This article was written by Kelly Patrick, a contributor with KentuckySports.co.
Continuing with my countdown of the top 10 Louisville Cardinal Football players according to EA Sports NCAA 2012 I will talk a little about the Kicker/Punter Chris Philpott. Because Philpott represents the special teams unit when it comes to this count-down for the most part I will also discuss a little about the state of the Cards Special Teams unit as a whole.
Chris is a Senior Kicker out of St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta, GA. He stands 6 ft and weighs about 200 lbs. Chris wears jersey #12 and coming out of high school he was rated as the second most accurate kicker according to rivals.com and, also according to rivals.com as the 10th best overall kicker.
Chris handles both the punting and kicking duties for the Cards and has handled all of the kickoff duties ever since his freshman season as he has always been known for having a very strong leg. His freshman season he was 1-3 on field goal attempts connecting on a 19 yard field goal versus Tennessee Tech. As a sophomore he was 5-5 on FG Attempts before having a very solid all around Junior season going 14-18 for the season and hitting a career long 46 yarder in the win over Arkansas State and a 44 yarder versus Kentucky. Along with the good season as the field goal kicker he also had a very strong season handling the back-up punting duties (he took over as the full time starting punter against Pittsburgh and doesn’t appear to be losing the double duties any time soon), averaging 41.3 yards on six punts in a win over Syracuse and also had a 72 yard punt which was the longest in school history since the 1992 season.
Special teams are often overlooked but can be as important as any other unit especially during crucial moments of the game. Last season the Cards were very improved on special teams and that was a large reason why the team had a relatively successful season despite the lack of talent and discipline issues that Steve Kragthorpe left behind. The Cards ranked very well in both kick-returns (10th in the nation with 25.5 yards per return) and punt-returns (Victor Anderson averaged 30.23 yards per return which was 7th in the country while Jeremy Wright averaged 30.56 yards a return which was 5th best in the country).
Despite losing punt return specialist Doug Beaumont (graduation) the Cards appear to have a strong special teams unit heading into the season. The punt-return duty vacancy left by Beaumont will be handled this season by Josh Bellamy (Senior WR), Scott Radcliffe (Junior WR out of Trinity in Louisville) and Michaelee Harris (Redshirt Freshman WR). The special teams unit as a whole will be Lead by senior Chris Philpott because he will handle the kickoff, punting and field goal duties while Jeremy Wright and Victor Anderson will continue to handle the kickoff return duties.