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January 9, 2014

Hawks add JUCO punter

Junior college punter Dillon Kidd had his bags packed and was ready to enroll at FIU this week when he found out that special teams coach Kevin Wolthausen had left and joined the new coaching staff at Connecticut. With Wolthausen being a major reason that he had picked FIU, Kidd decided to reach out to his kicking coach, Chris Sailer, to see if there were any other opportunities out there and the first one he mentioned was Iowa.

"Chris told me that Iowa had actually just called, so I said let's get in contact and see if it's a good fit," said Kidd. "Since then, I've been talking with Coach White and Coach Ferentz and just felt really comfortable with them. They're great guys."

The Hawkeyes told Kidd that they had a scholarship offer for him this semester and he quickly accepted on Wednesday night despite the fact that he has yet to visit Iowa City.

"It's been kind of crazy the last couple days, but I'm excited about the opportunity," Kidd said.

The son of former NFL punter John Kidd, who played his college ball at Northwestern, the JUCO prospect has been around the Big Ten quite a bit despite the fact he grew up in Florida and has heard nothing but good things about the Hawkeyes.

"My dad played in the Big Ten and my grandpa actually coached in the Big Ten at Indiana," said Kidd. "Everyone I've been around has told me about the huge love for football that the state of Iowa has and from everything I've heard it's great to be a Hawkeye football player. I think the program is in a great place right now with Coach Ferentz and Coach White and I'm looking forward to playing for them."

Working with Chris White, who was with the Minnesota Vikings prior to Iowa, was something that especially intrigued Kidd as he has dreams of following in his father's footsteps and playing in the NFL after college.

"Coach White's experience in the NFL and helping guys get to the next level is something I'm obviously interested in, especially with my dad having played in the NFL," Kidd said.

Connor Kornbrath, who averaged 40 yard per punt as a sophomore, returns for the Hawkeyes in 2014, but will now have some competition from Kidd, who himself averaged 40 yards per punt at El Camino Community College this year. That will start right away in spring practice as Kidd will begin classes at Iowa this semester.

"They said that they've got one punter now and had nothing but good things to say about him, but decided to offer me a full scholarship so I can take that for what it's worth and hopefully help the team my last two years," said Kidd.

As far as Kidd's first visit to Iowa City, that will take place next weekend, just a few days before he is set to enroll in classes at the University of Iowa.

"I have an official visit next weekend and then school starts the following week," Kidd said. "Like I said, it's all kind of crazy, but I'm excited."

Prior to playing at El Camino in 2013, Kidd spent two years at Florida State as a walk on and has two years of eligibility remaining to use at Iowa.

The junior college punter is commitment No. 19 for the Hawkeyes in the Class of 2014.


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