The UC Davis all-time leader in gross punting average is packing his bags and heading to San Francisco. Aggie alum Colton Schmidt has just signed a three-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers. He becomes the 16th UC Davis alum to be signed by an NFL team.
Schmidt was one of the best punters and kickoff specialists in UC Davis history. Last season, the 5-foot-11 punter from Bakersfield averaged a school record 44.5 yards per punt. This included a monster 68-yard punt against Portland State. His 44.5 yards per punt average was sixth in the nation.
Besides being the Aggies star punter, Schmidt also was their kickoff specialist. He kicked an impressive 34 of his 62 kickoffs for touchbacks. His 54.83 touchback percentage would have been sixth in the NFL this season.
Schmidt was not drafted in this year’s NFL Draft. However, this was not surprising as most kickers are not drafted or are drafted late in the draft. However, the 49ers clearly admired his abilities and offered him a three-year deal. The 49ers have looked to upgrade and provide depth for their special teams unit this offseason as they have also signed veteran kicker Phil Dawson.
According to ESPN.com, “Schmidt will compete against punter Andy Lee and kicker Phil Dawson, likely serving as backup and providing breaks for each during training camp.”
Schmidt will also most likely take the role of kickoff specialist, as he has had great success in his collegiate career. The 49ers cut tight end Kyle Nelson to make room for Schmidt. Hopefully this means that he will have a spot on the roster throughout the season.
— Kenneth Ling