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Skins' new kicker is in high school record book


(By John McDonnell - TWP)

I'll admit that I was initially skeptical about the axing of Shaun Suisham, but that was before I knew about the sheer wonder that is Graham Gano. The 2009 version of the National High School Sports Record Book lists eight kicks of 64 yards or longer that have been made in U.S. prep history. Gano was behind two of them, one from 64 and one from 65. His is the only name that appears more than once on the list.

(Also on the list, pass the 64-yard threshold? Todd Sauerbrun. But his was only 63 yards. And, uh, you know.)

Gano was also named the national kicker of the year by USA Today after his senior season, and earned some nifty praise from his high school coach.

"Graham's got a good sense of when his leg is really live and when it's not," Tate coach Charlie Armstrong said before a prep all star game. "He would always let me know before the game what his range was. It's kinda strange when a 17-year-old kid comes up to you and says, 'Coach, I think I'm good from 60 (yards).' "

Gano ran a 4.4 40 and had a 33-inch vertical while in high school, according to the Pensacola News Journal. He also attempted seven kicks of more than 50 yards during his senior season. Here's what he told the Orlando Sentinel about his conversion to football, which took some time since he "didn't want to wear the tight pants."

I played soccer for 13 years, well, 13 up until my senior year. And then one of my friends, Tommy Daniels, or two of my friends, they were like, 'Hey, we don't have a kicker, would you want to come out and kick for us? So I was like, yeah, whatever, I'll give it a shot. So I went out there, just put the ball on the tee, backed up 10 yards, and just ran it, kicked a field goal. I had no clue, you know, three steps back, two across. So I just ran out there, just kicking it. I knew I had to put it through the two posts; I had that down. A little different than trying to kick underneath the bar, but yeah, it was just kind of natural.

I smell a World Cup preview item with Gano in my future. Or his favorite Ben Olsen memories. Or something.

Anyhow, here's Gano's achievement from the high school record book.


By Dan Steinberg  |  December 14, 2009; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

Sooooo, he won't be leaving 42-yd FGs short?

Posted by: peterandmeredith | December 14, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Wait . . . on a list of guys that have kicked 64 yards or further, there is a guy who's longest kick is 63 yards?

That has to be a goof somewhere . . .

Posted by: FlyersSuck | December 14, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah FS, I guess that was completely unclear. The Federation's list goes to 63 yards; since both of Gano's listed kicks were 64 or longer, I mention that only 8 kicks were listed of that length. But then several more were listed at 63, including Sauerbrun's.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | December 14, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Wait...he runs a 4.4 with a 33" vert? Can he cover the slot? Can he avoid biting on the double-move?

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | December 14, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why you're surprised by his ability. High school records aside, the guy had great numbers in college and earned far more awards than suisham ever did. Not declaring victory after one game, but he surely had a good enough resume to warrant a 4wk tryout to finish the season.

Posted by: AdamCr | December 14, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

We seem to have lucked out here. I already like him better than Suisham. It was nice to see kickoffs consistently going into the endzone.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | December 14, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

hard to believe this guy wasn't already on a team

65 yards - dayum!

Posted by: greatteamdan | December 14, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

and to be accurate from that far, that's what's amazing. yeah you can get it there but the uprights are pretty narrow from that far out.

Posted by: greatteamdan | December 14, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Between Gano and Hunter the Punter, we have a potentially sick trick play special teams . . . um . . . team.

Posted by: bucky_katt | December 14, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Gano sounds good, and I wish him the best. But I still think cutting Suisham was a chickens*%t move.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 14, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Gano sounds good, and I wish him the best. But I still think cutting Suisham was a chickens*%t move.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 14, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

there is nothing chickensh!t about upgrading a position.

Posted by: AdamCr | December 14, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

It is when you're scapegoating an easy target for a supposedly game-costing mistake, when throughout the course of the season, a number of much higher-profile, more expensive targets made mistakes of equal or greater magnitude many, many times.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 14, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Slowly but surely this team is getting the right people to do the job! Gotta love those touch backs! Play the young players and there will be less injuries!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | December 14, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow. And the kid just earned a championship ring in the UFL last month. If he doesn't develop a case of the jits, he might be a real keeper.

Posted by: ericenderle | December 14, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

It is when you're scapegoating an easy target for a supposedly game-costing mistake, when throughout the course of the season, a number of much higher-profile, more expensive targets made mistakes of equal or greater magnitude many, many times.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 14, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

in a rare moment of sanity, I think vinny explained this one well. Suisham was not good so he wasn't going to be back next year anyway. With our current record and the inexcusable miss against saints, it was a good time to try someone else. Not scapegoating swish, just replacing him. With dallas kicker struggling, you think they'll bring in swish? Doubt it. Gano probably would have gotten a call though. So while we're trying not to be chickensh!t, Dallas could sign gano. I prefer him with us.

Posted by: AdamCr | December 14, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

It is when you're scapegoating an easy target for a supposedly game-costing mistake, when throughout the course of the season, a number of much higher-profile, more expensive targets made mistakes of equal or greater magnitude many, many times.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 14, 2009 8:02 PM

he couldn't even put a KO in the endzone, what the heck are you defending here? he sucked on the Cowboys and was cut there for the same reason, missing clutch kicks and no leg to make up for those.

Posted by: greatteamdan | December 14, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

to clarify my comments I want most of the starting year lineup on offense cut. not just Suisham. :-)

Posted by: greatteamdan | December 14, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

and Vinny's and Danny's heads on sticks outside the stadium, is that asking too much? ah well

Posted by: greatteamdan | December 14, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

what about the kickoffs, this guy looks good for now.

Posted by: cavalieri10 | December 15, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Can he return punts?

Posted by: Section104 | December 15, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

We seem to have lucked out here. I already like him better than Suisham. It was nice to see kickoffs consistently going into the endzone.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | December 14, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

--------------------

YES, YES! I can't remember the last time we had a kicker who could get the ball in the end zone on kickoffs... ever much less consistently. As far back as Mosely, I think. Love this guy.

Posted by: feeney | December 15, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

This guy may yet turn out to be the next Durant Brooks (remember him? Top college punter we drafted who washed out mid-season). But at least that's one kicker we can eliminate from the competition for the job next year. 'Cos it's obvious Suisham is not a big game kicker. He always comes short when the game is on the line. And if a kicker can't make pressure kicks, what good is he?

Now, if the Redskins can only apply the same logic to Randle El returning punts.

Posted by: tundey | December 15, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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