In the wake of Rodriguez saying that the coaches are looking everywhere for a kicker after yet another game in which the kicker contributed to a loss, I thought I'd do a little looking myself.
I went to ESPN's recruiting site and sorted by kickers. I was looking for people who were somewhat local, had decent ratings, and were undeclared. Here's what I found:
- Kyle Brindza (Plymoth, MI) - Unfortunately he's not a good candidate since he's been committed to Notre Dame for months, but I thought it was worth a mention. He's a highly rated kicker (#6 to ESPN) who was a stone's throw from UM and went elsewhere.
- Taylor Zalewski (Orland Park, IL) - He is ranked #13 and gets pretty good comments from the ESPN site. Right now there are no listed schools on his recruiting profile. Seems like a logical candidate.
- Michael Rasmussen (Orlando, FL) - Also not committed to anyone, maybe Rodriguez could work some of that Florida pipeline magic and get this guy, who is rated #15 by ESPN.
- Tyler Wedel (McFarland, WI) - Gets yet another good set of comments from ESPN and at the #21 ranking is the last of the available 3-star recruits. No schools listed under consideration.
I realize the kicker recruiting is a total crap shoot (i.e. Brendon Gibbons and Bryan Wright were both scholarship kickers who couldn't see the field), but we have to do something. It has always been frustrating to me that schools like EMU or even MSU have consistently had better kickers than Michigan.
The secondary is horrible but will gain a year of experience, bring in a couple of recruits, and get Woolfolk back next year. The LB have been bad and losing Mouton will hurt, but Mike Jones and Kenny Demens look like promising starters for next year. Black should be able to slide into Banks' spot next season reasonably well. The only weakness without an obvious development plan is at kicker.