(STATS) – As a punter, Bucknell All-American Alex Pechin does a lot of individual skills work, but he says practicing and playing with teammates is “a hundred times better.”
“I think it helps you build relationships,” he adds. “That’s really the key in everything, too.”
The importance will grow for the No. 1 punter in FCS college football on and off the field. He’s carrying a 3.90 grade point average as he finishes off a biomedical engineering and management for engineers double major at Bucknell, and aspires to bring advancements in the medical field.
Oh yes, there’s a potential NFL career in front of him as well.
Pechin was named Monday as the recipient of the 2019 STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award. Named after the late school teacher and wife of legendary coach Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson, the fifth annual award is presented to an FCS student-athlete who excels not only in the classroom, but in the community and beyond. He will be honored at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet Jan. 10 in Frisco, Texas.
Pechin, pronounced PEACH-in, will become a two-time STATS first-team All-American this week. He averaged an FCS-high 47.3 yards in his final season, helping Bucknell also rank No. 1 nationally in net punting average (43.4). In his career, which began in 2015 and included a medical redshirt a year later, the 6-foot, 210-pound Pechin averaged 44.5 yards on 296 punts, with 95 going for at least 50 yards.
Pechin has been named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year three times, and while he soon will begin chasing his NFL dream, he ultimately could work with advancing medical devices.
The native of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, interned for two summers in the research and development department of a company that delivers therapeutics to cure genetic diseases of the eye, such as age-related macular degeneration. For his senior design project, Pechin and classmates created an ultrasound simulator that would allow surgeons and residents to practice skills. To complete his five-year dual degree program, he is doing research on how surfaces affect playground-related injuries.
“Having that connection between engineering and the human body is definitely where I want to place myself,” said Pechin, who’s active in Bucknell’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Leadership Institute.
As far as punting at the next level? “It’s a dream come true,” he said. “Hopefully, it comes to light. I’m going to do everything in my power to make it come true.”
The Doris Robinson Award included one finalist from each of the 13 FCS conferences:
Big Sky Conference: Dante Olson, Montana, LB, R-Sr. (major: business administration/management, GPA: 3.91)
Big South Conference: K.J. Smith, North Alabama, SS, Sr. (interdisciplinary studies/emphasis on health, 4.00)
CAA Football: Chucky Smith, Villanova, S, R-Sr. (biology with minors in economics and naval science, 3.62)
Ivy League: Jelani Taylor, Cornell, S, Sr. (hotel administration, 3.94)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: Ian McBorrough, Morgan State, LB, Sr. (business management, 3.29)
Missouri Valley Football Conference: Tom Rehfeld, Western Illinois, LB, R-Sr. (nursing degree. 3.50; in grad school)
Northeast Conference: Spencer DeMedal, Duquesne, S, Sr. (biology, 3.98)
Ohio Valley Conference: Joe Caputo, Eastern Illinois, LB, R-Sr. (accounting and finance with minors in data analytics and supply chain management, 3.89)
Patriot League: Alex Pechin, Bucknell, P, 5th Year (biomedical engineering and management for engineers double major, 3.90)
Pioneer Football League: Jacob Bacon, Drake, OL, Sr. (actuarial science and finance, 3.93; business administration in grad school, 4.0)
Southern Conference: Dorian Kithcart, Mercer, DL, R-Sr. (mechanical engineering degree, 3.54; mechanical engineering in grad school, 3.63)
Southland Conference: Chris Zirkle, Northwestern State, OL, R-Sr. (business degree, 3.83; homeland security in grad school, 4.00)
Southwestern Athletic Conference: Carl Thompson, Alabama State, OL, R-Jr. (computer information system, 3.6)
Also at the national banquet, STATS will present the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year) and Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year).