TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Cason Beatty is part of a tight Florida State special-teams unit.
Beatty, a former quarterback and punter at Olympic High, will not only punt for the Seminoles in Monday’s BCS title game against Auburn, but he will also hold for Roberto Aguayo, this season’s Lou Groza Award winner as the nation’s top kicker.
“I’ve got pretty good hands and I’ve been a holder for a long time,” said Beatty. “Roberto and I work well together and look what happened: We brought home the Groza.”
Beatty’s primary focus, however, is on his punting. After a freshman season in which he averaged 38.3 yards per punt, Beatty has improved to 40.8 yards this season, with 11 of his 36 punts landing inside the 20. His career-long punt of 59 yards came in Florida State’s 45-7 victory against Duke in the ACC championship game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, just a few miles from where he grew up.
“That just really made it all the better, having my ‘long’ come in Charlotte,” said Beatty.
Beatty’s size – 6-foot-3, 239 pounds – isn’t that of an average punter. He was an excellent quarterback at Olympic, but his skill as a punter made him the recruiting target for several Football Bowl Subdivision programs.
He said he nearly committed to North Carolina in 2011, but after receiving a tip that then-coach Butch Davis would soon be fired and the Tar Heels would likely be placed on NCAA probation (both of which happened), he instead headed to Tallahassee.
Beatty is one of more than 20 punters and kickers from the Charlotte area who played college football this season. His Charlotte-based punting instructor, Dan Orner, often gives him real-time pointers when Beatty sends him practice video from his cell phone.
“I’ll be out on the field and (coaches) are taking video of me,” said Beatty. “I send it straight to (Orner) and he tells me what I’m doing right or wrong.”
Beatty comes from an athletic family. His older brother Lucas, a junior quarterback at Gardner-Webb, is the Bulldogs’ career completion-percentage leader. Younger sister Grace has signed to play softball for the Charlotte 49ers in 2015.
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