Sometimes coaches know they have a kicker not by how far the football travels, but by what kinds of sound it makes when the foot connects with pigskin.
There's just a different thud noise the foot and ball make when a player who was meant to kick, kicks.
And it was that exact sound that got Cory Broughton noticed for his specialty when he was just a youngster.
One day during Pop Warner football practice, Broughton's coaches were allowing players to take turns at kicking the ball through the uprights.
One after another, players failed to put enough leg into the football to clear the cross bar.
When Broughton stepped up to kick, the head coach's attention was turned elsewhere. But it was that thud sound the coach heard that made him immediately turn and the see the ball sailing through the uprights off of Broughton's leg.
From there on out, Broughton was his Pop Warner team's kicker and punter. And he continued to handle those same duties through middle school and high school.
Broughton kicked all four years for the Tigers and was the team's punter for his final three seasons at EHS. He was an All-State selection as a junior and senior.
After graduating in 2011, Broughton decided he wanted to take his football specialty to the next level and signed on at Shepherd University.
But after seeing things weren't working out in Shepherdstown, Broughton decided to transfer and found a new home at West Virginia State, where he couldn't be happier.
"Things couldn't be going any better right now," Broughton said. "I'm really happy to be at West Virginia State."
As well he should be. Broughton, a redshirt freshman, currently leads the West Virginia Conference in punting at 41.8 yards per punt.
"I worked hard during the offseason to get all of my punts in the high 40s," Broughton said. "I've been pretty consistent where I'm at, but I want my average to be better. I'm going to continue to work hard to make sure it keeps getting better and better."
Broughton said the biggest difference from punting in high school and college is the speed of the game.
"They really come after you in college when you're back there punting," Broughton said. "My first game this season, I actually had a couple punts blocked. After that I worked on shortening my steps and getting rid of the ball faster. I've also learned how to read the defense better and see where the rush is going to come from."
Besides being the team's punter, Broughton has been doing kickoffs for West Virginia State this season. And as of last week, Broughton took over the field goal duties due to an injury to the team's starter.
With Broughton being forced to handle all of the team's kicking duties, one may think it would be a lot of pressure on a player in his first year with the team.
But Broughton doesn't see it that way. "I don't look at it as having a lot of pressure on myself," he said. "I'm just having fun with it and working my hardest to get better. I really haven't felt any pressure at all."
Improving is something Broughton has always strived to do. If you don't believe so, just drive by Elkins Middle School sometime during the holidays or summer break when Broughton's back in Elkins.
If you don't see him out on the field on your first pass by, venture down West Central Street a little later on, or the next day, and it's guaranteed he'll be out there doing what he does best - kicking and punting.