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St. Thomas Aquinas senior punter Will Hetzinger's prep career might be over, but his football career will most likely continue at Army. (Photo courtesy of the Hetzingers)

Recruit Spotlight: P Will Hetzinger, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Class of 2018

Recruit Spotlight: P Will Hetzinger, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Class of 2018

by Camille Amadeo

The St. Thomas Aquinas Falcons has one of the most versatile players on their team. Since being their starting punter in 2015 as a sophomore, William Hetzinger can effortlessly perform from being the kicker to play as a defensive end or as a wide receiver. His 6’4, 220 build is one of the factors helping him perform at any level Coach John White and Coach Hutch Gonzalez puts him in. Hetzinger’s performance as a punter averaging 46 yards per punt, earned him All-State in 2016. Having the ability to hit 50+ yard punts from the line of scrimmage has him recognized as a DI leg this year. Not only is Hetzinger the football captain, he is also the captain for three other STA sports: basketball, soccer and track. So far this season, Hetzinger has completed five sacks, one interception, three fumble recoveries, three receiving touchdowns and six punts downed inside the five. Louisiana Football Magazine expert Lee Brecheen believes that Hetzinger can become a big time punter.

“I think Will Hetzinger has the upside to be great in college,” Brecheen said. “Tall punters with strong legs usually pan out in college and he will be another one.”

Off the field, he maintains a 4.0 GPA with a 31 ACT embodying the term student-athlete. Hetzinger’s ability to excel athletically and educationally has been recognized by Army West Point program where he has recently committed as a punter for the 2018 season. In today’s recruit spotlight, we caught up with the Army commit as he talked about his high school career, his strengths as a punter, and so much more!

LAFM: What is your name, age, position, and school you played for?

William Hetzinger, 18, P, St Thomas Aquinas HS

LAFM: What is your height and weight?

6’4, 220

LAFM: What is your max bench press, max squat, vertical, and 40-yard time?

Bench- 225; Squat- 315; Vert-32 inches; 40-4.82

LAFM: What are the biggest strengths to your game?

Hustle and leadership

LAFM: What have been your most memorable accomplishments while at St Thomas Aquinas? 

Making it to the semi finals my sophomore year and making first team All-State my junior year.

LAFM: What is an interesting fact about yourself you would like our readers to know about?

I am actually on the varsity team in four other sports at my school besides football.

LAFM: Last year, the Falcons ended with a 3-7 season. What are your thoughts on how the season turned out as well as what improvements were made this year for a 7-5 overall record?

A lot of people had St. Thomas projected to finish 2-8 this year, so I couldn’t be more proud of the success that our team enjoyed. During the off-season, we realized that our passing game was our greatest threat, so Coach Hutch implemented a new spread offense that worked incredibly. On the defensive side, a new scheme, the addition of three hardworking freshman on the defensive line, and an impressive year from our secondary were the difference between last year and this year. Key players such as Devon Wilson ‘20, Kade Bleakley ‘18, and Adam Hetzinger ‘19 stepped up and had huge seasons.

LAFM:  You have played against a lot of great players. Who is the best one you have played against and why?

Devonta Lee from Amite was the best player that I have played against. Due to a few injuries, I got moved from defensive End to cornerback to try and limit him. We also kept a safety over the top of him at all times. We managed to hold him to only one reception that game, but his quality as a player was evident as he managed to score rushing, create a turnover off of an interception, and limit our passing game as a defensive back.

LAFM: What are some things that you have picked up from Coach White that has helped you in your game today?

Coach White was extremely influential in my football career. He spent a great deal of time emphasizing the importance of effort to our team. He made me realize that games become easier to win when you take things play by play and go all out at each snap of the ball.

LAFM: Have you receive any college offers so far? If yes, from where?

I have committed to play for Army West Point.

LAFM: What do you think you need to improve on if you decide to keep playing football at the next level?

I need to develop more consistency in my punting game in order to get playing time in college. Sometimes I’ll have a 60+ yarder, other times I’ll have a 40 yarder. I think that continuing to work out my legs over the summer and focusing on the technical aspects of punting will help me achieve the consistency that I’m looking for.

LAFM: Who is the college or NFL player that you like to model your game after and why? 

Marquette King (Oakland Raiders) is my favorite player and who I model my game after. He is effective in his craft, but he also manages to have fun even as a punter.

LAFM: What is your advice for next year’s Falcon football team?

Never give up. Look back on this past season and remember that we started with 50 players and finished with 26 players dressed out. We turned a 2-4 start into a 7-5 finish. Anything is possible.

LAFM: Who are some of the people that you like to thank for putting you in the position that you are in today?  

I want to thank Coach Tommy Bolton for encouraging me to join the football team as a freshman and for teaching me how to punt. Also, I want to thank my parents who have gone out of their way to make sure that I have had as many opportunities as possible.

 

 Camille Amadeo is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico but has lived in the town of Madisonville, Louisiana since high school where she attended St. Scholastica Academy. Camille attends Louisiana State University pursuing a major in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish. While at LSU, Camille has participated in different positions surrounding sports. During the fall semester of her sophomore year, Camille had the chance to attend the press box for the LSU football games where she helped report the radio advertisements in Spanish for KGLA radio station and also reported the scores for the other college football games going on at that time. Camille joined the LA Football Magazine team in summer for her school internship.

 

Hey football fans. Like our recruiting interviews, stories, and other content on our website? Click on our website daily to view articles on recruits, coaches, and so much more at our website: http://lafootballmagazine.com/. Also, we have exciting news that for the first time in the 21 year history of our magazine, we will have a North and a South edition of the Magazine. Both issues will continue to cover all the Louisiana colleges as well as all the high schools in state, but there will be 16 pages that will focus on North Louisiana as well as South Louisiana. For more information on what is in both editions as well as how you can get your copy, click on our store links below. So, what are you waiting for and get your editions today!

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About Jace LeJeune

Jace is from Addis, LA and is attending Southeastern Louisiana University and majoring in Journalism. He is also a graduate from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge where he was the editor of the school newspaper the “Bearly Published.” While at CHS, Jace also announced their football, basketball, and baseball games for the Bruin Broadcast Network which is the Catholic High’s streaming website for their events. On weekends, Jace is the PA announcer for his middle school football games. At home, Jace enjoys time with his family and friends. Jace is also an avid football and drag racing fan.