the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Draft Preview: Alex Henery

Among the kickers eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Nebraska's Alex Henery. He is ranked number one in the majority of the various draft rankings.

2010 Senior Season
  • First-Team All-American Place-Kicker (AP, Rivals.com, CBSSports.com, SI.com)
  • Rudy Award Finalist (1 of 3)
  • Lou Groza Award Semifinalist (for second year in a row)
  • His 89.5% career accuracy percentage bettered the NCAA record of 87.8 percent
  • vs. Oklahoma State: Set up NU’s first touchdown with a 27-yard run on a fake punt on NU’s opening drive...connected on three field goals, including a 52-yarder and was 6-for-6 on PATs...booted three punts for a season-high 50.3-yard average, including two kicks inside the OSU 20-yard line
2009 Junior Season
  • Supplied all of Nebraska's points at Virginia Tech, hitting on 5-of-5 field goals in a 16-15 loss. The five FGs were the second-most in NU history. He also booted six punts for a 41.5 average against the Hokies, including a first-quarter punt of 76 yards while side-stepping VT pressure. The punt tied for the fourth-longest in school history. His effort at Virginia Tech earned him Big 12 Player-of-the-Week honors.
  • Averaged a career-best 50.7 yards on six punts at Colorado, including punts of 58 and 62 yards. He also placed four punts inside the 20. 
  • Scored all of Nebraska's points with four field goals in the Big 12 title game against Texas. He made a season-long 52-yarder in the first quarter and his 42-yarder with 1:44 remaining gave NU a 12-10 lead before a late Texas rally. 
  • Added another four-field goal outing against Arizona in the Holiday Bowl, including a 50-yarder and two others from beyond 40 yards. His four field goals tied his own bowl record and were a Holiday Bowl record.
2008 Sophomore Season
  • Second-team All-Big 12 pick as a sophomore
  • Capped his season with a signature moment in the regular-season finale against Colorado, hitting a school-record 57-yard field goal to provide the decisive points in the final minutes of a 40-31 victory. The kick was two yards longer than the previous NU record held by three players, and was also Henery's fourth field goal of the game.
  • He capped the year with another 4-of-4 field goal effort against Clemson in the Gator Bowl. 
  • Henery's third four-field goal game had come in the opener against Western Michigan when he hit four 44-yarders, marking the second time in school history a player made four field goals from 40-plus yards in the same game. Henery's four field goals tied the Memorial Stadium record and extended the perfect start to his career to 12 straight field goals, the most ever to start a Husker career.
2007 Freshman Season
  • Earned first-team freshman All-Big 12 honors from The Sporting News
High School
  • Earned Omaha World-Herald first-team All-Nebraska and first-team Lincoln Journal Star Super-State honors as a punter
  • Averaged 41.4 yards per punt as a senior, and also connected on 6-of-10 field goals and 37-of-38 extra-point tries
  • Earned first-team all-state honors as a junior, averaging 41.7 yards per punt. 
  • He also played soccer for the Bulldogs, helping them to a 14-3 record and a state playoff appearance as a junior

2010: 18 of 19 (94.7%) FGs; 54 of 54 PATs; 108 points
2009: 24 of 28 (85.7%) FGs; 38 of 38 PATs; 110 points
2008: 18 of 21 (85.7%) FGs; 56 of 57 PATs; 110 points
2007: 8 of 8 (100.0%) FGs; 45 of 45 PATs; 69 points

Last December Henery looked way back and discussed his first coach:
"My mom was the oldest of eight kids and retired from work when my sister was born, so she could stay at home and spend more time with all three of us. She became our soccer coach. She had no clue how to coach, but went to the library, started reading books about soccer and really learned the game. Through hard work, she became a good coach. She's like my dad...very quiet, but a real perfectionist...our whole family is kind of that way. We don't really like to talk about ourselves, but we don't really doubt ourselves either. Whether you're learning soccer or learning kicking, it's like learning golf. Learn what you're supposed to learn and then just keep practicing so you can keep getting better and more confident. I study kicking, so I almost always know what I'm doing wrong and try to adjust. That's what kicking is - teaching yourself, so you understand what you're doing rather than listen to what others are saying. You have to stay calm to be effective. You have to use your own adrenaline for focus. The more pressure you have, the more adrenaline you get. It can help you if you choose to focus on what you have to get done and the technique required."

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