One in a series of short pieces about each Miami senior leading up to the Hurricanes’ final home game of 2016, Saturday against Duke.
The rest of the series:
S Jamal Carter | C Alex Gall | RG Danny Isidora | S Rayshawn Jenkins | P Justin Vogel | TE/DE Stan Dobard | CB Corn Elder | WR Malcolm Lewis | CB Adrian Colbert | WR Stacy Coley | FB Gage Batten | FB Marquez Williams | LS Frank Gabriel, five others
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He couldn’t get on the field at Florida, and wondered if he should stick with the game.
If the smiles his parents wore after Justin Vogel earned a scholarship last November are any indication, he made the right choice to keep at it.
Vogel, a former walk-on from Tampa, became one of the best punters in the country with his strong, consistent leg. He was the Hurricanes’ only All-ACC first-teamer in the preseason. He represented the program, along with quarterback Brad Kaaya, at the ACC media days last July.
And yes, he earned that scholarship, the ultimate sign of respect.
“It’s been pretty remarkable,” he said. “I didn’t expect any of this. I wasn’t really recruited out of high school. I was just trying to make it on the field. Went one place and it didn’t work out. I was like, ‘Do I stop here, or keep going? I figured I should keep trying.’
“I came here, and I got a scholarship. Then there was media day. Now I’m running out as a captain [before the game] sometimes. Maybe there’s potential for the NFL. You never know. I never thought that would be an option.”
Punters aren’t usually drafted, but Vogel is rated fourth in his draft class by CBS Sports. “I’m always hopeful,” said Vogel, who accepted an invite to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. “I’m going to keep pushing to get my name out there and see how it goes.”