Senior Signing Spotlight: Kyle Ostendorp
Desert Vista punter ready to compete for job at Arizona
This is No. 18 in a month-long series of profiles of Arizona high school seniors that signed with four-year colleges. Here's a look at the full list (currently totaling 293) players from within the state moving on to the next level.
Like many others that kick and punt, Kyle Ostendorp began by playing soccer at a young age. He added football to his sports repertoire in the fifth grade. Because of the soccer background, he was selected to kick and punt in youth football, in addition to playing other positions.
But it wasn't until high school that Ostendorp began to get some formal training in the special teams area. He benefited from having former Phoenix Cardinals punter Rich Camarillo as an assistant coach at Desert Vista. Camarillo had a 16-year NFL career and was a five-time Pro Bowler.
"I did not receive my first coaching until after freshman year and was never fully committed to only punting until my junior year of high school," Ostendorp said in an e-mail interview. "I owe all of my successes to God, and then my coach , Rich Camarillo, for my success. He taught me everything I know about punting."
Ostendorp had a solid junior year averaging 41.3 yards per punt. He was a First Team All-6A Central Region selection in 2017. The 6-2, 195-pounder improved on that as a senior (to 42.7) and was an All-State performer.
In addition to the distance, there is the precision. Ostendorp placed almost half (35) of his 71 punts over the past two years inside the 20-yard line making it a long field for the opposing offense. In his senior year, he handled kickoff duties.
It was a quick recruitment for Ostendorp, even if it seems like it was a long time ago. He received his first Division I offer from Arizona in May and committed later that night. Ostendorp was one of just two players from within the state (of 20 in the class) to sign with the Wildcats in December.
"The overall environment that the new coaching staff brings to Arizona was really intriguing to me and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play close to home," Ostendorp said. "Arizona has always been one of my top choices of schools to attend."
The timing is good for joining the Wildcats since last year's punter, Dylan Klumph, was a senior. Ostendorp insists that didn't play a role in his choosing Arizona.
"While it does give me the opportunity to possibly come in and start as a freshman, I don't shy away from competition," Ostendorp said. "I knew that even if Dylan had another year, competing against him every day would only make me better."
The only other punter on the roster for 2019 is senior Matt Aragon (from Cienega), who has only punted in one game in his college career.
Desert Vista doubled its win total last season going from 5-5 to 10-2. Ostendorp doesn't believe that punting and kicking off on a more successful team added any pressure to himself or others.
"We had this confidence that allowed us to play together as a unit," Ostendorp said. "Knowing that the coverage team and defense were going to do their jobs actually took stress off my back. Even if I didn't hit as good of a punt as I wanted to, I had confidence the defense wasn't going to allow the other team to drive down the field."
Arizona Special Teams Coordinator Jeremy Springer breaks down the film of Ostendorp, and likes how he kicks directionally, flips the field, and also mentions how his background in rugby gives him another advantage in punting.
Taking a look at a team's freshman record, adding three years, and assuming that is how the varsity team will do, doesn't always pan out. Take the case of Desert Vista. The Thunder were 2-7 as ninth graders, but flipped the script by the time they were seniors. That's the biggest memory Ostendorp said he'll take away from DVHS. It was a hard-fought 35-28 victory over Queen Creek that gave the Thunder a 9-1 regular season record.
A long Ostendorp punt forced the Bulldogs to start at their own 8-yard line with just under two minutes remaining and down by seven. Queen Creek was driving and with four seconds left, Elijah Ervin ended the comeback attempt with an interception at the 10-yard line.
In addition to football, Ostendorp is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the National Honor Society. He was recognized as a First Team All-State Scholar by the National Football Foundation. Ostendorp has a perfect 4.0 unweighted GPA, and a 4.62 weighted one.