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Kent State punter Derek Adams to transfer to Northwestern

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The fifth-year punter’s impressive leg will fill a crucial special teams void for the ‘Cats.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 29 Kent State at Arizona State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Graduate transfer punter Derek Adams announced he will be leaving Kent State and joining Northwestern in the fall for his final year of eligibility.

Adams was a three-year starter at Kent State, playing only four games in 2018 after a season-ending injury. He took advantage of the NCAA’s relatively new redshirt rule and gained another year of immediate eligibility at Northwestern.

In 2019, he averaged 43.1 yards per punt with 11 punts traveling farther than 50 yards and a 76-yard punt against Ball State. His career long is a 77-yarder against Akron in 2017.

He was named second-team All-MAC his sophomore year and third-team All-MAC his redshirt junior year. He also placed fourth in javelin in the 2017 MAC Championship for track and field.

The ‘Cats currently have two other punters on their roster for the 2020 season, sophomore Jake Genyk and junior Cody Gronewold, neither of whom have seen any action in their playing careers. Graduate students Daniel Kubiuk and Andrew David split time punting last season, averaging 38 and 36 yards per punt, respectively, but saw the finals minutes of their careers in 2019.

Based on the numbers, Adams will be expected to step into the starting role in 2020, pandemic permitting. His big leg will be a major improvement and fill an evident gap in the ‘Cats special teams’ unit this season.