At 6-foot-6, JK Scott may be the tallest punter in college football.
“I have no idea,” he said. “I don’t know how tall everyone else is.”
The lean, 204-pound senior has grown two inches since he arrived at Alabama. It isn’t even close to the largest growth spurt in his life. That came in high school in Denver.
“I was actually decently tall, like average, my freshman year, and then I grew like seven inches my sophomore year,” he said. “It was a ton all at once, and I got really tall.”
It wasn’t expected.
“My dad’s like 5-10 and my mom’s 5-4,” he said. “They’re not that tall. We don’t have any tall relatives, either.”
Scott may not be done. He continues to adjust to his ever-increasing height.
“I’m still growing into it,” he said. “Just through high school, all the growing, I would lose coordination and have tightness in muscles because you’re growing so fast. I’d have to do a lot of work to just keep my body right.”
His punting has never suffered for it, even though he’s had to adjust his drop point a bit at Alabama as his legs and arms have grown longer. His 47.2-yard average last season ranked third nationally, earning him first-team All-SEC and second-team All-America honors. Almost 40 percent of his punts went beyond 50 yards, and seven went beyond 60.
“I’ve gotten more explosive. Little things have been tweaked and changed just to adjust. Some of that has been (from growing), but not a lot,” Scott said.
Lately, he’s been working on precision.
“One of the big things I worked on in the offseason is the Australian-style punt,” he said, noting that it’s not to be confused with the roll-out-style rugby punt. “You’re trying to like pin inside the 5 (yard-line). That’s where you have the end-over-end, you drop it straight down, and I just put a little more focus on those kind of things.”
That’s not all. Scott is also in the mix for Crimson Tide kickoff and field-goal kicking duties. He says he’s ready if called upon.
In high school, he did all three jobs. His longest field goal was 58 yards.
“At Alabama, I’ve always done backup kickoff,” he said. “I’ve kept that going, kept training for that. I enjoy kicking. I will say that. Or kicking off. I enjoy punting. Whatever they need me for.”
He’ll leave it up to the coaching staff to determine whether he’ll add kicking to his punting duties.
“I don’t really know what they’re planning for that,” he said Saturday. “We’ll see. We haven’t even kicked off yet, we’ve just been punting. We haven’t done field goals yet this year.”
Whether he becomes a kicker/punter or sticks to punting, Scott’s teammates recognize his value.
“Every day (in practice) when we do punt, he’ll punt that ball 50 yards and we’ll have to run down and get it,” said linebacker Keith Holcombe. “It helps us out so much come season. JK’s a freak of a punter and a freak of an athlete. We know what we have.”
Reach Tommy Deas at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0224.