2017 Kicking Game
Our 2017 kicking game may be just as important to our W/L success as our QB play. In 2016, we would have won a couple more games with a few more made field goals and better punting. But, I don’t see who is going to replace last year’s kicker, Matthew Wyman. He was 13/19 on FGs and very steady on kickoffs. The field goal attempts and punting during the spring game were unimpressive, dismal really. But all kicks into the strong south wind were bound to be affected.
Enter freshman Liam Jones from Oklahoma. I couldn’t find complete stats, but he did everything in high school. MaxPreps shows he had 49 TBs on 64 kickoffs. His yards/punt were unimpressive at 33 yards. PATs were 39/43. I couldn’t locate FG information, in my very brief search for stats.
Just imagine how a Bruce Kallmeyer ('80-'83) level kicker would greatly help our program turn the corner. Maybe Jones will get there is a couple of years, but I’m worried our 2017 kicking game will be a liability again this year, maybe even worse than in 2016.
Very true my friend, we beat TCU and ISU last season with solid kicking units.
Oh - I thought this was going to be an article about Grayson Allen…
Kicker is becoming harder and harder to find these days. Look at Alabama. This was the first year in forever they have had a good kicker. I actually think smaller schools, NAIA level or DII, have better luck with Kickers. They go troll the soccer team for players that just want to kick and usually keep a backup just in case of any conflicts. KU doesn’t have a men’s soccer team. And most guys that go to KU that are good enough to be college soccer players chose not to for a reason. So they have no interest in doing it.
@Kcmatt7 you’re absolutely right. Kicking is so specialized that it’s difficult to recruit for. There are barely a handful of “sure thing” kickers out there in every class. After that, it’s all about projection. Maybe the 5-10 kid with the strong leg can get more lift. Maybe he can’t and he never kicks a game in college. Maybe the super accurate kid gets stronger and starts hitting from 40 plus. Maybe he doesn’t and specializes only in PAT and short FG.
HS kickers will rarely kick from longer than 35 yards or so in HS. I’ve seen kids hit from 45 or so in warmups, but that’s with all the time you want to prepare and no game pressure. That’s vastly different than kicking in a college game with a rush, etc.
I like the idea of soccer players, but for a school like KU, kicker is kind of the last thing you look for. It’s like putting a sun roof on a beat up car. It’s nice, but it doesn’t ultimately make your car any better. We need linemen and a QB and corners and linebackers and WRs and RBs and all of these other position players. Maybe we can steal a game or two with a good kicking game, but we can win 5 or 6 with more athletes.
@justanotherfan That is way too spot on. I was a kicker in HS. I could hit a 50 yarder in practice and warming up. Longest FG I ever hit in game was 26 yards. It is a whole different ball game live. You have to have 3 guys all do nerve-racking things and do them with perfect timing. The snapper, holder and kicker are all nervous. It also didn’t help that I was a lineman and my legs were pretty much toast by the end of the game. Pretty hard to get juice on the ball when you’ve played 4 quarters in the trenches.