NMB product Quigley now No. 1 ranked punter in NFL

Ryan-QuigleyNorth Myrtle Beach’s Ryan Quigley laid down a 60 yard punt this past weekend for the New York Jets that helped propel him to the top spot in rankings for all NFL punters.

Coming into the game Sunday against the Broncos, Quigley sat as the leader in net yards, but with zero returns during the game, Quigley moved into the number one spot in gross yardage as well. He now leads the entire NFL in both categories.

Statistically, those numbers are important, but consistency is something Quigley is constantly striving for, and it’s something that Quigley’s father, North Myrtle Beach High School Athletic Director Joe Quigley emphasis, “We knew he was in the top 5, but right now he has to become more consistent. He’s never been about numbers. He’s about doing his job.“

At North Myrtle Beach High School, Quigley led the state of South Carolina in yards per punt and was named the South Carolina Special Teams Player of the Year. This earned him an opportunity to play collegiate ball at Boston College, where he became the school’s all-time leader in career punts with 283 punts for 11,418 yards, setting multiple records along the way.

Quigley went undrafted, but was invited to a tryout for the Chicago Bears, earning a spot on the pre-season team, but was waived just as the season began.

Quigley signed with the NY Jets in early April of last year, only to be released and then re-signed. He’s now the starting punter and holder for kicker Nick Folk.

Normally considered a directional punter, Quigley spent the off-season developing leg strength to add distance and height to his punts. That off-season work is paying dividends, with his longest punt sitting at 64 yards through the 2014 season.

With 34 punts on the year, Quigley leads all NFL punters with 1,637 yards gross with an average of 48 yards per punt. He also leads all punters in net yardage with 44.6 yards, a statistic that he credits his teammates for making possible. “”Tanner [Purdum] hasn’t had a bad snap all year,” Quigley recently said to newyorkjets.com. “And the gunners have been unbelievable.”

Hangtime comes into play as well for Quigley, he’s had at least one 5 second hang time kick in each game this year, with his average hang at 4.56 seconds. With the ball in the air that long, Quigley’s teammates are able to get down field and it’s resulted in very few returns, eight to be exact.

Now, the journey begins to become more consistent. NY Jets special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey was recently quoted on newyorkjets.com saying, “Ryan’s a young guy with a lot of talent. I’ve seen it in practice. I’ve seen him hit great balls in practice. I’ve seen him great balls in the session on the side.

“He just has to put it all together, and he’s starting to be a little bit more consistent, if we can take out one ball here or there. He’s a young punter. There are not very many guys in their second year that can hit it like he’s been hitting it. We just want to be a little more consistent.”

Ryan Quigley agrees, “There’s always two or three you want back. As a specialist, you’re not going to be perfect, but that’s our goal. You just can’t have those. Hangtime, distance, direction — I’ve got so much room for improvement.”

Photo Courtesy of the NY Jets

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