As the 2017 season approaches, fans and media will scrutinize the strengths and weaknesses of various teams across college football.

While most spectators will look to see how Alabama replaces a number of leaders on defense, the Crimson Tide has to replace placekicker Adam Griffith, Cooper Bateman at holder and Cole Mazza at long snapper.

Two days following Alabama’s most recent scrimmage, kicking guru Brian Jackson broke down the fundamentals of the kicking game and analyzed the road ahead for the Crimson Tide’s kicking unit on Southern Fried Sports.

Jackson converted 49 of his 64 field goal attempts in his four seasons as Ball State’s starting placekicker from 2003-2006.

Presently, Jackson is the owner of Team Jackson Kicking and has kicked in the Arena Football League.

The kicking guru began his conversation by detailing the essential fundamentals of the kicking game.

“You’re talking about a three-man unit primarily specialist wise. You’re talking about the long snapper, the holder and the kicker.” Jackson mentioned.

He also reminded listeners of the importance of the line protecting the holder and placekicker.

“Holistically, you’re talking about, obviously, the O-line and the end. It’s not just the kicker. It’s not just the holder. You got to block. You got to get the snap back and still execute from just a three-man standpoint not just on the kicker.” Jackson said.

On September 2, Alabama will introduce a new placekicker that will succeed three-year starter Adam Griffith. With the uncertainty at the position, Jackson offered some hints regarding the factors that could help decide the eventual starting kicker.

“When you’re looking at kickers, depending on the amount of kickers that are competing in camp, you may have a guy that’s 85-90 percent in camp but if his operation time is 1.4 seconds, 1.35 seconds to get off, coaches value that not only at the college but at the NFL level. They value that just as much as you making kicks.” Jackson stated.

He further elaborated on how timing from special teams would be crucial against Florida State.

“Playing against an opponent Florida State, they’re going to have to have a 1.2 second get-off time from snap to kick just to make sure it doesn’t get blocked off the edge. Then we take on components like the trajectory or are they getting the ball up so they got athletes on the other side of the ball there that are going to jump up the middle too. Trajectory of the ball flight is going to be important, is going to be critical.” Jackson said.

Jackson later talked about his kicking career at Ball State and the importance he noticed in the relationship with the kicker, holder and long snapper.

Catch Southern Fried Sports every weekday from 11-Noon on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the radioPup app.

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