A luxury most kickers don’t have is a coach on the football staff that was actually a former kicker. This is common at all levels and a flaw within the game.
This isn’t the case for Ryan Peluso from Troy High School in Michigan. Peluso not only has 1 former Division 1 kicker as a coach but also has his athletic director, another former Division 1 kicker as a second coach.
Kevin Muma was a Parade All-American kicker from Troy High School and a 4-year starter for Michigan State from 2010-2013 as a kickoff specialist. Muma has been an assistant at Troy for the last several years.
Shane Hynes, Troy’s athletic director, was a Division 1 kicker at Kent State and was also part of Clarkston High School’s state championship team in 2013.
Peluso has received tips, pointers, and great instruction during his time at Troy. When you couple this with his talent, you have the making of a Division 1 kicker.
Offseason Camp Circuit
On the offseason camp circuit, Peluso is rated the #5 overall kicker and #8 overall punter by Kornblue Kicking, a national kicking showcase.
“Without question, Ryan is one of the most talented kickers in the class of 2021. We work with hundreds of kickers around the country every year. Over the past few years, I have seen Ryan personally in private training sessions and many competitive camp settings. He has continued to steadily improve to the point that I am more than confident that he can compete at the FBS level. We usually give our 5-star rating to 5-10 kickers each year as guys who are at a D1 scholarship level. Ryan earned his 5-star rating with us prior to his senior season. His strength lies with his FG’s & kickoffs, but he has also shown D1 punting talent,” said Kornblue Kicking.
Peluso is known on the circuit for having a big-time leg. He has 60-yard range on his field goals and is outstanding on his kickoffs. As a punter, he averages near a 4.5 hangtime and the distance that equals that of other Division 1 punters.
Strengths on the Field
“My strengths on the field include my consistency, a positive and strong mental attitude, and confidence that I will execute my job. I will continue to work at becoming stronger and more explosive. I believe that I have all the tools to compete at the next level, and ultimately, with my clean and consistent form, adding a few yards to my kicks will separate me from the competition,” said Peluso.
Outside of football, I have played club soccer at the highest level for most of my life. I am a captain for my high school soccer team and have been a three-year varsity starter. I want to major in Business when I go to college.
As of now, Peluso has a preferred walk-on opportunity at Central Michigan University in the MAC. With college camps being shut down over the summer, he wasn’t able to show colleges in person what he is all about. This has been a real challenge for all potential recruits and colleges trying to evaluate.
2020 Senior Season
During his senior season, he was 7-for-10 on field-goal attempts with his long being from 41 yards. His 3 misses were from 55, 52, and 42. He was 22 out of 30 on touchbacks. His team finished 4-4 and lost to West Bloomfield in the playoffs.
Matt Prater from the Detroit Lions
Over the last couple of years, Ryan has worked with Muma, Hynes, and also Matt Prater from the Detroit Lions. Here is what Prater had to say about Peluso.
“At the next level, this is where I see him excelling. What separates Ryan from others is his consistent ball-striking ability. Most young kickers will get under the ball (using 3 o’clock footwork) and not being able to get more of their foot on the ball. Similar to golf or baseball, the objective is to hit a cleaner rotating ball and get more power. The 2 o’clock footwork allows you to get your metatarsal bone out in front. This turns your foot into a driver, instead of a wedge, like a 3 o’clock footwork would be. Ryan has shown a consistent ability to get to that point. Kicking in the north, where you face brutal winds and bitterly cold weather, you need to be able to hit a clean rotating ball — otherwise, your ball will be taken by the conditions. Ryan is someone who I could trust from 52 and in — and that is not to say he can not make the long ball. Lastly, what makes Ryan different from others is that he understands that every kick is the same. Whether it is from the hash where he needs to take a different angle, or if it’s a chip shot from 30, it is the same stroke as any other ball. He owns the mental game,” said Shane Hynes.
“Ryan’s kickoffs, much like his field goals, are very consistent. He is able to put the ball anywhere he needs to and that includes into the endzone. His height and distance have really improved over the past year. He can really drive the ball even in difficult weather conditions,” said Kevin Muma.
“For Ryan right now I believe the sky is the limit as a prospect. He has the leg and the accuracy to play anywhere. What sets him apart from other elite kickers besides his work ethic, is his ability to diagnose exactly what is going wrong and how to fix it. Ryan also has intangibles that come from an athlete that is used to being in a leadership role. When you see him on the soccer field he takes control of the game with his athletic ability as well as his voice, he is always the loudest. Ryan is a coach on the field and earns the respect of his teammates. This is a very translatable skill to football. Wherever he ends up he will dominate,” said Muma.
There have been more recruiting challenges and obstacles for prospects in 2020 than any other year. This is the time of year colleges are finalizing their recruiting class. Peluso has the talent, track record of competing at a high level, and has received outstanding technical instruction from his coaches and mentor. When colleges really dig deep into researching and evaluating kickers for the 2021 class, he is a strong candidate that is still available and should be considered.