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South Carolina Gamecocks football 2014 roster preview: No. 13, Tyler Hull

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Can embattled Gamecocks punter retain starting job?

Tyler Hull
RS senior punter
6'2'' / 207 lbs
Mount Airy, N.C.

Recruitment:
Like most kicking specialists, Hull was not recruited heavily.

College career:
As a freshman in 2010, Hull attended Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., where he was the football team's placekicker and also did some work as a punter. In 2011, he attended Surry Community College in Dobson, N.C.

Hull transferred to USC in 2012. Although he joined the football team after fall camp began, he beat out Patrick Fish for starting punter before the first game. He struggled at times that year, but he also had moments where he showed why he impressed the coaches during camp. He had a particularly strong game against Tennessee, when he averaged 43.2 yards per punt, including a 50+ yarder at the end of the game that helped seal the victory by backing the Vols up deep.

Unfortunately, Hull regressed in 2013, tallying lower numbers in many categories than he did in 2012. Whereas he had shined against the Vols the prior year, his play cost the Gamecocks against Tennessee. Called on to punt eight times due to Carolina struggling on offense, Hull averaged 36.3 yards per punt, hurting the Gamecocks in a game defined by field position tilts. The Gamecocks ranked last in the SEC in punting on the year.

2014 outlook:
A two-year starter, Hull has long been considered the likely starting punter for 2014, but given Hull's struggles, the Gamecocks brought in Zach Cimaglia to compete with Hull. Cimaglia is currently pushing Hull hard in practice, and it's unclear if Hull will hold his competitor off.

Trivia:
Hull is an economics major, which isn't one of the more popular majors among football players.