On kickoffs, St. Germain would regularly boot the ball through the end zone, making the play so routine that, at times, coach Kyle Hockman said he would pay attention to other things.
As a place-kicker, St. Germain would hit field goals from beyond 50 yards with regularity.
Now, he will have a chance to do the same at South Carolina.
St. Germain committed to the Gamecocks on Wednesday, choosing the Southeastern Conference school ahead of offers from Georgia Southern, Middle Tennessee State and South Alabama.
He became the fourth McEachern player to commit to South Carolina in the last two years, joining current teammate Darius English and 2011 recruits Rory Anderson and Marcquis Roberts.
St. Germain, who attended North Paulding and East Paulding before transferring to McEachern prior to his junior year, was beginning to receive interest from other more prominent Division I schools, including Georgia Tech. Ultimately, though, he decided that he would be most at home in Columbia, S.C.
“I made a couple of visits (to South Carolina), and for the Clemson game,” St. Germain said. “With Anderson and Roberts, and English committing, it makes things a little easier. With getting the opportunity to kick as a freshman, everything up there felt like home.”
With incumbent kicker Jay Wooten graduating, the starting job will be open in 2012, and with only two returning kickers listed on South Carolina’s roster, the work St. Germain has put in will only increase now. He’s attended various kicking camps with the goal of becoming a Division I kicker.
“It seems like it’s paid off, but in reality, you have to keep going, if not step up a little bit more,” St. Germain said of his work ethic. “It drives me to want to train even harder to be better every day.”
For Hockman, St. Germain’s departure for South Carolina is a positive for his program, but it will leave a giant gap in the team’s kicking game where he used to be.
“He is a once-in-a-career guy that you get as a coach,” Hockman said. “I’ve had two good kickers previously, but nobody with the drive, power and desire that he has.
“It’s great when you’re kicking off. Half the time, you don’t have to watch the kickoff. We’ll have to change our game plan next year.”
Although there would now seem to be a pipeline going from Powder Springs directly to Columbia with the number of McEachern players who have committed to play for South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, Hockman doesn’t have any contacts there, but he thinks all of their commitments have one thing in common.
The Gamecocks’ quarterbacks coach, G.A. Mangus, recruits Cobb County for Spurrier — and for good reason. Mangus attended Walton High School in the mid-1980s and was the Raiders’ starting quarterback before going on to play for Spurrier at Florida.
“I have no connection, and I don’t know that anyone else does,” Hockman said. “But coach Mangus, the guy that recruits this area, does a great job. For whatever reason, (potential recruits) don’t hesitate. (South Carolina) does well in Cobb County.”