The Massachusetts Minutemen got a much needed kicking commit from Mike Caggiano. Caggiano is a key member of the legendary January 24-25 recruiting weekend which saw seven recruits pledge to UMass.
While the major recruiting sites like 247 Sports and Rivals.com don't have Michael rated at all, Kohl's Kicking ranks him as the 34th ranked kicker in the country and gave him a five star kicking rating after his strong showing at their National Invitational Scholarship Camp over the summer. NewJersey.com also ranked him as the 49th prospect in the state on December 11th. Mike is also a two time, 1st-team All-Shore selection.
The right footed kicker is the state of New Jersey's all time extra points leader and held offers from Hawaii and Stony Brook. Caggiano had preferred walk-on opportunities from some big time programs like Rutgers, Penn State, Maryland, and Old Dominion.
— Mike Caggiano (@MikeCagg_) January 25, 2015
His high school team Manalapan went 11-1 this year and captured the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 championship this year. He was a part of a high flying offense that averaged 37.25 points per contest and he definitely got a lot of chances to show off his leg. Last year he made 52 of his 53 PATs and made the only field goal he attempted, a 39 yarder. He has improved from his junior year where he was 57-60 on PATs and 3-6 from field goals with a long of 32.
Not only did he handle place kicking duties for Manalapan but he also punted and handled kick off duties. He is a pretty strong kick off man as well with a season average of 51.4 yards. Considering UMass last year as a team averaged 56.3, it seems reasonable that once he gets on campus this summer he will add the muscle to compete.
Punting is his weak spot as he averaged 35.7 yards on his 26 attempts. He did have a long of 71 but only had three punts inside the 20.
All fans of the Minutemen know the dumpster fire that was the kicking game last year. Caggiano should compete for a starting spot as soon as he steps on campus. He will be coming in with new UMass special teams coordinator Mark Michaels. Don't be surprised if you see a lot of Caggiano in the 2015 campaign.
Want to see Michael Caggiano in action? Check out his highlight tape from Hudl: