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Top MAC Football Players of 2014: #48 Anthony Melchiori, Kent State P

Punters are weapons, and boy is Melchiori a weapon for the Flashes.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Let's face the facts here, not all drives end in putting touchdowns on the board. As much as we would love to see touchdowns every drive and have a game in the 50s, that can't be the case. When drives stall and the offense isn't in field goal range they call on one man to pin the opposing offense as far back as possible: the punter. Kent State's Anthony Melchiori is one of the most reliable punters in the MAC.

Melchiori appeared in nine games last year for the Flashes in his sophomore season. His punts might have brought him onto this list, but he did a little more for the Flashes last year, going 9 out of 14 on field goal attempts and a career long 47-yard field goal during the 44-13 victory at Ohio University. Melchiori also went 20 out of 20 on extra points attempts. On kickoff duties he had 13 balls in the end zone for touchbacks.

Getting back to his punts though, Melchiori was named to the All-MAC Second Team last year as he averaged 44.5 yards on 35 punts and had 14 punts land inside the 20. While Kent State was getting its tail handed to it during the Penn State game (34-0 Penn State) Melchiori was the only bright spot for the Flashes as he had 10 punts and averaged 46.5 yards per punt.

Started from the blooper real, now we are here. Melchiori was the punter during one of the most infamous moments in Kent State football history during his freshman season.

After laughing over that for five minutes you have to realize how first-class Melchiori was last season. Melchiori was named to the CFPA Punter Trophy Watch List last year, also was listed on the Ray Guy Award Watch List as well. He led the MAC in net punting (positive yardage on punts) last year with 39.2 yards per punt.

The growth of Anthony Melchiori could be the hidden gem on Kent State this year. If Melchiori can keep pace with his good season last year, we might be see him keep shooting up this list. We could see the Flashes back to the top of the East if Melchiori keeps flipping the field and giving his defense great field position and making the other team go 70+ yards to score points.

Who is No. 47? Well he was a standout infielder in high school, hitting .423 with seven home runs as a senior before switching full time to pummeling quarterbacks at the college level.