?’ He was like, ‘Oh man, that would be awesome if you wanted to do that.’ ”
August spent four weeks training by himself and got a tryout the third day of fall camp. He did well enough to keep punting.
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August only had five receptions for 52 yards in 2016, but that understates how much he played. The Gamecocks played two tight ends through almost the entire season, and August got extensive snaps working behind Hayden Hurst and K.C. Crosby.
He said he’s getting a few reps here and there, while also working in more standard special teams spots for a mobile, athletic 258-pounder.
August mostly works on punting after practice, and he’s gotten support from punters Joseph Charlton and Michael Almond, plus snappers Harrison Freeman and Ben Asbury. August said there’s been a big transition in terms of operation time from the high school level.
But don’t expect him to slip into special teams in a big way.
“I think I’m really just there for emergency situations because tight end is my first position and that’s what I’m focused on,” August said.