Meet Freddie Capshaw
Aug. 21, 2002
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (www.hurricanesports.com) – Last season, Hurricane special-teams player Freddie Capshaw made highlight reels nationwide when, while holding for kicker Todd Sievers, he snatched up a bad snap on a routine field goal attempt and sprinted to the end zone for a touchdown during a 49-27 romp over the Seminoles at Tallahassee.
Running for the end zone was not as foreign to the UM punter as one might expect. Capshaw was an all-conference tailback on his high school team in Rock Springs, Wyoming, and was the number two running back prospect out of that state. He was also a second-team all-state honoree at running back, and made the first team all-state team at defensive back, punter, and kickoff returner.
At UM, Capshaw was a Ray Guy Award finalist last season, and he has twice been named first-team All-BIG EAST. He also has been the BIG EAST Player of the Week four times during his career. He averaged 41.8 yards per punt last season, placed 15 of his 36 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, belted 11 punts of 50 or more yards, and had eight of his punts breach the opponent’s end zone.
What were you thinking when you scored that touchdown against Florida State last season?
FC: “It was like a 35, 37-yard field goal and we lined up to kick it. (Long snapper Joe Fantigrassi) snapped the ball way outside and I reached over and caught it, but I couldn’t put it down for Todd to kick it so I just picked it up and ran.”
What went through your mind as you ran?
FC: “Just to get in the end zone. Actually, I was mad at Joe the whole time because he gave up the bad snap. I wasn’t even thinking about it until Todd told me that I had scored a touchdown. I thought it was just a two-point conversion or something. I had totally forgotten that we were kicking a field goal. It was a lot of fun looking back on it and watching it on TV that night.”
How difficult was it for you to make the transition to being a punter?
FC: “For me it was really difficult because I was used to being the center of the team and now I have just a minor part in the team. It was a really hard adjustment for me. Going from being a team captain and having everybody dependent on me every play to only having six or seven chances in a game to make a play. It was a big adjustment. It’s the same with every player. You go from being the top dog in high school to being the low man on the totem pole. It was a big adjustment. It was tough.”
How were you recruited and by whom?
FC: “(former head coach Butch Davis recruited me) because they had talked to some of the kicking coaches I had in high school at kicking camps. They called them because they needed a punter and they recommended me. I got a few offers from Division II schools to play running back and corner, and stuff like that. I got a few Division I offers.”
Why did you decide to come to Miami?
FC: “Because it’s the farthest place from Wyoming (laughs). I took an unofficial visit down here and saw everything that was around the campus and south Florida I just loved it here and this was the place that I wanted to be.”
What kind of a town is Rock Springs?
FC: “It’s just like Mayberry – minus the niceties. It’s about 60 minutes from everything. It was brought up during the oil boom. It’s a pretty crazy town, but it’s real small.”
What role does physical conditioning play in punting?
FC: “I think it plays a very big part. A lot of people don’t understand that you have to be in pretty good physical shape to do it. You have to be physically fit to do anything that you do in football in order to be competitive. So I think it plays a really big part.”
How do you prepare yourself for a punt?
FC: “Nothing, I just prepare during the week. I figure all the preparation gets done during the four or five days leading up to a game. If you need to prepare during a game, you’re in trouble.”
What kind of a punt gives you satisfaction?
FC: “Whatever kind of a punt helps out our team. I feel like if I do my job then the other teams has 90, 95 yards to go. It gives our defense a lot of field to work with. It gives our defense a better percentage to not get scored on.”
How did you work to improve yourself?
FC:”The coaches gave me criteria on what I needed to work on. I just went out and did it. I did a lot of drills and a lot of hard work during the summer.”
What are your personal goals for the season?
FC: “To average something over 45 yards, make All-American, win the Ray Guy Award, things like that.”
What makes a special teams player different?
FC: “Everybody else will tell you that a kicker is probably the weirdest guy on the field. Special teams players are just a different breed. They don’t mind giving up their bodies. They don’t mind getting punished or punishing people. They like the physical contact and they like the competition it brings. Special teams players are a little different than any other player.”
What physical attributes make for a good punter?
FC: “I can’t tell you that. I’ve seen so many different body types on so many different punters. Tall, lanky guys that hit the ball. Tall, big guys that look like they should be tight ends or defensive linemen, and then there’s me. I’m 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. So I don’t know.”
What do you do when you’re not studying or practicing?
FC: “I like to golf, fish. Anything I can do. I like to do things outdoors. I like playing soccer a lot. Things like that.”