Kicking World Blog

INTERVIEW: Meet Robert Gunn III, Clemson University’s Future Kicker

After a phenomenal showing on his unofficial visit and Elite Retreat weekend at Clemson University, Florida HS Kicker Robert Gunn III committed on the spot after Coach Dabo Swinney offered him a full scholarship offer to Clemson Football.

This week Coach Brent Grablachoff sat down with Robert Gunn III to discuss his future as a Clemson Tiger. The long-time and loyal Kicking World student has an impressive list of accolades: Hot Prospect, 4x National Showcase invitee, 4x Golden Boot champion, 5x Kickoff Competition winner, 5x Punt Competition winner, 2x Kicking World All-American, 2x All-Conference, and more! Robert has come through our camps since the summer of his 8th-grade year and has been the starting kicker for Pinellas Park HS near Tampa in Florida. His success is living proof of what can happen if you work relentlessly at your goals and ‘trust the process’.

After a phenomenal showing on his unofficial visit and Elite Retreat weekend at Clemson University, Coach Dabo Swinney offered him a full scholarship offer to Clemson Football and Florida HS Kicker Robert Gunn III said he’s All In and committed on the spot. Enjoy the following interview of Robert conducted by me – Coach Brent, owner & head coach of Kicking World – loaded with great information and tips on training and recruiting for aspiring kickers everywhere!

Interview with Robert Gunn III
Class of 2022 Pinellas Park HS Kicker / Clemson University Commit

How did you get into kicking?
The very first year I played youth tackle football at 8 years old and enjoyed being the kicker from the start. I didn’t know too much back then and sort of went off of natural instinct. Thankfully later on I got hooked up with Kicking World to really accelerate my abilities as things got more serious in middle school and high school.

Tell me about your best memory of HS Football or any one specific game that stands out in your career.
I kicked a 40 and 50 yard field goal in Cowboys Stadium for the USA National football team… the crowd was loud and it was televised on ESPN. Having the coaches’ trust me to kick 2 field goals from that distance really helped boost my confidence even further going into the next HS football season. On my HS team this past junior year season I had a big game where I made two 47 yarders and a 45 yarder in one game! 

What’s your favorite school subject? Least favorite?
History has been my favorite and English the least favorite

Was there any one event that helped blow up the recruiting process for you, or was this more of a culmination of “following the process”?
I’m not sure it was any one specific thing and it was actually more of a combination of things I feel. Kicking a 50 yard FG in a nationally televised game was a big deal and it was posted all over Twitter. Even as a sophomore most of my kickoffs were deep into the end zone and then my junior year having game film with almost every kickoff out the end zone definitely got the college coaches interest. The last 3 years in a row of the Kicking World National Showcase I won one or more events, and since that was broadcast live on YouTube and many of the coaches who were already recruiting me watched, it seemed to really get the ball rolling. Because about a week or two after that I got my first scholarship offer and then the rest started to come in pretty quickly after that. Finally, Coach Brent promoted the heck out of me not just from the camp stats and Showcase performances but he would pick up the phone and call and email the key coaches at big colleges for me. You won’t find another coach who will put in the amount of time into helping his students get recruited!

Talk about trusting the process and what it means and what you did both in regards to kicking, training, and recruiting…
Trusting the process is EVERYTHING. God has a plan for each and every one of us and you just have to be patient and it will all work out in the end! Some days will be great and other days crummy. Just be patient and work through it. When having the choice to sit there and watch TV or send other 20 emails and Twitter DMs, just get it done! Don’t wait around and expect things to come to you because there is always someone out there hungry that wants the job. Will you let them take it from you?

What ultimately led you to commit to Clemson? What other schools were in the running?
What made me commit immediately at the end of my unofficial visit which led to them inviting me to stay for the Elite Retreat weekend was the people and their sincerity! My dad and I both felt the love from the start and besides the entire visit being detailed, organized, and amazing, the staff and everyone on campus made us feel like family. Not to say I didn’t feel the love at other schools, it just felt way different at Clemson. Everything felt right and I’m so excited to play for Coach Swinney and Lord willing win a National Championship! Other schools that were in the recruiting mix were Texas, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida, Florida State, FAU, Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Do you have any ‘tips’ for other aspiring high school football players who are wanting to play at the next level?
Just be patient! If you put in the work, trust the process, and have the ability, your time will come; and when it does, just be you. Too many people focus on power and what they can do to get stronger. As I’ve learned over the years at Kicking World it is all about sound form & fundamentals. Power will come over time. Always work on perfecting your technique and the little drills you learn at camp. In all you do, try to be the best you can be, every day, and help others out!

What did you learn over the last 3 years of HS?
Never give up and pursue your dreams with resilient passion

Is there any person(s) in your life who has had a major impact on your football or personal life?
My Dad – Bobby, all of my youth, high school, and USA football coaches, of course you and Kicking World, and NFL kickers Jason Sanders and Matt Gay who kicked with me and encouraged me through seeing their successes.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
I spend more than half of my actual kicking practice working on footwork, technique, and stationary drills. Never skip the little things.

What does it mean to continue your collegiate career at one of the biggest & most prestigious football programs in the country?
It means a ton to me. I remember when I was a little boy and wanted to kick at the best college one day; and now I am here! Always follow your dreams and go after it. Can’t wait to see what the future holds and I’m so excited to get on campus next year.

Was there any one thing that really made you feel THIS is the right place for me?
The “atmosphere” and “gut feeling” was PERFECT.

Talk about the culture at Clemson and your visit. Tell the readers about the overall experience on your unofficial and what the Elite Retreat was like!

Less than 48 hours after his visit weekend Robert made his commitment public with the very classy commitment letter (below) posted on Twitter. “From the coaching staff to the facilities and most importantly the Culture, it was a first-class experience all around.”

Favorite food/meal?
Steak or Chicken with rice

Favorite movie?
Fast and The Furious

Favorite local food spot near home?
Bonefish Grill

Favorite NFL team?
I don’t have a favorite, just love watching special teams haha

Favorite NFL Kicker(s)?
Jason Sanders, Matt Gay, Bradley Pinion

Describe an embarrassing sports moment?
Early on in high school I shanked a punt into the stands 🤣

Do you have a favorite quote or motto or thought/belief you hold true to your heart?
The Bible verse Philippians 4:13 saying ‘I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.’ Also, my grandma says my grandpa is always on my shoulder, that’s why when you see me pat my left shoulder that’s me giving him a high five.

What’s satisfying/fulfilling about being a kicker?
You are like a sniper – you sometimes only have one shot or one kick. Gotta make it count. Being able to come through under pressure and potentially win a game really gets me excited.

What’s the most challenging thing about being a kicker?
Mastering the mental game and remembering that the current kick is all that matters. You have to forget about anything in the past and not think about anything in the future; basically be ‘present’. If your mind is racing or you’re thinking about what’s for dinner tonight, your head’s probably not in the game. It’s sort of hard to explain but when I’m out there lining up a kick it’s like time stops and it’s all a blur and I’m laser locked in on the one task which is putting the ball through the uprights, or bashing the ball out of the back of the end zone. 

After you graduate high school next year, how will you be successful over the next 4+ years at Clemson?
I will put the extra work in like doing the “little things” and will be a leader and lift up others around me, and give 110% everyday.

Do you have an intended major yet?
Most likely something in Business, possibly a Management focus

What are you most looking forward to at Clemson?
Walking down the hill on Saturdays, kicking my first ball in Memorial Stadium on game day, and growing my faith in God along with Coach Swinney and the Clemson Football staff’s guidance.

Read Robert’s commitment story on the Kicking World blog.

To see Robert Gunn III’s kicking highlight videos, game stats & more, visit his Hot Prospect Profile.

This concludes the interview conducted between Coach Brent Grablachoff, Owner & Head Coach of Kicking World, and future Clemson University Kicker Robert Gunn III from Pinellas Park, Florida.