Kickers need love too, and Eastside senior Ezra King just got some.
The senior punter picked up his first college offer Monday after a solid showing at a specialist camp at Shorter University, the Shorter Hawks promptly gave King his first college football offer.
after a great @Shorter_FB specialist camp today, I am happy to announce i have received my first offer! #FLYHAWKS #ONTHEHORI20N #TheWilhoitWay @coachmorrison58 @WilRobinson8 @JamesWilhoit @EastsideFB @CovNewsSports @kickspot_ @KohlsKicking @Chris_Sailer pic.twitter.com/aPVjeEM6p1— Ezra King (@kingezra_) June 10, 2019
King burst onto the local football scene last year as a junior, mostly showing off his powerful leg as Eastside’s punter. King averaged a little over 40 yards per punt during the Eagles’ historic undefeated regular season and Region 4-AAAA championship march last year.
He regularly flipped the field in crucial moments for Eastside, and his special teams performances garnered him recognition as the Kohl’s Kicking Camps National Player of the Week during the 2018 season, not to mention a spot on both the All-Region 4-AAAA and Georgia Sportswriters Association All-State teams as well.
King and the now-graduated Kade Mote made up arguably the state’s best kicker-punter duo. But now with Mote departed and more of the spotlight shining on King, King says he’s been putting in the work to make himself Eastside’s unquestioned top option in the kicking game.
“I really worked in the weight room during the offseason,” King said. “I added almost 10 yards onto my kickoffs, and on field goals, I feel like I can hit from 50 (yards) and in consistently.”
He showed exactly that Monday during the Shorter Camp, as he was tasked to show his stuff in everything from PATs to field goals, kickoffs and punting. During field goal kicking, King said he went from kicking at PAT distance, where the ball is spotted on the two yard line, to 50 yarders in five-yard increments without a miss.
And when he did miss — from 55 yards out — it was just barely.
Last year, King averaged 48 yards per kickoff, on 22 tries while recording one touchback. In comparison, Mote’s per-kickoff average was a shade lower, but he recorded 10 touchbacks on 67 kickoffs.
King was at his best as a punter, averaging close to 40 yards per punt on 23 punts while splitting time with Dalton Whitley. And eight of King’s 23 punts pinned opposing offenses inside the 20-yard line. He was 10 of 12 on PATs and was true on his single field goal attempt of the season — a 45-yarder he booted in Eastside’s 37-0 win over North Clayton early in the season.
King said the early scholarship attention has done nothing but intensify his fire to compete and build his confidence that he can kick at the next level.
“Hopefully this will get other schools to notice me as well,” he said. “I just have the mindset of never being satisfied. Keep improving.”