GARRETT Daglis’s leg proved to be a valuable special teams asset for the Panther football team. Now, he’ll get to showcase his talents in college.
The senior punter-kicker signed with LaGrange this past Thursday, becoming the fifth Jackson County player to ink a college football scholarship this spring.
Daglis, however, is the first Jackson County kicker to sign a college scholarship under coach Billy Kirk’s watch.
“He’s been great for us,” Kirk said. “You’ve seen him over the last three years, the production that he’s had for us and his leg has just gotten better and better and better. And coach (Nick) Castro has a lot to do with that … I’ll tell you right now, I don’t know jack about kicking, but Castro has really come out and coached these kids up individually.”
The decision for Daglis came down to LaGrange, a school 130 miles away, versus Wabash, a school 630 miles away. Distance, or lack thereof, won out in the end.
“It was pretty much closer and the deal pretty much equaled out the same,” Daglis said. “So I just decided to stay closer to home.”
Daglis joins Panther teammate Kelly Moates, who signed with LaGrange in early April.
Daglis said he has “a pretty good chance” to land a starting spot next year. He expects to handle mostly punts but kick field goals as well.
After a solid junior year with the Panthers in 2009, Daglis said he began to envision a college career kicking.
“It was probably my junior year when I started doing a lot better than (in) my sophomore (year),” Daglis said.
Now, Daglis will prepare for life at the next level.
“I’ll be working on my mechanics the most, and also strengthening my leg up to the distance on it that I need to have,” Daglis said.
In the meantime, he’ll be missed by Jackson County, which starts spring practice this week. Kirk called Daglis’s ability to flip the field 40-50 yards a tremendous luxury for Jackson County the past few years.
“Think about the games this year how many times he flipped the field,” Kirk said. “He flipped the field in game after game after game on punts. Because he was our utility guy. He punted, he did the long kickoffs, did extra points and field goals. You have a guy that can do all three things. We’re going to be struggling to find a guy who can do one of those this year.”