The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2020 season.
#19 Jay Bramblett, Punter
Jay Bramblett committed to Notre Dame in May of 2018. He chose the Irish over an offer from the Missouri Tigers. Per 247Sports Composite rankings, Bramblett was a 3 star recruit and the top ranked punter in the class of 2019. During his senior year of high school, he was named a First Team All-American by MaxPreps and All-USA First Team by USA Today as a punter. He attended Hillcrest High School, and his hometown is Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Bramblett currently stands 6’ 2’’ and weighs 188 lbs.
Prior to the start of the 2019 season, Brian Kelly said of Bramblett, “His ability is real. We liked his hangtime, he’s not a guy that’s turning it over 55-60 [yards], but he’s a 4.5-4.6 guy which is what we are looking for. It’s still about consistency, we just think he is very coachable.”
Kelly’s quote was pretty spot on for Bramblett’s up and down freshman season. On the positive side, Notre Dame ranked 15th in the country in terms of yards allowed per punt return with an average of 3.89 yards allowed per return. Opponents were only able to return 18 punts on the entire season. While a ton of credit needs to go to Chase Claypool and Alohi Gilman for their effectiveness as gunners, Bramblett also deserves praise for his consistent hangtime. On the negative side, Bramblett only averaged 39.4 yards per punt for the 2019 season. For comparison, Tyler Newsome averaged 44.7 yards per punt during the 2018 campaign.
Did you know that an ostrich possesses the ability to kill a lion with its kicks? I didn’t either. Ostriches have extremely long and strong toenails that tear into flesh and cause severe damage to their victims. Why does any of this matter? Similar to an ostrich, Jay Bramblett has a developing deadly weapon in his kicking leg.
Jay Bramblett will again be Notre Dame’s starting punter for the upcoming season. Though the spring season was curtailed due to COVID-19, it is fair to assume Bramblett continued to get stronger during the winter months in the weight room. This should aid his leg strength and help to improve the length of his punts. If he can maintain his elite hangtime and improve his consistency with distance, Bramblett has a chance to become a major weapon in the battle for field position.