Mississippi JUCO football is tough and highly respected nationally. The rosters are loaded with Division I and IAA athletes. Each player on these rosters has the ability to be impactful for their team and make plays. We want to highlight some of these players. Particularly, the players that might be flying under the radar of senior colleges and universities. We will start with some of the kickers. Here are a three who are making the most of their opportunity at the JUCO level in Mississippi.
Bryce Lofton - Co-Lin - Sophomore kicker
2020 season stats through two games: Field Goals 4/4- Extra points 8/8- 12 Punts 38.4 Avg 3 IN20
Named MS JUCO special teams player of the week in week one and in week two.
Responsible for kickoffs, field goals, and punts
JUCOWeekly: What has been the biggest difference for you from your freshman to sophomore year?
Bryce Lofton: My flexibility and strong mental focus.
JUCOWeekly: Why did you choose to attend Co-Lin?
Bryce Lofton: They offered me in all three situations: punting, field goals, and kickoffs. And I really liked that. In addition, they have nice facilities and coach Glenn Davis and all the coaches were a big reason why I came here. They are like another dad to me. It's really nice.
JUCOWeekly: What is the MS JUCO experience been like?
Bryce Lofton: JUCO Ball is up there. It's extremely competitive. Everyone is out there trying to prove a point of how good they are. You had better be ready for every game. There are a lot of Division I players here.
JUCOWeekly: How good do you think you are right now at punting the football?
Bryce Lofton: I think I have improved a lot. I think I am doing well. I feel like I can be at or near the top in punts in JUCO football. There are some good kickers this year in the league and I feel I am right there with them.
JUCOWeekly: What is your strategy when you punt the ball?
Bryce Lofton: Our coaches want the ball at the sidelines so that no one can return it. So, it's not a matter of how high it goes, as long as It gets 35+ yards and toward the sidelines. Our coaches will take that every time.
JUCOWeekly: What is your mindset when you take the field to kick a field goal?
Bryce Lofton: I sprint out there. I like to get 9 or 10 yards behind where the ball is and start visualizing making a good kick for the team. Then once I get set, I start hearing the other team yelling and I like that. It gets the blood pumping even more for me and I get that adrenaline rush.
JUCOWeekly: You're perfect on the year in field goals and have hit a couple 40+ yarders. What has been the biggest difference in field goals for you?
Bryce Lofton: The year of experience has helped me a lot. I also have a great long snapper in Hunter Sims and a great holder in Max Rigby. And our offensive line is good. Last year we had some injuries there but this year they have been really good.
JUCOWeekly: Which aspect of your game are you most comfortable?
Bryce Lofton: Punting is what I am very comfortable with. But I have done a good job so far on field goals so that's now turning around. I think I can make a difference punting and in kicking field goals.
Caden Davis - MS Gulf Coast - Sophomore kicker
2020 season stats through two games: Field Goals 1/2 - Extra Points 10/10- 13 Punts 36.5 Avg with 3 IN20
Responsible for kickoffs, field goals, and punts
JUCOWeekly: Who recruited you to MS Gulf Coast?
Caden Davis: It was coach Bam Bryant and my time here has been amazing. The players and coaches have been great. It has been the best experience of my life.
JUCOWeekly: How tough is Mississippi JUCO Football?
Caden Davis: It's a very tough league and I have to be mentally tough at my position because my teammates depend on me. There are plenty of division I guys in this league.
JUCOWeekly: Who has been your long snapper since you have been here?
Caden Davis: Solomon Landrum has been my long snapper for both of my years here and he is very good. And my holder last year was Jaxon Orr. This year I have DeCarlos Nicholson. And our offensive line is very good. They do not let anyone through. They get the job done.
JUCOWeekly: Where are your strengths as a kicker?
Caden Davis: Punting and field goals are my best strengths. However, I specialize in all three aspects of kicking. I can help a team in any of these three areas.
JUCOWeekly: If a senior college offered you in just one of the categories (either kicking field goals, kickoffs, or punting) would you accept?
Caden Davis: If someone just offered me in one category, I would definitely be happy about that and accept that role.
JUCOWeekly: When will most colleges start offering players scholarships?
Caden Davis: Usually toward the end of the season is when schools will start offering players in our league. So, I want to be sure to keep being consistent and hopefully I can receive some offers. I am a very hard worker and I have always had to compete for my position from high school and beyond.
JUCOWeekly: Whom do you view as competition?
Caden Davis: While here, at the MS JUCO level, there have been and are some very good kickers in the league. I view them as competition because I have respect for them. So, that pushes me to want to become a better kicker.
Caden Davis: And one more thing I want recruiters to know: On kickoffs, I am not afraid to go hit somebody. Doesn't' matter if they are taller than me, or a 100 lbs bigger. I will go in.
Robens Beauplan - East Central - Sophomore kicker
2020 stats through two games: Punts 14 for 37.1 Avg - 9 IN20 - Extra Points 3/3 - Field goals 1/2
Freshman season: 9-for-9 on field goals; 14-of-17 on extra points
Responsible for Kickoffs, field goals, and punts
JUCOWeekly: Who recruited you to EC?
Robens Beauplan: Coach Mickey Mays – He is a really good coach and I love EC. Coach Ken Karcher pushes all of us every single day and puts us in a position to be great and to be successful. I love him and I love the school.
JUCOWeekly: Did East Central offer you all three duties of kickoffs, field goals and punts?
Robens Beauplan: Yes, they wanted me to do all three phases but last year I just did punting and field goals. But, this year they have let me handle all three duties. So, I now do the kickoffs, field goals and punts.
JUCOWeekly: What has been the biggest difference for your game from last year to this year?
Robens Beauplan: Experience and I feel much more comfortable. The first game last year I was nervous. But this year, knowing all the coaches believe in me because of what I did last year, makes a difference. So my confidence is much better this year
JUCOWeekly: What are senior colleges and universities interested in when they offered you?
Robens Beauplan: Some schools wanted me to only do field goals and some schools offered me to do both punts and field goals. I originally gave a verbal to UAB but have decided to pull that back and wait until the end of the season to decide where I would like to play. I want to focus on the season and practice and keep getting better.
JUCOWeekly: What has your experience been like playing MS JUCO football?
Robens Beauplan: It's been great. There are a lot of good kickers in this league and it has been good to compete against them. This is a really good league for football. You are basically playing against Division I athletes.
JUCOWeekly: Talk about your technique for field goal attempts?
Robens Beauplan: Technique is the key. You need to follow through and keep your head down. I believe in our blockers. We have a great long snapper in Manuel Hillman and our holder John Hilbert is great also.
JUCOWeekly: How far do you think your kicking talent can take you?
Robens Beauplan: I believe I have the talent to go to the NFL but obviously I am not at that level yet. But I believe I have the leg and talent. I just need to keep working and keep trusting my technique and keep getting better. I am getting better every single year. So, yes, that's the goal, to get to the NFL and I believe I can reach that goal. I just need to keep working.
Below is a list of the 2020 MS JUCO sophomore kickers and punters :
Kicker Connor Smith
Kicker Houston Smith
Kicker Blake Backel
Punter Brett Hayden Benjamin
Kicker Gayden Hence
K/P Branson Davis
Kicker Hayes Tisdale
K/P Josh Massa
Punter Drew Dabney
*All stats are reflective of what schools have posted at the time of this posting and are subject to change.
By: Mike Frazer