Kicking Woes - Fire up the TomVH Signal!

Submitted by James Burrill Angell on September 20th, 2010 at 1:54 PM

So despite the fact that the coaching staff is looking high and low for anyone on campus who can kick a field come we haven't heard of any kicking recruits being mentioned as this situation doesn't appear to be resolving itself and won't get any better next year.  I know scholarships were a little scarce at the beginning of the year but since we've had a handful of defections I'm a little surprised we haven't heard more about filling one of those spots with a kicker.

So whomever has the switch for the TomVH Signal, I humbly ask you to fire it up. Has there been any kicker recruiting news?


West Texas Blue

September 20th, 2010 at 2:02 PM ^

2 scholarship kickers would be overkill, IMO.  I think we need to let season play out and see who ends up as our kicker at end of the year.  I'm hoping that Gibbons is able to rebuild his confidence and secure the job.  He's a RS Frosh, so he's gonna be here at least another 2 years (no 5th year if he doesn't improve).


September 20th, 2010 at 2:22 PM ^

If you only have 1 scholarship kicker, you will always be breaking in a true freshman kicker that is a crapshoot. Unless you can reliably get walkons and develop them, and know that you are in a good situation. If you only have one scholarship kicker, in a perfect scenario you would either rotate upper classman scholarship kicker to true freshmen scholarship or upper classman scholarship to upper classman walkon. 


September 20th, 2010 at 3:04 PM ^

With close graduations. If we recruit another kicker we'd either revoke gibbons scholarship or have 2 kickers only 2 years apart.. Either way it's a disaster.
<br>Let's give gibbons and walkons a chance before throwing them off a cliff


September 20th, 2010 at 7:07 PM ^

we have a top 5 K and P already.  that's enough.  we also had wright (a top 5 K) who never panned out.  we've done well in the recent past with walk-ons (lopata and olesnavage) who have done well.  UM has the school to draw-in good walk ons (a la basketball).

both guys are frosh.  give them a chance.  however, i can live with hagerup learning on the job, but not gibbons.  i would give every soccer player a chance (including the women's team) in tryouts.


September 20th, 2010 at 2:06 PM ^

Respectfully disagree.  I would rather see us get a top flight FG kicker (if such a thing exists in HS) than waste a schollie on a player who is less likely to contribute.  Not saying that we should waste a schollie on any kicker, but if there is someone out there who looks really good, why not??

Also, I know that hagerup has looked terrible, but I am not ready to write him off after 3 whole games.  Practice / spring reports were that he was booming Zolton like space rockets.  Let's give him half a season before we call him a bust.


September 20th, 2010 at 2:39 PM ^

But that raises the question (which I asked earlier) of how much of a role coaching plays into this.  PSU, like Michigan, often has shaky placekicking.  Meanwhile, OSU, Iowa and even Sparty seem to have very good kickers every year.  I really want to know what they're doing that we aren't.


September 20th, 2010 at 7:02 PM ^

Iowa's kicker is Trent Mossbrucker, on scholarship since he was recruited in 2008.

OSU's kicker is walkon Devin Barclay, a walk -on soccer player who replaced injured scholarship kicker Ben Buchanon last year.

MSU is using walk-on Dan Conroy ahead of scholarship kicker Kevin Muma. Both joined the team in 2009.

It is noteworthy that all of them have provided scholarships to kickers out of HS. Two out three have performed well (until injury intervened). I wish we had that success rate with our LBs and DBs these days.


September 20th, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

Also, I know that hagerup has looked terrible, but I am not ready to write him off after 3 whole games.  Practice / spring reports were that he was booming Zolton like space rockets.

Hagerup was practicing kicks from the UMass 45 and they were consistently hitting the wall out of the end zone. Assuming it's 5 yards of track before the wall, that would be 70 yards in the air. Doing that under game pressure is another thing, but he has the leg to boom it that far. 

OLD Maize-Blue

September 20th, 2010 at 7:05 PM ^

Right, he is still just a freshman.  But y not recruit these kids like u would a Denard Robinson?  WE got him because WE told him that he could play QB, not reicever db rb safty tackle center waterboy etc etc.  Kickers just want to kick, why cant we find a kicker every year(in the continental United States or outside for that matter) and bring them along?  I sure would hate to have to many kickers on scholarship right now.  Just my opinion.


September 20th, 2010 at 2:09 PM ^


Like wasting a schollie on a kicker, or even using a schollie and a good kicker is not the same as attempting to get someone who can play linebacker. You can miss two field goals a game or give up 2 touchdowns. Its your choice


September 20th, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

There are 85 scholarships available.  You can go three-deep at every position on offense and defense and that still leaves you with 19 scholarships.  You're framing this as though it's a choice between a blue-chip linebacker and a kicker.  It's more like a choice between taking four LBs in one class or taking three and a kicker. 


September 20th, 2010 at 7:39 PM ^

i'm not sure of the actual #s, but i would guess the typical team attempts 20 FGs per year, give or take.  some more, some less.

a great kicker makes 80% or more.  a shaky kicker; less than 60%.  just using those %, the A kicker makes 16 FG; the shaky guy only 12.  that's only 12 pts.  divide by 12; that's 1 pt per game.

it would take a 90% kicker vs a 30% kicker to make your 3 pt statement true.


September 20th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

My high school's kicker graduated last year, I think he commited to a small school, but he was great. Most times when he kicked it off it went through the uprights. Somebody call the U of M soccer team and ask them to tryout for kicker!


September 20th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

I never understand the distaste for kickers - considering a not-insiginficant number of games are decided by less than 10 points, a good kicker can swing 2-3 games.  Look no further than OSU - they have consistently had good kickers, and in close games it helps to know that the 42-yard FG will probably go in and the kickoffs will reach the endzone.  I would much rather "waste" a scholarship on a kid who provides those services than a third- or fourth-string RB.


September 20th, 2010 at 3:18 PM ^

I still don't fully understand why it's so damned hard to recruit an able kicker. I know, I know: the mental aspect is important. But, given all the variables that go with recruiting other positions (level of competition, surrounding talent), shouldn't high school kickers be among the easiest to assess? Either they kick well or they don't. Either they do so under pressure or they don't. For Pete's sake.

 Sure, sometimes a good high school kicker won't pan-out. But certain colleges always seem to find solid kickers, so it's not a total crapshoot. And, finally, everyone always says we shouldn't "waste" scholarships on kickers -- until kickers start costing us games. They're worth it. 


September 20th, 2010 at 7:42 PM ^

11-15 is not that great (73%), and it probably would have been worse had we elected to kick more often - we rarely even tried to kick from beyond 40 yards. And any missed PAT is disappointing.  J.D. Carlson had a streak of over 100 consecutive PATs in the early '90s.



September 20th, 2010 at 8:06 PM ^

I'm not talking about the NFL.  Kicking there is different, with much narrower hash marks.  73% is NOT good for a college kicker in today's game.  Take a look at how OSU, Iowa and MSU have fared in recent years. 


September 20th, 2010 at 8:22 PM ^

i looked up all the groza winners since the late 90's.  those are the best of the best obviously.

Kaeting - Iowa had a career 80%

Nugent - OSU 81%

the highest was 86% (UCLA kicker still going)

the lowest is 72% (Mauer Tulane who won in 2001).

The majority of guys are between 79-82%. 

So ya, 73% is not bad.  if he made one more chip shot, he would be Groza caliber right?


September 20th, 2010 at 8:42 PM ^

OSU FG% the past 4 yrs (starting '09 going back to '06): 70%; 81; 78; 70

Iowa: 73; 79; 63; 68

MSU (just Swenson; considered their best K since M. Anderson): he was 75% entering his senior year.  had a great senior year to boost his career % to 78%.

Is this enough?  73% isn't bad.  Our current-year kickers possibly.  Historically, though, our kickers have been good.


September 20th, 2010 at 8:02 PM ^

Yes, because we've had a long history of shitty placekicking.  (I've never argued that Carlson was a good overall kicker, just that he was automatic on PATs.)  If you paid attention to that list, you'll see that it's dominated by recent guys, because before the advent of soccer-style kicking in the 1980s, basically everyone stunk. 




September 20th, 2010 at 8:12 PM ^

what's your definition of stunk?  if you're basing it on the modern era of > 70%; than ya most all kickers "stunk" before 1980.  hell, ali haji-shiek was 59.6%.  did he stink?  he had a long NFL career, iirc.  Lou Groza was even less than that and the K award is named after him.

i've had season tix for a long time at UM.  there have only been a few years where i thought the kicking "stunk".  after epstein graduated it left a void; finley eventually won the job and was solid (he also was a good punter).  Bo probably wished he had a better kicker in a few early games against OSU.

the idea that UM has had a lot of shaky Ks and Ps is just flat out wrong.


September 20th, 2010 at 8:05 PM ^

negging me cuz the truth (facts) don't bear-out your claims.  too funny.  neg away then. i really couldn't care less about these points.  never have, never will.

i just care about supportable opinions on this board; not just throwing out anything and assuming they are factual.