One of the biggest surprises of Appalachian State’s 2017 football season had to be the
consistency of their special teams unit. Preseason reports described the Mountaineer special
teams unit as “mostly fine” or “neither good, nor bad."
This was before freshman dark horse Chandler Staton took over behind the placeholder. Now it
appears fans everywhere don’t even watch field goal attempts anymore, not with our guy back
A reputation like that is hard to come by for the most experienced kicker, let alone a redshirt
freshman from Gainesville, Georgia. Despite his inexperience at the college football level,
Staton finished the 2017 season eight for nine in field goal attempts, and 31 for 31 on extra
Since his breakout debut during the Savannah State game, media and fans alike have scoured
the internet trying to find out more about Chandler Staton, and what about him makes it so
easy to sink those important kicks.
Staton has always been a multi-sport athlete, and to this day participates in all kinds of outdoor
activities. From hunting, to surfing, Chandler loves anything outdoors. Self admittedly, he is a
huge fan of soccer and has played the lovely game his entire life.
While this may help explain his cannon of a foot, it does not paint the picture of who he is and
what makes him so consistent. Not every soccer player can hit a 40-yard game winner at
nineteen years old.
What makes him a great player is his ability to focus on the fundamentals. To shut out all the
noise and distraction from around him and focus on kicking a football. Simple, but very
“I don’t do anything special really” Staton said. “When I get out on the field and start to square
up my kick, everything just becomes white noise. I hear it, everybody does, but the only thing
I’m thinking about is kicking the ball.”
Chandler is like many great athletes that came before him. Not all of them played football, but
they all had the same uncanny ability to focus on the fundamentals despite all the outside
factors. There’s no magic trick or tell all tip that makes him a force behind the holder, he just
knows what must be done, then goes out and does it.
It’s this simplistic approach to sports that warrants comparisons to great kickers like Adam
Vinitari, who has made a career out of using this same approach to kicking. Much like Staton, he
also takes every kick one at time, focusing on the situation at hand and nothing else. In a near perfect way to describe it, “I’m not out there kicking a game winner, I’m just going out there
and doing my job."
Fans are not the only ones glad to have him in the starting lineup either. Special teams coach
Stu Holt has a lot of faith in his guy and is not afraid to talk about it.
“He knocked down some important field goals back to back” said Holt. “More than anything,
that gave our team confidence again.”
With nerves like his firefighter father and focus like his ballerina mother, Chandler is one of the
most interesting players on the football team this season. The same player that almost pulled
off a perfect season during his debut goes home and hangs gutters over the summer for work.
That’s when he’s not racing around on a dirt bike or spending his morning in the woods.
What appears to be a perfect combination of determination, focus, and general lack of concern
for his own rising celebrity has made Chandler Staton one of the biggest names to watch in