Two New Walk-On Punters Enroll At WVU
West Virginia’s football program has welcomed two new walk-on punters to the team.
Leighton Bechdel and Matt Daniel both have recently enrolled at WVU with the hopes of competing immediately for the Mountaineers’ open punting job.
The two true freshmen come to West Virginia with intriguing athletic backgrounds.
A 5-foot-11, 180-pound native of Towson, Maryland, Bechdel was a two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-American and was originally planning on attending Division III Salisbury University to continue playing that sport in college.
Towson High’s lacrosse team finished the season 16-5, advancing to Maryland’s Class 3A state semifinals before falling to Northern Calvert.
After being named first-team All-Metro as a punter and placekicker this past football season by the Baltimore Sun, Bechdel started getting more recruiting attention and eventually agreed to attend West Virginia as a preferred walk-on (PWO). Bechdel, who also handled the placekicking and kickoff duties at Towson, enrolled at WVU for the latest session of summer school.
Daniel is also now enrolled at WVU, coming to West Virginia from Richmond Hill (Ga.) High School, which is also the same alma mater as current Mountaineer redshirt freshman receiver Sam James.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Daniel averaged 37 yards per punt last year for the Wildcats, who finished with a 5-6 record. He also was a receiver for Richmond Hill, hauling in 10 receptions for 165 yards, but his future at WVU figures to be punting the football, not catching it.
Like Bechdel, Daniel is beginning his Mountaineer career as a preferred walk-on.