Former West Virginia punter Nick O’Toole has accepted an invitation to Vikings rookie minicamp this week.
Look out Jeff Locke, the punter known as Boomstache may be coming for your job.
According to Bluegoldsports.com, former West Virginia punter Nick O’Toole has accepted an invite to Vikings rookie minicamp. O’Toole earned his nickname Boomstache because of his interesting facial hair and his ability to boom the ball with his foot.
O’Toole actually has tried out a variety of different looks over the years. For awhile he was going with the handlebar mustache, then he switched it up and went full-bearded. Of course his nickname had to be adjusted to “Boombeard” after that.
At the combine earlier this year, O’Toole was clean-shaven, so that’s a bit disappointing.
The 6-3, 219-pound O’Toole is unusually large and athletic for a punter. Last year he earned first-team All-Big 12 honors while finishing in the top ten in the nation in gross average.
The Vikings will have at least two punters in to rookie minicamp, with ex-NDSU Bison Ben Lecompte also getting a tryout per WDAY. Lecompte has also been invited to try out for the Bears.
The struggles of Jeff Locke have been well-documented in recent years and it makes all the sense in the world to identify someone who can come in and give the punter a little competition.
Locke was a fifth-round pick of the Vikings in 2013. He has been graded by Pro Football Focus as one of the worst punters in the league in each of his three seasons.
At the very least, Nick O’Toole would add a little bit of character and personality to the Vikings’ special teams unit. Things have been a bit dry in that area since Chris Kluwe left.
Vikings rookie minicamp kicks off on Thursday and we’ll see if either of these punters catches on. Things could get interesting in training camp if Boomstache scores a deal and gets a chance to compete with Locke.