the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Draft Preview: Small School Kickers 2014

A quick look at some of the small school kickers from this year's senior class. For the purpose of this list, "small school" means a university or college in any division other than FBS.

Sergio Castillo, West Texas A&M (D2)
"Castillo is the recipient of the 2013 Fred Mitchell Award (to the nation’s top place-kicker in FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA for excellence on the football field and in the community).... Mitchell said, 'It is a thrill to congratulate Sergio as the first Division II kicker to receive the Fred Mitchell Award. With more than 750 place-kickers to choose from, we are extremely proud to recognize Sergio among a stellar group of nominees. Sergio’s record-setting season and career are very impressive. He led the Buffs in scoring while playing a key role in the team’s successful playoff run and 11-3 record. He is a very accurate kicker, having made 62 of 79 career field goals and 251 of 255 extra points. Sergio has focused his community service efforts on mentoring young people. Our Selection Committee is quite impressed with Sergio'.” - Kickology

Seth Sebastian, Southeastern Louisiana (FCS)
"After completing the best season ever by a Southeastern Louisiana player at his positions, Lion senior Seth Sebastian was honored by College Football Performance Awards, CFPA. Sebastian, a Lafayette native, was named the National Football Championship Subdivision Place-Kicker of the Year....  Sebastian, a first team All-Southland Conference selection was 16-for-18 on field goals and 66-of-67 on point after touchdowns, setting single season records for PAT's made, PAT's attempted, points (114) and field goal percentage (88.9). The four-year starter finished his career as the school's leader with 289 career points." - Lions

Dylan Rushe, Endicott (MA) (D3)
"Named a NEFC First Team Kicker and Punter...a four-time NEFC Special Teams Player of the Week...named to the All-East Region Second Team as a kicker and Third Team as a punter...All-New England by the New England Football Writers...placed on the BSN and All-American Second Team as a placekicker...became Endicott's first AFCA All-America winner, recognized as the nation's top placekicker." - Gulls

Colton Cook, Southern Utah (FCS)
"Cook, a senior from Centerville who attended Viewmont High School, received third-team All-American honors making 20 of his 25 field goals(80 percent) and 24 of his 26 PAT’s (92.3 percent) on the season for the Thunderbirds. Cook was the Thunderbirds’ leading scorer on the season, posting 84 points and made the game-winning field goal to defeat I-A South Alabama August 29 at Mobile, Ala." - Mid-Utah Radio

Sam Brockshus, Minnesota State Mankato (D2)
"Brockshus, a member of the MSU football team, received the Don Buchanan Award, which is handed out to the most “well-rounded” male senior student-athlete, excelling on the field, in the classroom and throughout the community. Brockshus is the all-time MSU football leading scorer with 372 career points. The Spencer, Iowa, native is a two-time Capital-One Academic All-American, a three-time NSIC All-Academic selection for his 3.62 GPA in civil engineering. On the gridiron, Brockshus was named an AFCA All-American and Daktronics All-American Second Team selection and currently holds the MSU career records for field goals made (54) and extra points (210). During his senior campaign, Brockshus averaged nine points per game, helping the Mavericks to their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance." - Mankato Times

Jarod Brown, Old Dominion (FCS, moving to FBS)
"Not long after Old Dominion started its football program five years ago, the Monarchs stumbled upon an unexpected weapon that helped them level the playing field against some of their more established opponents — kicker Jarod Brown. Brown made four field goals of 50-plus yards in his four-year career, including a Heinz Field-record 54-yarder in a loss to Pitt last year, and the transfer from West Virginia contributed directly to a number of ODU wins with an uncanny knack for converting onside kicks.... In Brown’s four seasons as kicker, ODU recovered 10 of his onside attempts. He hit bunt kicks that he recovered himself, pooches that his teammates ran under, traditional onside kicks late in games and surprise ones that caught his opponent off guard. Last year, in a 59-58 win over the Citadel, Brown converted back-to-back onside kicks in the second half as ODU erased an early two-touchdown deficit." - Detroit Free Press

Eric Kindler, Wisconsin Whitewater (D3)
"Kicked placements all four years, making 72 of 102 FG tries (70.6%). Punted in 2012 and '13, averaging 36.5 yards as a senior. 'He'll have a shot,' one scout said. 'He'll be a good free agent.' Said Warhawks coach Lance Leipold: 'He's got ability to do both. I look at him more as a kicker. He's been a very solid kickoff and very consistent field-goal guy'."- Journal Sentinel 

Griffin Thomas, Jacksonville State (FCS) 
"Thomas finished as one of the top kickers in the country after setting the OVC record for most field goals made (24), attempted (32) and most points scored by kicking in a season with 134. He also was a finalist for the Fred Mitchell Award, given to the top kicker in the FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA." - Gamecocks

Brandon Rodrigues, Massachusetts Maritime (D3)
"Rodrigues has posted a 3.886 cumulative grade point average as a Marine Engineering major at the Academy, and last season he averaged 46 yards per kickoff and added a 30-yard field goal in the Buccaneers’ season-opening 24-20 Chowder Bowl victory over SUNY-Maritime.  He also converted seven PAT attempts and recorded four touchbacks during his senior campaign, and as a junior, Rodrigues converted 31 extra point attempts and kicked a pair of field goals, setting a school record with eight PAT conversions in a 56-32 victory over Fitchburg State.  He also booted a game-tying fourth quarter field goal in Massachusetts Maritime’s 42-38 come-from-behind triumph over Coast Guard in September 2012 and ranked second on the team in scoring with 37 points." - Buccaneers

Ray Early, Furman (FCS)
"As a placekicker he converted a Furman season record 20 field goals (in 25 attempts), including 20 of his final 22 tries, and a punter he averaged 43.5 yards on 65 attempts, 16 of which covered at least 50 yards and 29 downed inside the opposition's 20-yard line.  On kickoffs, 38 of his 70 boots went for touchbacks. Early's 94-point campaign marked the second highest tally in Furman kick scoring history, and the 43.5 punting average ranks third all-time on the season chart. A consensus first team All-SoCon kicker and second team punter, the Darlington, S.C., native finished his Paladin tenure with 249 points, the third best tally by a Paladin, and his 43.0 yards per punt average on 104 attempts is a new Furman career standard. He booted a Furman record and tied a SoCon standard with six field goals in the Paladins' 32-20 win over Western Carolina." - Paladins

Steven Wakefield, Mercyhurst (D2)
"Wakefield was named a First Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), a First Team All-American by AP Little, a Third Team All-American by Beyond Sports Network, an All-PSAC West First Team selection, a Daktronics All-District First Team selection, and he earned a spot on the ECAC All-Star Team prior to his accolade from Don Hansen.... Wakefield broke nearly every school kicking record at Mercyhurst during his four-year career. Last season, Wakefield was 16-of-17 on field goals and 41-of-42 on extra points, finishing with a career-high, and a school-record, 89 points.... Wakefield now holds the school's all-time records for most career extra points made (164), most career field goals made (38), most field goals in a season (16), most points in a season (89), most career points by a kicker (278), and most points scored by any player (278)."- Lakers

Tyler Sievertsen, Northern Iowa (FCS)
"He placed himself in the UNI record book this season by notching 261 career points, putting him in eighth all-time at UNI in career points. He finished the 2013 season with a team-leading 97 points off 21 of 27 field goals and a perfect 34-of-34 PATs. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native also set a new school record for consecutive PATs made, making 114-of-114 to close out his career as a Panther. He notched a career-long 50-yard field goal this season against North Dakota State and also tied his career-high four field goals made in a game twice. The senior propelled UNI to a 22-20 win over then No. 9 ranked Youngstown State, knocking in the winning 34-yard field goal.He finished his career at UNI first in the FCS during the 2013 season in field goals made per game (1.80) and is second among FCS active career leaders in field goal percentage (.817). Sievertsen is now 49-of-60 from field goals and also racked up 11,956 yards from 194 kickoffs, averaging 61.6 yards." - Panthers

Andrew Muzljakovich, Olivet Nazarene (NAIA)
"Capped off an outstanding season and career with his selection to the 25-man 2013 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA)-National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-America First Team.... During the 2013 season, Andrew started all 11 games and finished second on the team in scoring with 58 points. He had 13 made field goals (13-17) with a career-long of 49 yards against St. Francis (Ill.) on Sept. 7. He converted all 19 PATs. He had 43 kickoffs for 2,674 yards (62.2 avg.) and 25 touchbacks. He finished with 59 punts for 2,443 yards (41.4 avg.) and a long of 64 yards. Andrew was named the Mid-States Football Association’s (MSFA) Midwest League Special Teams Player of the Week four times during the season, finishing with nine such honors in his college career." - Tigers

Nick Ferrara, Stony Brook (FCS) 
(played first three seasons for Maryland Terrapins)
Career Highs Kicking: Points: 14, vs. Miami (9/5/11); FG Attempted: 5, vs. Virginia (10/17/09); vs. Miami (9/5/11); FG Made: 4, vs. Miami (9/5/11); PATs: 6, vs. Clemson (10/15/11); Long FG: 50, at Wake Forest (10/10/09)... Punting: Punts: 10, at Florida State (10/22/11); Yards: 346, vs. Clemson (10/3/09); Average: 48.2, at Maine (11/2/13); 50+: 3, vs. Clemson (10/3/09); vs. Temple (9/24/11); i20: 3, at Rhode Island (9/7/13); at Buffalo (9/14/13); at Colgate (10/12/13); Long: 68, at Rhode Island (9/7/13) - Seawolves

Curt Duncan, Carson-Newman (D2)
"Duncan is arguably one of the greatest kickers to ever stroll onto the field at Carson-Newman. An All-American a year ago, Duncan topped his own school record with 17 made field goals in 2013.  He also broke his own school record for points by a kicker in a single season with 109." - Eagles

Jordan Day, Gardner-Webb (FCS)
"Day (Marvin, N.C./Marvin Ridge HS) was named first-team All-Big South at punter and was a second-team selection as a placekicker, capping his lone college football season with a shelf-full of recognition. Day led the Big South in punting average with 39.1 yards per attempt and in net punting average for the season. He pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 17 times, forced 18 fair catches and boomed seven punts at least 50 yards. Day was named Special Teams Player of the Week four times during the 2013 season, with his scoring exploits early in the season giving way to outstanding punting in the late stages." - NFLDraftScout

Taylor Groff, East Stroudsburg (D2)
"Senior kicker Taylor Groff is a member of the Fred Mitchell Award Watch List as the 2013 college football season approaches. Groff (Manheim/Manheim Central) was one of 10 finalists for the award last season, which went to Fordham senior Patrick Murray.... Groff was the first team kicker on the All-PSAC East, Daktronics All-Region and Football Gazette All-Region teams last year after leading Division II kickers with 9.3 points per game. He is the only kicker in PSAC history to make more than one field goal of 51+ yards – making four from that distance, including three in 2012." - Warriors  

Kevin van Voris, West Texas A&M (D2)
"A man with a 'big leg' and no shortage of confidence, Van Voris finished third in the nation in punt average (45.2) as a senior and had a college career long of 74 yards. This led Van Voris to chase his dream of being drafted in the NFL....  He proved during his college career to be a proficient punter and kickoff specialist. He also left his mark on scouts and by connecting on consecutive field goals of 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 yards at the Houston Regional Combine alongside his brother and fellow kicker prospect David Van Voris." - SB Nation

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