Eight questions with Southeast punter David Simonhoff

Friday, September 1, 2006

Q. As a senior wanting to finish your college career on a winning team, what kind of feelings do you get from first-year coach Tony Samuel and the assistants that it will happen this year?

A. The coaches are real positive and confident. They're confident in what they teach. I think all of that is rubbing off on the players. And we have so many players back from last year, which should help us.

Q. What do you think are the most positive attributes or traits that coach Samuel and his new staff have brought to the program?

A. A lot of discipline and hard work. I think they're able to get the most out of the players, and they're real diplomatic in their relationship with the players. I think they can get the players to cooperate and buy into what they're trying to get us to do.

Q. You were a good all-around athlete in high school, playing quarterback and free safety. When did you begin spending more time on punting than other aspects of football?

A. Basically my senior year in high school. I had been playing soccer my whole life, I have a pretty strong leg, I had been punting and I felt really comfortable with it. When schools started recruiting me as a punter, I thought that would be my ticket to college. Not that many schools give full rides to kickers.

Q. As a two-time All-American who will no doubt go down as arguably the best punter in Southeast history and among the best in OVC history, what are your goals for your final season?

A. A personal goal to not have one punt under 30 yards this year and have a net average of above 40 yards. But really, I just want to play on a championship team and really enjoy my senior season. I value being a part of a team. A lot of people take it for granted, but I don't.

Q. You set school and OVC records in 2004 by averaging 46 yards per punt for the season. How important are individual records to you?

A. Not that important. Truthfully, it's cool and everything, but when you're on a team that loses so many games, it doesn't really mean anything. It would be much more gratifying to play just a small role on a championship team.

Q. How much of a goal is it for you to become an NFL punter, and how realistic do you think your chances are?

A. It's not really as big a goal as you would think, because there are things in my life I think are more important than football, but I definitely want to try for it. I'm sure I'll get a shot somewhere.

Q. What has been the most satisfying part of your college career so far?

A. I feel like I got really lucky to play college football. To play four years at the college level, it's a great gift. Just having the opportunity to be here, to meet people of all different backgrounds is the most important thing to me. Being a senior, I want to appreciate every moment I've got left here, because I'm going to miss it so much when it's over.

Q. You're a philosophy major. What are your future plans if the NFL doesn't pan out?

A. First of all, I'm definitely going to get my degree, then I haven't decided if I'm going to start another major or not. I've thought about law school, but I've thought about a whole bunch of things.

Nothing is set in stone.

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