TAMPA – I’m honestly not sure when Berkeley Prep’s Jeffrey Guttentag finds time to sleep. Between a hard academic schedule and four sports (football, soccer, hockey and track), the senior is perpetually busy. He even admitted to me that it’s hard to manage it all.
Guttentag has embraced his role on the Buccaneers’ football team since joining as a freshman. Soccer was his first love, a sport he started at age 4 and currently plays as a midfielder for the varsity team. He started hockey at age 7 and track as a freshman at Berkeley, so that sums up his big-four sports.
He used to play baseball, starting at age 5, but stopped to run track.
He says shooting a soccer ball into a net is totally different than kicking a football, but his confidence grew quickly on the gridiron.
“I found my confidence after the first few games my sophomore year,” Guttentag told Prep Sports Scouting. “I sat behind starting senior Austin Iglehart and learned a lot.”
At 5’11”, 165 lbs., Guttentag is up 10 lbs. from a year ago.
Guttentag’s averaged 39.2 yards per punt while connecting on 6-of-8 field goal attempts over the last two seasons. His longest field goal in a game is 58 yards while his longest in a game is 42. He has a booming leg and that has been highly noticeable each time I’ve seen him kick.
Berkeley Prep missed out on the postseason finishing with a 6-4 record in 2015, but Guttentag said this team is in sync which bodes well for this season.
“We have great chemistry,” he said. “Our core is mostly juniors and seniors so we’ve been together the last three years now.”
He has one of the most experienced coaches in the area in Dominick Ciao. Ciao enters his 10th season at Berkeley Prep after taking over in 2007. Prior to that, he was the head coach of Jesuit (1986-2002).
“He’s [Ciao] such a good guy and coach,” he said. “I learned so much from him on and off the field. He really cares about us.”
Despite losing on the road to Clearwater Central Catholic 44-27 in the season opener, Guttentag says the team is simply trying to stay positive.
“CCC is one of the best teams in their area. We knew it was a tough game going in,” he said. “We are trying to move on and focus on Cardinal Mooney.”
In that game, Guttentag successfully made one of the best plays a kicker at any level of football can make, a surprise onside kick.
“We were down 10 at that point and there were about six minutes left,” Guttentag reminisced. “Coach said to try to kick it onside across the field.”
He says the team doesn’t practice that surprise onside kick specifically and it was the first time he tried it in a game.
In terms of kicking, his focus has always been about repetition.
“I’ve been kicking since my freshman year,” Guttentag said. “I’ve learned so much from coach [Garrett] Rivas. He’s such a good coach. It’s just about making sure you are doing the right thing over and over.”
Garrett Rivas is the special teams coach at Berkeley. He finished as the all-time leading scorer at Michigan and was a 2002 Jesuit graduate.
As for Guttentag’s biggest strength, he pointed to his confidence.
“I have no doubt in my mind I’m going to make it every time I kick a field goal,” he said.
He says he’s aiming to be more consistent on sending kickoffs into the endzone.
Although Guttentag has yet to receive an offer football or soccer, he currently has interest from Penn, Brown and Dartmouth for football. He took a trip to Penn this summer and wants to study and play sports at an Ivy League school.
When it comes to picking between football or soccer, he says he’s keeping his options open.
“I’m not sure which one I want to play,” he said. “I love both of them so I’m going to try to play them as long as I can.”
Guttentag’s biggest role model is his father, Ira, the Tampa Bay Lightning team doctor.
“Just to see how hard he works in his life,” he said. “He put me at a school like Berkeley and I look up to him for that.”
This kid is one of the hardest workers in the Tampa Bay area. He uses his pure athleticism in four different sports, all tough and demanding on your body. The trust factor is there for football with him and his coaches.
Whether he plays soccer or football at the next level, a college program will be fortunate to have Jeffrey Guttentag. He’s very gifted in and out of the classroom. His leg strength is apparent and it’s only improving. Guttentag is one of those kickers that is thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
Favorite players to watch – Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr., Ravens K Justin Tucker
Playlist before games – Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar
Favorite movie – Blades of Glory
Favorite TV shows – Breaking Bad and Parks & Recreation
Fun fact about you that no one knows – “When I was 12 my little league team made it the World Series. So we were on ESPN for two or three games.”
Game film: Guttentag’s Hudl tape
Photo credit: Tampa Bay Times
In case you missed it:
1-on-with Berkeley Prep RB Gordon Stetson
1-on-1 with Berkeley Prep ATH Joshua Youngblood
1-on-1 with Berkeley Prep ATH JaVon Cooper
1-on-1 with Berkeley Prep DE Sandro Maxwell
1-on-1 with Berkeley Prep QB Davis Koetter
1-on-1 with Berkeley Prep LB Michael Fruit
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.