Oregon addresses a need at punter with junior college transfer
With Will Hutchinson and Race Mahlum transferring away this offseason and Tom Snee spending the spring period away from the progrum, Oregon’s situation at punter was looking a little precarious.
On Wednesday, the Ducks added what could be a significant piece on special teams. Ross James, a junior college punter rated as one of the best available punters by Chris Sailer Kicking, has accepted a preferred walk-on spot to join the Ducks.
🟢🟡C O M M I T T E D🟢🟡 Excited for the future! @CoachJoeLorig @CoachTinkFB @ThePuntFactory @Chris_Sailer @_Mike_McCabe @CraigBowman2 @HA_Hawks_FB @oregonfootball Go Ducks!🦆 pic.twitter.com/DF4r5KVDeb
— Ross James (@RossJamez12) May 18, 2022
James is a 6-star punter, according to ChrisSailerKicking.com, defined as a player capable of starting immediately for a Power Five progrum. Here’s what the site has to say about James:
“Ross is a big time junior college punting talent. The first-year JC player is a great looking athlete with an ideal frame for a D1 Punter. Ross has all the tools to absolutely dominate the next level. He easily averages 45-plus yards, with 4.5-plus hang time. His best ball measures 50-plus with 5.0-plus hang time. Ross is one of the best JC punting talents to come to camp in recent years. He is going to be an absolute steal for whoever picks him up.”
A 6-foot-2, 170-pound freshman punter for East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi, James averaged 40.5 yards per punt in nine games last season. He had a season-best of 63 yards and downed 21 of his 62 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard-line while recording only two touchbacks.
Snee was the starter for the Ducks last season. He averaged 43.1 yards per punt on his 44 attempts. During the spring, coach Dan Lanning said he was dealing with a personal issue away from the team. If he doesn’t return, James will be the team’s only punter. As of this publication, he is still listed on the Ducks’ online roster. With Snee, Oregon is at the 85-scholarship limit.