When Scotty Roblow arrived at Northwestern State, he did so having handled all the kicking and punting duties in high school.
In his second season as a Demon – the truncated six-game spring slate – Roblow found his collegiate calling as a punter. Roblow opened his true freshman season of 2019 as the Demons starting place kicker, appearing in four games before an injury sidelined him for the final eight games.
Handling punting duties for the first time as a collegian in the spring, Roblow became a Freshman All-American, averaging 41.7 yards per punt and dropping 11 of his 29 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. The move from kicker to punter went smoothly for the Shreveport product.
“It was going to be a slow transition,” said Roblow, who will join his teammates for their annual mock game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday inside Turpin Stadium. “I had to get comfortable. Once I started playing, it came easy to me.”
Easy and effective.
Eight of Roblow’s 29 punts traveled at least 50 yards, helping him rank 17th nationally in punting average. In the battle of field position, Roblow gave the Demons a solid, consistent weapon in terms of flipping the field.
“Football is so big on field position,” fourth-year head coach Brad Laird said. “He was able to flip field position in those situations. It was very positive moving forward in the spring and hope to see the same thing in the fall.”
Never did he do so more than against eventual national champion Sam Houston. Roblow said he felt he truly arrived as a punter against the Bearkats, averaging 50.5 yards per punt on four attempts, including a career-long 56-yard boot.
“I always took it one punt at a time,” Roblow said. “If I had a bad punt, I’d shake it off and go on to the next one. The Sam Houston game was probably my best, given I won the (Southland Conference) Special Teams Player of the Week award.”
Aided in part by Roblow’s field-flipping abilities, the Demons limited the Bearkats to 24 points, Sam Houston’s lowest regular-season output.
Having handled all three aspects of the kicking game may have helped Roblow find a home at Northwestern State, but focusing on punting allowed him excel.
“You go back to the fall of 2020, and we brought in Eddie (Godina) to be our kicker,” Laird said. “Coach (Jake) Olsen, at the time had Scotty strictly work on punting. He had done everything before and never really had the ability to hone in on one particular area and focus his skillset on that. Fast forward to the spring, and I think you saw the work he did in that area show up in competition.”
Roblow’s comfort level grew on the field and within the special teams room.
In addition to bonding with Godina over the technical aspects of kicking, Roblow formed a deeper bond with snapper Evan Gibson, a fellow Shreveport native.
“We’re all like brothers,” Roblow said of the specialists. “Off the field, we do our thing. I’m always on (Gibson) about Calvary. My cousin, Will (Derrick), is a wide receiver at ULM and played at Calvary with Evan. I didn’t know Evan at the time, but I knew he was going to Northwestern. Now we live together and we’re buddy-buddy. We’re basically brothers.”
Photo: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services
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