UK Football

Kentucky football Q&A: Ryan Tydlacka

Kentucky's Ryan Tydlacka averaged 47.1 yards on seven punts in the season opener against Western Kentucky.
Kentucky's Ryan Tydlacka averaged 47.1 yards on seven punts in the season opener against Western Kentucky.

Kentucky punter Ryan Tydlacka was one of the bright spots in Kentucky's season-opening 14-3 win over Western Kentucky University. The Trinity High School product averaged 47.1 yards on seven punts with a long of 59. Three times, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior pinned WKU inside its 20. Here are five good questions with the Kentucky punter:

Question: In baseball, you hear pitchers say they can tell before games that they've "got their good stuff." As a punter, can you tell before a game if you will be at your best?

Answer: "Absolutely. Absolutely. Just punting, you can feel the ball hit your foot and it feels really good. Sometimes, you'll have games that in early outs (meaning pre-game practice), you might not hit the ball completely solid and your form will be off a little bit.

"That's the games you might not hit it as well. Sometimes you can get out of it, but you always know right before if you are going to have a great game or not."

Q: In basketball, you hear guys say they spend the summer in the gym, shoot 500 jump shots a day. How does a punter train?

A: "The exact same way. Summer is the biggest time of the year for me. Right here, right now in the fall, I'm not going to punt much during practices because it's like a pitcher who has a pitch count. I don't want to kick a lot, I don't want to wear my leg down. By the end of the year, you can take 5, 10 yards off your distance just by kicking a few balls extra each day. You can really wear down your leg.

"What I do in the summer, I go out and kick hundreds of balls, at least five days a week. I'm kicking a lot. I'm tearing my leg down just so I can rebuild it and have the strength for the season."

Q: In the NFL, you always read that the position players don't treat the kickers like real football players. When you have a game like you did against Western, does that make the other guys treat you better?

A: "I've never really had the problem here at the University of Kentucky about them treating me different. I'm one of the guys. Just going out and helping them out is awesome. The guys respect me whether I have a good game or a bad game."

Q: In the world of punting, do chicks dig the long ball?

A: "(Laughs). Chicks love the long ball."

Q: Your older brother, Wade, kicked for Louisville (2000-03). Next Saturday, who is he for?

A: "Kentucky. He has one more year of going for Kentucky, then he'll switch back. I finally got him last year to wear blue. It used to be he'd just wear white. He'd be for Kentucky but he wouldn't wear blue. But he's doing that now. I don't think he'll be a lifetime convert to Kentucky football, but we've got him for one more year."

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