Blake Gillikin became an immediate starter as Penn State’s punter as a true freshman in 2016, bringing some much needed stability to a position where no true standout had been able to emerge for several seasons.
Gillikin’s big leg made a major impact off the bat, and played a vital role as Penn State would go on to win an unexpected Big Ten championship. He would finish third in the Big Ten with a 42.3 yard average and was named to the True Freshman All-American team by ESPN.
His sophomore season saw an uptick in performance, as he boosted his average by nearly a yard to 43.2 per attempt.
The Georgia-native had an especially outstanding junior season in 2018. He broke the program record school for the single-season punting average with 44.0 yards per attempt. He also overtook Jeremy Boone for the best all-time average of 43.3 yards and blasted four punts for 70 yards or more, including a career-high 74-yard whopper at Michigan. The sure-handed Gillikin also pulled double-duty as the team’s holder. He also served as the captain of the special teams for the Nittany Lions.
Gillikin’s senior season went as expected, as he again finished among the top punters in the Big Ten, and added to his trophy collection. He was named as a first-team Academic All-American for the second time, Big Ten Sportsman of the Year, and a slew of other team and national honors for both his stellar athletic and academic performance.
What You’re Getting
In short, a punter with a huge leg and the control to regularly pin the ball inside the 10. Gillikin can completely flip the field with 60 or 70-plus yard bombs, while also avoiding touchbacks on shorter attempts.
Gillikin would also be a major asset to any locker room. He was a rare two-time captain at Penn State, and won several team awards for his leadership. He is also incredibly intelligent, maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA in kinesiology. It’s like having a coach AND doctor on the field. Well, not quite yet, but Gillikin plans to enter medical school to become a surgeon once his football career has come to a conclusion.
As you can see from the image, your team is also getting an infusion of one badass mullet. Like the old saying goes, business in the front, party in the back, superhuman brain between the ears.
Gillikin is ranked as the fifth-ranked punter in the 2020 NFL Draft according to Walter Camp. With few punters being drafted each year, it is more than likely that Gillikin will get a look as an undrafted rookie free agent.