The Recruiting Guy:

Hogs making strong push for top punter

By: Richard Davenport Richard Davenport's Twitter account
Published: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Arkansas special teams coordinator Scott Fountain watches Thursday, April 15. 2021, during practice at the university practice field in Fayetteville. Visit nwaonline.com/210416Daily/ for the photo gallery.
( Andy Shupe)
Arkansas special teams coordinator Scott Fountain watches Thursday, April 15. 2021, during practice at the university practice field in Fayetteville. Visit nwaonline.com/210416Daily/ for the photo gallery.

The nation’s top punting prospect, Alex Bacchetta, visited the University of Arkansas for the spring game and is looking to make a return trip for an official visit this summer.

Bacchetta, 6-3, 205 pounds, of Atlanta Westminster School, is a rare kicker with scholarship offers. Most kickers usually have to walk on and earn offers, but he has offers from Arkansas, Virginia and Penn State while drawing interest from numerous others.

The NCAA recently announced the dead period would be lifted June 1, which allows prospects to start visiting campuses.

Because he and his father attended the spring game April 17 during the dead period, they weren’t able to have interaction with the coaches or see the inside of the facilities.

“I think it matches a lot of the boxes I’m looking for in a program,” said Bacchetta, who’s being recruited to punt at Arkansas. “Beautiful campus, beautiful school. I like that it’s surrounded by a lot of country side. That’s kind of something I’m into.”

Bacchetta said he could see himself at Arkansas.

“It’s probably the most fun college town I’ve been to,” he said. “I’ve visited several schools, but that’s something that stands out. My dad was even saying the amount of restaurants within the campus and downtown area alone was unbelievable.”

He and his parents did a virtual visit with Arkansas earlier this year.

“That was probably the most impressive junior day I ever had,” Bacchetta said. “My parents loved it.”

Kohl’s Kicking rates Bacchetta the No. 1 punter and the No. 7 kicker in the nation for the 2022 class.

“He is physically ahead of other good players, and he’s been working on the mechanics for years,” said Jamie Kohl, the director for Kohl’s Professional Camps. “Punters normally take longer to develop and Bacchetta is way ahead of the curve. He is also very good on kickoffs and field goals.”

Bacchetta was aware of the Hog call, but hearing it in person during the Red-White Game was a memorable experience.

“Right before the kickoff, I knew they would put their hands up and wiggle them and stuff like that, but I didn’t know the whole routine, if that makes sense,” he said.

Special teams coordinator Scott Fountain is Bacchetta’s lead recruiter.

“I’ve always loved talking to him,” Bacchetta said. “He’s been recruiting me a lot these last few months. It’s been a pleasure to learn more about him and the program.”

He likes how Fountain approaches his job.

“He encourages you and he pushes you hard to become as consistent as possible,” Bacchetta said. “I wouldn’t say he’s a perfectionist, but he knows what he’s doing, if you look at the success he’s had with other specialists in the past.

“He knows what a good punt team is like. He has a lot of experience with special teams, and that’s one great positive about Coach Fountain that I’m definitely aware of.”

He also talks with Coach Sam Pittman and calls the Head Hog a “great guy.”

“He even texts my mom like, ‘Hope you’re having a great day, here’s my number if you need it,’ ” Bacchetta said. “You don’t get many head coaches to text recruits in my opinion. Even more so since I’m a kicker, but Coach Pittman and Coach Fountain value special teams.”

He’s looking to make trips to the three schools who have extended offers.

“I would love to take an official visit to Arkansas,” he said. “Probably going to take one to Penn State. Probably going to take one to Virginia.”

Bacchetta became friends with Razorbacks freshman kicker Cameron Little while attending camps. He said Little is happy in Fayetteville.

“He said he loves it,” Bacchetta said. “Loves Coach Fountain. Loves the program. He has a lot of friends there and has formed great relationships with his teammates.”

Bacchetta is looking to make his college decision this summer.

“I would say probably mid-June,” he said.

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