DeArmas brothers give Terps a leg up on kicks

November 01, 1991|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Sun Staff Correspondent

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland senior punter and place-kicker Dan DeArmas went through an extensive training program this summer. He ran and lifted weights every day. He ate only pasta and rice, losing 20 pounds.

Meanwhile his younger brother Dave, a freshman punter and place-kicker at Maryland, played golf, ate pizza and drank soda, of course, with a smile.

XTC "I know he thinks I'm a pig," said Dave DeArmas. "We're totally opposite. Dan takes care of his body, stays on some special diet. Me, I prefer to improve on my golf stroke."

Dave DeArmas can afford to take some time off. The former All-American from DeMatha High is being redshirted this season, waiting for Dan to graduate. In the meantime, Dave has been his brother's best friend and coach.

And tormentor.

"You know that streak they have going here" of 176 consecutive extra points, said Dave. "I keep telling Dan I can't wait to go in, miss one and break it."

Actually, Dan will leave a tough act for his brother to follow. He is the Terps' career leaders in punts (232) and punting yards (9,144) and has converted on 31 of 41 field-goal tries, his longest a 50-yard kick.

Dan has made six of seven field-goal attempts this season and averaged 39.4 yards per punt. He would have had a better punting average but he has had five blocked, all due to bad protection.

Regardless, Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN draft analyst and commentator, says DeArmas will get an NFL tryout, probably as a punter.

"I think he is a better punter than place-kicker," Kiper said recently. "He gets good hang time and has distance. The pros will probably ask him to do one or the other. He probably won't get drafted, but that doesn't mean a thing because most kickers sign as free agents."

Neither brother started kicking competitively until high school. They were forced to play other positions in recreation leagues.

Their father, Daniel, who has attended most practices this season, making films of his sons and showing them videotapes of pro punters.

"He has always been there for us," said Dave. "A lot of times, he did the holding."

It seems as if Dan combined the tapes to come up with his punting style. He has great leg speed, but doesn't have a high leg extension.

"I liked Ray Guy because of his form, but then I like Sean Landeta because he has great leg speed and a perfect drop," he said. "I've used a little bit of everybody's."

Dave's form is nearly flawless; good drop, smooth swing, high follow-through. He averaged 45.7 yards a punt his senior year at DeMatha and made 15 of 19 field-goal tries, his longest covering 52 yards.

"He is ahead of me when I was a freshman and probably anybody else who ever played at Maryland," said Dan, who was the first punter to earn a scholarship at Maryland (Dave is the only other one). "I'm not saying that because he's my brother. But he hasn't even been involved with a weight and running program yet, and that should improve him even more."

"I came to Maryland because I wanted a chance to play with Dan," said Dave. "After this season, he is no longer my big brother but my best friend because we share a lot of experiences."

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