By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky hopes legacy recruit Jackson Smith will help take care of its future kicking needs. Boyle County junior Jackson Smith, the son of former UK all-SEC punter Andy Smith, verbally committed to UK last week.
The Smiths had inside information on the Kentucky program from All-American punter Max Duffy, who has worked summer kicking camps with Andy Smith and even coached Jackson Smith.
“Max is as honest as they come,” Andy smith said. “What he said all along is this is just a great opportunity and the coach Stoops you see is who he is. He is genuine.”
The Smiths also have a “good relationship” with UK quality control assistant Louie Matsakis, who works with kickers/punters.
“I like how he charts things in practice and the little stuff he talks about. He is a knowledgeable guy,” Andy Smith said.
Jackson Smith is the top-ranked kicker in the 2022 recruiting class by ProKicker.com. He is being recruited as a kicker but is also a talented punter.
“Jackson is a heck of a punter. We did ask if they are open to him potentially doing both down the road,” Andy Smith said. “They said the best guy wins the job. It’s difficult at a high level to do all three (punt, place kick and kick off) but they said if he won the job he would get it.
“I did everything in high school and then my freshman year at Western I did kickoffs and punts. At Kentucky I was the punter and holder (for place kicks). You just never know until you get there but I know he excels at all three and will work his tail off.”