Matt Darr has yet to play a game as a professional punter, but this new Miami Dolphin is already making a splash.
Darr, a former Tennessee Volunteer, is set to start his first game at punter in the NFL Sunday when the Dolphins take on the Washington Redskins in Washington, D.C.
As a rookie, Darr remains unproven as a professional player. But his body of work during his time at Tennessee was enough to earn him the chance to compete for the starting job in Miami.
After redshirting his freshman year, Darr struggled to keep a starting role in his second and third years, averaging 38.6 yards per punt in that span. He did not play a game at all his junior year.
During his senior year, however, Darr’s average jumped to 42.2 yards per punt, showing significant improvement and earning him a nomination for the Ray Guy Award, the award given to college football’s most outstanding punter.
But after going undrafted, it appeared unlikely that Darr would land a roster spot in the NFL, much less a starting job. Then, the Dolphins gave him a shot when they added him to the roster in the preseason, letting him compete with veteran punter Brandon Fields.
Fields was released after the first three preseason games concluded, posting an average of 46.8 yards per punt, compared to Darr’s 51.3 yards per punt.
Because of his impressive tenure at UT, and more recently, his performance in the preseason, Darr earned the starting job as the Dolphins’ punter.
Now, he will begin trying to make a name for himself in the pros. Miami and Washington kick off at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.
Featured Image by Jonathan Skaines
Edited by Cody McClure