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Kicking into the wind - recruiting in the age of COVID-19

Bryson Flynn is one of the top kickers in the state of Tennessee’s class of 2021, but is quickly learning how difficult it is for a specialist to get noticed by coaches during a global pandemic
Published: Sep. 5, 2020 at 9:14 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Gatlinburg-Pittman picked up its first region win of the season Thursday over Northview Academy, staying unbeaten against the Cougars all-time.

The Highlander offense kept senior kicker Bryson Flynn busy most of the night. Flynn is one of the top kickers in the state’s class of 2021 crop, but is quickly learning how difficult it is for a specialist to get noticed by coaches during a global pandemic.

Flynn decided to join the G-P football team freshman year after some nudging by assistant coach Al Shirley.

“I was just doing it because it seemed fun but now it could be my future,” said the 4.5-star recruit.

The recruiting world has always been a murky and imperfect one, and it gets even more foggy when talking about high school punters and kickers.

“Usually you just pay for a camp and go, and they rank you on the spot. Then you’ll get the results in a couple weeks, but since [the pandemic] it’s just been difficult,” says Flynn, who hasn’t been evaluated since January due to the pandemic.

“People think coaches are going after them and that’s not true,” said Shirley, who once coached Flynn’s father in soccer. “You have to be proactive and go after the people yourself and say ’hey, look at me’.”

Flynn jokes that he’d like to see Highlander coaches draw up a trick play for him to get some more exposure.

“I think I’m pretty fast, it’d be fun,” said Flynn.

For now, he’ll stick to hitting 60-yard kicks during warm-ups.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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