Soden continues punting career

Published 6:01 pm Friday, July 24, 2015

Former Bainbridge High School Bearcats punter Paul Randall Soden has had a good punting career with the Southern University Jaguars in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In 2014, the junior Jaguar and former Bearcat averaged over 45 yards a punt and put several punts inside the opponents 20-yard line

Soden, a junior, has been the Jaguars starting punter since his freshman season. In high school, he played under former Bearcats head coach Ed Pilcher. He says he thinks punting is a mental thing.

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“I punt the best when I block everything else out of my mind,” he said.

Against the Alcorn State University Braves last season, Soden averaged 45.7 yards on seven punts and five of his punts were inside he 20 yard line.

Soden, who also played soccer during his high school sports career, said he decided to see if that experience could transfer into football punting. He tried it and it worked well.

He says that going forward, he is focusing on succeeding in practice so he can compete well in the game and he points out that a big focus of his is overthinking during the game.

“It’s all mental,” Soden said. “I’m just working on getting my mind right so I could be consistent in the games and perform how I need to perform.”

He averaged 38.3 yards a punt at Prairie View and also had a solid performance against Alcorn State.

Marty Biagi, Soden’s Jaguars special teams coordinator, says the sport that best correlates with teaching punting and kicking is golf, a sport that Soden has an interest in.

“In golf and punting, the specialist should keep his head still and his body on balance,”  Biagi said . He also pointed out that other problems that plague punters can be a bad swing, steps that are too long or dropping their leg too soon.