It didn’t take long for Austin Rehkow to make his name known in the world of college football.
Today, when the 124th Walter Camp Football Team is announced on ESPN during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, he will be recognized as the best punter in the nation. A true freshman, Rehkow averaged 47.8 yards on 75 punts. His career best of 65 yards was one of seven 60-plus kicks. Additionally, he had 27 punts from 50-59 yards.
“It’s definitely an honor to be recognized as such,” said Rehkow, who is a 2013 graduate of Spokane’s Central Valley High School. “It’s a pretty cool thing.”
The Walter Camp team will be announced today (ESPN, 4 p.m. PT) with the formal ceremony taking place on the campus of Yale University on Jan. 12, 2014.
Rehkow’s 2013 average is an Idaho single-season record. It surpasses T.J. Conley’s 2008 average of 47.4. Conley, a senior in 2008, also was a Camp All-American.
This isn’t Rehkow’s first appearance on the national front. As a senior at Central Valley, he booted a 67-yard field goal – a feat that became a YouTube sensation. He carried that versatility to Idaho his freshman year during which he was one of just two players nationwide to handle kicking and punting duties for his team.
It’s a good blend, he said.
“One keeps me sane when one is going wrong,” he said.
In 2013, he was recognized as the FBS Independents Special Teams Player of the Week three times; was the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week once, and was the CollegeFootballPerformanceAwards Special Teams Player of the Week three times.
A one-time soccer player, Rehkow tried punting when he started high school at Central Valley. He was a natural.
“I just gave it a shot,” he said. “It worked. I started to enjoy it.”
Rehkow continued to hone his skills at Idaho with an assist from former Vandal Bobby Cowan, the Vandals’ career punting leader and a first-team All-American in 2011.
“He helped me turn good punts into great punts,” Rehkow said.