the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, April 18, 2014

Draft Preview: Mitch Ewald

Among the kickers eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Indiana's Mitch Ewald. He ranks in the top ten in some of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Ewald's profile page on the Hoosiers' website:

2013 Senior Season
  • The program's all-time leader in field goals, field goal percentage and extra points. He is also tops among kickers and second overall with 320 points.
  •  Named second team All-Big Ten by the coaches and honorable mention by the media
  • Indiana's Special Teams Player of the Year
  • averaged a career-best 63.3 yards on 77 kickoffs with a career-high 38 touchbacks ... topped conference and ranked 15th nationally in average ... touchbacks were second in Big Ten and shared 17th nationally
  • hit a pair of field goals, including a career-best 50-yarder, and all five extra points at Michigan ... 50-yarder was 18th in school history and program's first since 2002
  • closed career 9-of-13 (69.2) from 45-plus yards 
2012 Junior Season
  • Indiana's Special Ops Player of the Year (special teams)
  • averaged 61.5 yards on 68 kickoffs with 31 touchbacks
  • recovered third onside kick of career at Penn State
2011 Sophomore Season
  • Received honorable mention All-Big Ten from the coaches and media
  • averaged 61.7 yards on 50 kickoffs with eight touchbacks
  • posted a perfect 10-of-10 mark from inside 40 yards 
2010 Freshman Season
  • honorable mention All-Big Ten from the coaches
  • CollegeFootballNews.com All-Freshman team 
  • averaged 58.4 yards on 52 kickoffs with three touchbacks 
  • forced overtime with a 26-yarder and hit game-winner from 31 yards in victory at Purdue 
High School
  • rated the No. 3 kicker nationally by Rivals.com, No. 4 by ESPN.com and No. 5 by Scout.com
  • earned all-state, all-city, all-area and all-conference honors in 2008
  • captain of the High School All-American Bowl
  • connected on a career-long 47-yard field goal and recorded an 85.0-percent touchback rate as a senior
  • two-year football letterwinner also lettered in baseball


College Stats:
2013: 9 of 11 (81.8%) FGs; 56 of 56 PATs; 83 points
2012: 15 of 20 (75.0%) FGs; 42 of 43 PATs; 87 points
2011: 13 of 16 (81.3%) FGs; 30 of 30 PATs; 69 points
2010: 16 of 19 (84.2%) FGs; 33 of 33 PATs; 81 points

Last July, Ewald discussed his approach to kicking:
"The big thing for me is my technique. I'm not the biggest guy in the world. I'm not the most powerful kicker out there. I don't have the strongest leg. But I've always relied a lot on technique and form and fundamentals. So every year in the offseason that's a big thing for me. That's what I emphasize. Because when it comes down to game situations you're only out there for 1.5 seconds or whatever it is. You just have to go out there and do what you've done a million times. So it's all about emphasizing fundamentals and technique.''
Last September, he summarized his multiple roles:
"My first role on this team is to be a team leader, secondly just a football player, and thirdly a kicker."

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