Michigan Keeps Momentum With Pledge Of Combo Kicker – Punter Tommy Doman Jr.
Shortly after landing a pledge from four-star tight end Louis Hansen on Thursday, the Wolverines added a specialist to their 2021 class when Rochester Hills (Mich.) St. Mary’s five-star punter Tommy Doman Jr. picked U-M later that night.
Wolverine Digest caught up with one of Doman’s offseason position coaches, Luke Radke from Kohl’s Kicking Camps, to find out what Michigan can expect out of Doman down the road.
“First and foremost, he is a really good field kicker and field goal guy and a punter,” Radke said. “You will be able to kickoff here. You will be able to potentially kick field goals here. He has the ability to do all three.”
Standing at 6-3 and 175 pounds, Doman presents the skills to compete in all three dimensions of special teams— punting, kicking field goals and taking kickoffs. This versatility has helped Doman rise to the position of No. 4 ranked punter in the country according to Kohl’s rating system, and the in-state specialist selected Michigan over programs like Air Force, Army, Boston College and Washington State, among others.
“Tommy is a guy who will compete his butt off, work real hard and compete to be a starter year one,” Radke said. “I think he had the ability to be a really good punter and kickoff guy year one, and I think field goals, if he wants to focus on that, he could probably compete for the job early in his career as well. He is very, very well rounded.”
Coming from a military family with his father as a Colonel, Doman is a disciplined prospect that has taken a methodical approach to his work as a kicker and punter.
“He loves the process of kicking and punting,” Radke said. “He is used to year-round camps. He has had the good fortune of competing against really good kids. Every time he steps into a situation, whether it’s a training camp or a contender camp, he has confidence in his ability to go out there and say he’s going to be the best player there.”
Originally in the process, Michigan offered Doman a preferred walk-on position on the team. As the recruiting process has continued, U-M noticed a host of other schools making a push for Doman’s pledge, so the Wolverines circled back and extended a scholarship offer to the highly ranked specialist.
“His directional punting is on point,” Doman said. “His short-field punting is really, really good. From a perspective of controlling his end-over-end and ball striking, a lot of times you get a kid that is a good ball strike a football and hit a really good ball, but when it comes to the short distance, that’s when it comes to locking in. That’s where having command and being comfortable with where he’s at, he is one of the really solid guys technically with what he’s trying to do.”
In high school, Doman drilled a 50-yard field goal attempt for St. Mary’s and set the school record in the process. Last year, he also made waves with his selection to the AP’s first-team all-state kicking list and was selected as a second-team all-state punter by the Detroit Free Press.
Doman plays for one of the larger and more competitive schools in Michigan, so he should be relatively prepared to perform in pressure-filled situations, and Rake expects that he will relish the opportunity to do so in Ann Arbor.
“They call it the Big House for a reason,” Radke said. “You have 110,000 people that are living and dying on every movement. When the kicker steps out on the field, you expect them to perform. I think his routine and his consistency and his competence in his overall ability is really, really good. He is a technically sound kid. Once he gets into the weightlifting program, he will add more distance, add more power.
Last season, Doman wore a special pair of Michigan cleats all year long, much like the kind that the Wolverines lace up on Saturdays. This ended up foreshadowing where the skilled punter will play his collegiate ball at down the line.
“With Michigan, being a home-state kid and dreaming of punting for him, it was natural,” Doman said. “He’s going step in there and get in the weight room and be a really successful kid.”
With a couple vacancies in the special teams department moving forward, where would you like to see Michigan use Doman first? Do you think he can chip in for a variety of similarities like Kenny Allen did? Let us know!