the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Michigan State Spartans 2013 Specialists

Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Michigan State Spartans.

8/27/13 kicking update:
"While it wasn’t the first item coach Mark Dantonio covered Tuesday, it eventually was revealed senior Kevin Muma would be the Spartans kicker. Thanks to social media, in fact, Muma’s mom found out before he did. 'I got a text from my mom,' Muma said. 'I haven’t even been able to talk to her yet.' While it might have come as a surprise to Muma’s mother, it almost certainly has been one to many who follow Michigan State football. Muma has been handling strictly the kickoff duties the past three seasons while Dan Conroy has taken care of field goals and extra points. And during spring practice, Dantonio said walk-on Kevin Cronin was the best kicker. On top of that, freshman Michael Geiger arrived for preseason camp as the top kicker in the nation. Everything seemed to point toward one more year of kickoffs for Muma. But as camp progressed, the fifth-year senior started to separate himself. 'He had a great camp,' Dantonio said. 'Muma has been consistent throughout. He has to remain consistent the rest of this week. He’s got a job to win game day, but I’m pretty confident that he’s done the job. He certainly has all the ability.”
8/17/13 kicking update:
"Muma was an impressive 7-of-8 kicking field goals in Saturday's closed scrimmage. Geiger was 5-of-6 kicking field goals, including a 46-yarder. 'It's tight,'' coach Mark Dantonio said following Saturday's scrimmage. 'Kevin Muma has had a great camp. At end of game made a 46 yard kick with two seconds left. I thought they both kicked very well. I'm happy to see Muma kicking well.'.... 'Muma has had a great camp thus far, and Geiger is in there,'' Dantonio said. 'Those two are competing. Cronin has been good, but Muma has been very consistent, and Geiger, for a true freshman, is right there. (Muma) has taken a big step forward, his confidence is very high. He's 22 of 24 in scrimmage situations.'' Make it 29 of 32 after Saturday'."
Kicker: Kevin Muma, senior (Troy, MI / Troy HS)
Three-year letterwinner has spent the past three seasons as Michigan State's starting kickoff specialist . . . has a career average of 64.4 yards on kickoffs.

This year he is competing for the placekicking job which is open with the graduation of Dan Conroy.
Kicker: Kevin Cronin, freshman (Traverse City, MI / Traverse City West Senior HS)
2012: redshirted
Spring game: In constant swirling winds, both of the Spartan placekickers made their only field-goal attempts and also connected on their PATs. Cronin drilled a 30-yarder in the first quarter to give the Green a 3-0 lead, while Muma also booted a 30-yard field goal that tied the game at 17 in the fourth quarter.
April 2013:  head coach Mark Dantonio said, “I would say Cronin is having an excellent spring so far, and right now he sits at No. 1 and he’s been very consistent. With that being said, Mike Geiger is the young man we recruited. Very highly thought-of kicker in the country, and he’ll come in and add immediate competition for that position.”
Kicker: Michael Gieger, freshman (Toledo, OH / Ottawa Hills HS)
"I know how important it will be, especially the style of play Michigan State plays. Every point and every field goal is critical. I embrace that.'... I've tried to stay as sharp as possible by becoming more accurate and watching film of my kicking to stay technically sound. If I keep doing what I'm doing and keep improving, I could come in and win that spot. But I know I have to come in and compete.''
"Geiger’s got to come in immediately and be thrown into the group. I don’t think we can sit there and wait and say, ‘Is he going to be the guy?’ He’s gotta get a lot of reps and he’s gotta kick in front of our football team. That will be his first pressure situation. The next thing he has got to be able to do is kick in situational things that determine the outcome of a scrimmage or the outcome of a situation. We’re gonna try and put pressure on him and let him go head to head with (Kevin) Muma and (Kevin) Cronin and even Evan Fischer. But we have to put pressure on him.” - head coach Mark Dantonio
Kicker: Evan Fischer, freshman (Holt, MI / Holt HS)
2012: redshirted
Punter: Mike Sadler, junior (Grand Rapids, MI / Forest Hills Northern)
Sadler was named to the Ray Guy Award Watch List, the Augusta Sports Council announced on Wednesday. The award honors the nation's top punter. A two-year letter winner, Sadler has spent the past two seasons as Michigan State's starting punter and owns a career average of 42.4 yards per punt, which is currently sixth best in MSU history. He has placed 40 percent of his career punts inside the 20 (56-of-140) and 20 percent inside the 10 (28-of-140).
Winter and summer conditioning is not actually about conditioning, it’s about growing as a team. So far we’ve done a very good job and have very good chemistry. I’m really excited about that.”
Long snapper: Taybor Pepper, sophomore (Saline, MI / Saline HS)
"This off season has done a lot for me. I've increased my strength enormously. Most of all I've matured a lot, not only as a football player, but as a young man. Since I started as a true freshman my goal is to come back my sophomore year and kill it! I'm excited that I have a year of experience under my belt and I'm ready to help my team however I can. We're going to the Rose Bowl baby!"
Long snapper: Leland Ewing, junior (Jackson, MI / Lumen Christi Catholic)
2012: Served as the back-up long snapper behind Pepper.
Long snapper: Steve Moore, junior (Pinconning, MI / Pinconning HS)
2012: Missed the entire 2012 season after suffering a neck injury over the summer.
2011: Appeared in three games as a long snapper to earn his first letter . . . was the starting long snapper for the Spartans in the 2012 Outback Bowl win over No. 18 Georgia.

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