January 2, 2014

Enjoying the moment, Medley eyes future with Vols

This evening future Vol kicker Aaron Medley will conclude his high school competitive play as the kicker for Team Nitro in the Under Armour All-Star Game.

For Medley, whose family has spent the week in Orlando with him, this week has been about fun and it's been an experience he won't soon forget.

"I'm just trying to have fun here. It's a dream to come down here and hanging out with these players. For the the kickers, you don't have to learn a new offensive system or a defensive system. For us, it's just making kicks and having fun just enjoying ourselves here," Medley explained.

"Right now I'm just trying to enjoy the moment. Today, they put a helmet camera on me and I was really nervous. I had to get a good shot and I had to be conscious of that. The camera is always on you here. It's different. But you learn to block it out and just have fun with it."

For the Lewisburg native who committed hours after he got his lifelong dream offer from the Vols, the fun becomes very different this summer when he arrives on campus in Knoxville. With Michael Palardy graduating after his MVP season, all of the Vols' kicking duties are up for grabs.

"They told me to be ready for all 3 if need be. I'm really trying to concentrate on kicking first, then punting. That's kind of how I see myself progressing.

"I really haven't had that much formal training as a punter."

In Orlando this week, Medley's punting hasn't been as consistent as he would like. He has been very solid with his placekicking, although he felt like Tuesday wasn't his best work.

"Punting Tuesday was a little harder because the wind was in our face," Medley said. "It's one of those challenges you have to overcome. Field goals (Tuesday), I felt like I was hitting them a little short, but they were still straight as an arrow so I'm pretty pleased about that."

Kicking the ball straight is what Medley prides himself on and it's his focus in his continued development as a kicker.

"It's all about accuracy. That's one thing that James (Wilhoit) has really taught me," Medley offered. "You want to be really consistent and to the point that you know what you're doing if you miss 5 foot right or 5 foot left. I'm not quite to that point yet, but I think I will be there by the end of spring."

To get there, Medley's kicking routine is a simple one where he's focusing on a specific area of the football field.

"Most kicks in college come from 30 and 40 yards. You might have 3 or 4 past 50 in an entire season. Those kicks, if you can get 2 or 3 of them you're great," Medley said. "But the really consistent kickers are perfect from inside 40 yards and that's what I'm trying to be."

"Usually in a practice, I will have 10 spots and I will work both hashes back and forth like a zig zag. If I'm feeling good, I will hit a few from past 50. Both other than that, I will do a round and evaluate myself. If I hit 8 of 10 then I will do another round to go 9 for 10. It all depends. I've had some rounds where I go 6 for 10 and I'm like that's unacceptable and I will kick another round because that's not good enough."

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