Playing football at Kansas State is something Devin Anctil never thought he would do. A senior punter, his collegiate football career started slow, but he’s only climbed the ladder.
“It’s the last season I’ll be guaranteed to play football, so I’m really excited to show everybody what I’ve got because coming out of high school, I was very under-recruited,” Anctil said. “I went to Coffeyville (Community College) for a year and then was still under-recruited out of there.”
Now, Anctil is on the radar of those around the country, earning a spot on the Ray Guy Award watch list entering this fall. He played in six games in 2018 once he became the team’s first-string punter in the final half of the season, and he put up big numbers.
The Oklahoma game was a clinic for Anctil, as he notched career-highs with seven punts, an average of 46.9 yards on those attempts, a 65-yard punt, three punts of 50-plus yards and five punts that landed inside the 20-yard line. His 65-yard boot against Oklahoma also was the longest punt for the Wildcats since Mark Krause launched one 67 yards against Iowa State in 2013. Thing is, he could be even better this season.
“This past year I was trying to get better at directional kicking, and I took that into the summer for spring ball and worked on that,” Anctil said. “So far this camp I have been able to directional punt the ball better instead of just going one direction all the time.”
Anctil’s summer work included a trip north, heading up to Kohl’s Football Kicking and Punting Camp in Wisconsin. He, along with fellow Wildcats Blake Lynch and Wesley Burris, drove 10 hours to get to the camp.
“It’s where all the college athletes and specialists go, and they taught us some things. This was the first time I had ever been,” Anctil said. “It was a good time and we were able to compete against all the different specialists and see how we stacked up in the country.”
Anctil said the trio performed well, which he noted wasn’t too much of a shock to them. Still, the experience, extra reps and coaches to learn from was invaluable as he heads into his final season as a collegian.
“It was just surprising that we had never heard of this camp before,” Anctil said. “It has been going on for like 20 years. Jamie Kohl is the guy in charge of it and is a consultant for the Chicago Bears now ever since they had their fiasco in the playoffs when Cody Parkey missed that 43-yard field goal.”