He is but a junior, yet already Matt Cummins is making his mark. Not with blazing speed, or an uncanny running ability, not even with bone jarring hits or interceptions.
The Conway Wampus Cat junior is doing it with his foot.
Cummins took over kicking duties for Conway as a sophomore last season and has done nothing but impress.
So far this season, he is 22 of 23 on his point after touchdowns and has hit four of six field goals including a 48-yarder he hit against Jonesboro.
“It was fourth and long,” Wampus Cats’ head coach Clint Ashcraft said. “We felt like if we punted to them, they would go down and score, so we gave it a shot.”
Ashcraft said his standout kicker has more distance in his leg and said he wouldn’t rule out kicking from 50-plus yards, possibly even as far as 60 if the game conditions were right.
“He booms them in practice,” Ashcraft said of Cummins’ 60 yard attempts. “He hit from 52 last year.”
Cummins also averages 40 yards per punt this season and has put 24 of his 33 kickoffs into the endzone for touchbacks.
“He’s quite a weapon,” Ashcraft said. “He does a great job.”
Ashcraft said what makes Cummins the kicker he is is due in large part to his work ethic.
“He’s out here on Saturday and Sunday working,” Ashcraft said. “He works hard in the weight room to get stronger and get better.”
Listed at 6-0, 180, Ashcraft surmises that Cummins hit the weight room since last year and put 20 pounds of good weight on his body.
“I can imagine what he’ll be next year with another year of work under his belt,” Ashcraft said. “He’s come a long way from that skinny receiver we saw last year.”
Not only are high school opponents seeing what Cummins is doing with his leg, he is also getting college attention.
“He gets probably two letters per week,” Ashcraft said. “And it seems like he’s gone somewhere every weekend.”
Though Ashcraft confirmed Cummins’ attendance at Arkansas and Tulsa games, there has yet to be an offer.
If Cummins keeps booting the football, at this rate colleges will be doing more than filling his mailbox.