Upper Merion’s Cyrus Palladino stands out at national event

It’s been a busy couple of months for Upper Merion junior Cyrus Palladino. The Vikings kicker competed at the Kohl’s Eastern Winter Showcase in December and performed well enough to earn an invitation to the Kohl’s Future Stars Event in January.

At the Future Stars Event in Bradenton, Florida, Palladino competed against hundreds of kickers from across the country and placed in the top 15% in both field goals and kickoffs. In windy conditions, the 5-foot-8 160-pounder made a 53-yard field goal and boomed a 72-yard kickoff with 3.44 seconds of hangtime.

The Eastern Winter Showcase was the first kicking camp Palladino’s gone to since he was in seventh grade. He’s been working with one of Kohl’s regional coaches, who believes Palladino’s leg speed and leg strength are his top qualities. His leg strength was on display with multiple 55-plus yard kickoffs.

“The time between the two showcases, I put in a lot of work there,” Palladino, a two-time second team All-Pioneer Athletic Conference selection, said. “I went to more of those training sessions and really just focused on the technique.”

Palladino has been playing football since seventh grade. He’s always been a kicker and made the Upper Merion varsity roster as a freshman. After sharing the kicking duties in ninth grade, he took over the job full-time as a sophomore and a junior.

Palladino went 29-for-32 on extra points last fall, with two of the misses getting blocked. He attempted one field goal and made it from 28 yards out. He set his career long as a sophomore with a 33-yarder.

He didn’t get many opportunities for field goals because the Vikings were aggressive on fourth downs in field goal range.

“I think my coach is going to be a lot more confident in me coming up to this season,” Palladino said. “He expects me to be able to get consistent touchbacks and I think I want to show him that I’m comfortable from 50-plus yards in games.”

Palladino had a handful of touchbacks in 2022, but the Vikings mostly focused on higher kicks to help the coverage unit.

As for his goals for this upcoming season, Palladino said: “One of the biggest goals I set last year was to be able to hit (from) 60 (yards). I think I could definitely reach that this year and consistent touchbacks – 100%.”

He’s hoping to attend a spring showcase in May or June.

Palladino has a 4.5 star kicker rating with Kohl’s and is the 76th ranked kicker nationwide in the class of 2024.

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