SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame kicker Kyle Brindza will be asked to do a lot for the Irish in his junior year.
The 6-foot, 236-pounder will add punting to his list of duties.
Brindza kicked off and handled field goals last season for the Irish, going 23 for 31 on field goals and averaging 62.6 yards on kickoffs. The graduate Ben Turk handled punting, averaging 40.8 yards per punt.
It is not new for Brindza to handle kicking and punting, he did it when he was at Plymouth High School in Michigan. But the Canton, Mich., native is taking a new approach to filling the two roles at Notre Dame.
"Back in high school, I would say I was a kicker and a punter, but I'd say I was more a kicker and a raw punter," Brindza said Friday. "Now I can truly call myself a pure kicker and a pure punter. Because now I've finally worked on the fundamentals of punting. I finally understand when I hit a bad punt, why that happened. Where just as if I hit a bad field goal, I can understand why that happened. I can finally understand now I'm a punter and a kicker, not just a kicker and a raw punter. It has kind of developed on me, and it has kind of worked into my system.
"It has come a long way, that is for sure."
Brindza said he has been sending film to his former kicking coach Brandon Kornblue during the spring to help him improve his punting technique, and it has been defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Bob Diaco that has worked the most with Brindza to turn him into a punter.
"Coach Diaco has helped me out tremendously," Brindza said. "He's been able to take the time for his linebackers, but for us punters as well, in order to go out there and understand the fundamentals for punting. He's incorporated with me not really punting the ball that much in the spring, because we haven't been able to go outside, just making sure I'm focused on my form. He's been drilling that into me like he drills his linebackers. That is helping me out a lot."
Brindza will continue to keep working on his kicking and punting skills after Saturday's Blue-Gold game, which marks the end of the Irish's spring practice.
Brindza will spend the summer working at camps with Kornblue, and the Irish kicker will also keep improving his game.
"I will be going out there the day before, so he can work with me individually and so I won't lose my mechanics," Brindza said. "Because in the summer, you kind of work on your own, being that the coaches can't really help you. I can't really talk to Coach Diaco that much and be out there with him, so it is time for me to go out to a different place and work with my kicking coach."