the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Minnesota Golden Gophers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

September 12, 2015 - Ryan Santoso kicks game winner over Colorado State in OT
"Redshirt freshman Wyatt Bryan sent the game to overtime with a 37-yard field goal, as time expired. Clearly deflated, the Gophers focused on controlling the extra session.... On the first play of overtime, Colorado State running back Dalyn Dawkins caught a pass and had the ball stripped by linebacker Cody Poock. The ball went airborne right to 6-4, 290-pound defensive tackle Scott Ekpe. Each overtime possession starts at the 25-yard line, so the Gophers were already in Santoso’s range. In the first half, he hit from 35 and 50 yards, though he missed a 46-yard attempt in the second half." - Star Tribune

April 11, 2015 - spring game
"Returning place kicker Ryan Santoso drew some oohs and ahhs from the crowd with a 56-yard field goal that could have been good from further out. The kick was hammered straight on through a swirling wind that was giving the quarterbacks problems on long passes. " - Scout

February 3, 2015 - punter Jake Herbers commits as preferred walk-on
"Herbers, a standout on Lakeview's league and district championship football team, has announced he has committed to be a preferred walk-on at the University of Minnesota to be a punter in their program. Herbers had a scholarship offer to be a punter at University of Buffalo and could have signed that on National Signing Day on Wednesday. But instead he will be a part of the Minnesota roster as a walk-on and prepare to compete in the Big Ten.... Herbers holds school records in field goals and punt yardage, making nine field goals his senior season with 37 touchbacks on kickoffs. Herbers also had a punt average of 40.8 yards to earn all-league honors and All-State honors." - Battle Creek Enquirer

January 9, 2015 - long snapper Trey Hansen commits
"I am excited to commit to the University of Minnesota and continue my football career as a Golden Gopher #SkiUMah" - Trey Hansen

October 18, 2014 - Ryan Santoso kicks game winner over Purdue
"David Cobb rushed for 194 yards and a touchdown and Ryan Santoso kicked a 52-yard field goal with 4:59 left to cap Minnesota's comeback on Saturday, giving the Gophers a 39-38 victory over Purdue and their first 3-0 start in Big Ten play since 1990.... Santoso missed an extra point pushed back by penalty in the second quarter, and his run up the middle on a fake attempt in the third quarter was stuffed at the goal line. But Kill said he never hesitated to send the redshirt freshman out for the long try. The Boilermakers, bracing for another fake, didn't even rush to try for a block. 'I'm just thankful coach Kill has confidence in my ability,' Santoso said." - Star Tribune

October 15, 2014 - punter Peter Mortell
"Gophers junior Peter Mortell was one of the best punters in the Big Ten last season, but he wasn’t satisfied with his technique. This summer Mortell made some changes and feels 'a lot more comfortable than last year,' he said. The results have been impressive with the Green Bay, Wis., native ranking second in the conference and 15th nationally in punt average (45.1). He was third in the Big Ten last year with a 43.3-yard average. Mortell’s punts have landed inside the 20-yard line six times in the first two Big Ten games. He’s been critical of some touchbacks, but notices a big difference in his hang time. 'I’m definitely happy with where I’m at right now,' he said. 'I think hang time has been better. I’m hitting the ball cleaner than I was last year. Technique-wise, it’s night and day'." - Pioneer Press

October 1, 2014 - kicker Ryan Santoso
"Going into the Big House with only one made field goal in his young career made redshirt freshman kicker Ryan Santoso a bit nervous last Saturday. But fortunately for the Gophers, Santoso got over those first Big Ten game jitters quickly to nail three field goals in Minnesota’s 30-14 win against Michigan. '“I had to reset my mind-set and know it’s a new game,' he said. 'I just had to go out there and stick them all.' Santoso, who lost 20 pounds in the offseason, entered the season in a tight competition with redshirt freshman Andrew Harte for the starting job. But it didn’t take long for him to not only win the spot but also gain national recognition. He was named Monday as one of the stars of the week for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s top kicker. His 48-yard-field goal was the longest for a Gopher since Jordan Wettstein made one from the same distance against Michigan State in 2012. But Gophers coach Jerry Kill said Santoso’s 24-yard field goal to end the second quarter with a 10-7 halftime lead was the turning point against the Wolverines." - Pioneer Press

August 24, 2014 - two kickers to be utilized
"The Gophers have two redshirt freshman placekickers looking to replace departing senior Chris Hawthorne this season. On Sunday, coach Jerry Kill said, 'I think we’ll use both.' Ryan Santoso has the more powerful leg, but Andrew Harte has dead aim from close range. At Montini Catholic High School, in Lombard Ill., Harte made 112 consecutive extra points, the nation’s second-longest recorded streak. Santoso, an Under Armour All-America from Pace, Fla., nailed a 54-yard field goal with room to spare early in camp, but he has missed some kicks, too. It sounds like Santoso will handle kickoff duties and field goal attempts beyond 40 yards, at least. Harte might be called upon for shorter field goal attempts and extra points. 'They’ve both done well,' Kill said. 'And we’ll need them both'." - Star Tribune

August 13, 2014 - summer specialists
"Peter Mortell cemented his place at the top of the depth chart among punters by posting the third best average - second among returning punters - last season. He will also serve as the holder for the kicker on field goal and extra point situations. Mortell will be backed up by senior Christian Eldred and true freshman Logan McElfresh. Barring an injury, neither is likely to get any action this season. The kicking competition to replace graduated senior Chris Hawthorne is a good battle between redshirt freshmen Ryan Santoso and Andrew Harte. Santoso is a scholarship player while Harte is a walk-on. It appears Santoso has the edge. By all accounts, he has been more consistent on long field goals. The loser of the battle will be the backup ahead of redshirt freshman Justin Juenemann and true freshman Emmit Carpenter. The long snapper position is a long overlooked position, but it is an integral part of the kicking game. An imperfect snap can throw the whole process out of sync. Redshirt senior Dave Ramlet is likely to get the first crack at the job. He spent the last couple seasons backing up graduated senior Jake Filkins. Also figuring into the mix are true freshman Payton Jordahl and redshirt junior Jared Hartman." - Examiner

April 12, 2014 - spring game kicking
"Redshirt freshmen Andrew Harte and Ryan Santoso were impressive in the competition for field goal kicked. Harte kicked a 53-yarder and Santoso hit one from 46 yards, with both kicks aided by a brisk wind into the open end of the stadium. Harte and Redshirt freshman Justin Juenemann added short field goals. The Gophers are looking for a new place kicker following the departure of Chris Hawthorn." - The State

April 10, 2014 - punter Peter Mortell
"Mortell said his offseason goals are to become better with directional punts, using the sidelines and shorter punts with more hang time when appropriate. 'That was my first year,' he said. 'I’m definitely pleased with how my season went, but I’m not satisfied.' On Jan. 15, Kill summoned Mortell into his office. The coach commended the junior on the job he’d done on and off the field. A marketing major, Mortell had earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, too. Kill told him he’d earned a scholarship. Mortell said calling his parents and telling them the news made it 'the best day of my life'.” - Star Tribune

January 27, 2014 - kicker Emmit Carpenter commits
"Carpenter, a 6-1, 195-pound senior kicker from Ashwaubenon (WI) High, has become the latest player to accept a preferred walk-on opportunity with the Minnesota Golden Gopher football team.... 'I decide Friday night. That was when I let the coaching staff at Minnesota know that is where I wanted to go to school and play football... I have not taken an official visit there. I went to camp there this summer and that is kind of how I got on their radar. I went to a game visit this fall for the homecoming game against Iowa and I'll be taking an official visit there this upcoming weekend.... My final decision came down to Minnesota and Illinois State.... I had a busy camp season this summer. I traveled all over the country, going to bunch of D1, FCS and FBS programs, so it was a really fun summer and I am really happy and fortunate that I had a great day at Minnesota and got on their radar and kind of started the process that way.... I would say that my leg strength is probably my strength as a kicker. I really enjoy kicking off and I am pretty good at long field goals'."
- Gopher Hole

January 26, 2014 - punter Logan McElfresh commits
"It might have been the sky scraping punts during the semifinals of the Class 5A state football tournament at the Metrodome. Or his consistent performance during Brainerd’s 12-game win streak and the Warriors’ run to the Class 5A state championship game. Both undoubtedly helped Brainerd High School senior punter Logan McElfresh commit to being a walk-on at the University of Minnesota next fall. He made an official visit last weekend and committed to the Gophers shortly thereafter. In the state semifinals against Chaska, McElfresh punted eight times for 318 yards (39.8 average) and kicked off four times for 216 yards (54-yard average) with one touchback. For the season, McElfresh helped Brainerd to a 12-1 record by averaging 34.8 yards on 38 punts. He kicked two field goals, both from 30 yards, and converted 47 of 52 extra-point kicks (.904). He kicked off 72 times for 3,738 yards (51.9 average) with 16 touchbacks. He also played quarterback, running back and tight end."  
- Brainerd Dispatch

January 26, 2014 - long snapper Payton Jordahl commits
"Sunday, the senior verbally committed to the University of Minnesota, where he figures to play long snapper. 'It just started with me grabbing a football and snapping it in practice,' Jordahl said. 'I can’t stress enough how it’s all the hours in the weight room and film room and every little detail. I’m just sitting here today, thinking, ‘Wow. I made it.’ Jordahl said his decision came down to the University of Minnesota, the University of North Dakota and the University of South Dakota. It was Gophers head coach Jerry Kill who made the difference.... Jordahl had offers from North Dakota State and Minnesota State Moorhead. According to Jordahl, NDSU held up the offer he was given in July, despite head coach Craig Bohl leaving for the University of Wyoming.... Besides long snapping for Perham, Jordahl also played inside linebacker and fullback. He rushed for 1,605 yards and 19 touchdowns, while also making 265 tackles – 149 solo – with seven pass deflections, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and two interceptions in 39 games in his Perham career." - Fargo-Moorhead Inforum

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