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Place Kicking Is an Art, but Who Will Master It?

We are less than two weeks away from the season opener at California, and Maryland still does not have a place kicker. Mike Barbour, who seemingly has had the job won a few times now, missed his last three kicks on Monday and the job remains open. Nick Wallace does not appear to be a realistic option to start the season as the starter because Friedgen has said he has been inconsistent.

Friedgen said he has considered using Barbour as a short-range place kicker and true freshman Nick Ferrara as the place kicker on long-range kicks. But one of Friedgen’s concerns about Ferrara, in addition to accuracy, is that his kicks have been too low at times.

“He is getting them up higher now,” Friedgen said. “If those longer ones are low, they get blocked and go the other way.”

Friedgen said Barbour usually has the strongest leg, but the team usually needs to get inside the 25. “He does not miss them short,” Friedgen said. “He misses them wide left or right, even when he is kicking from the 28-, 29-yard line. I don’t know why that is. He has an unusual form. He doesn’t follow through. He kind of punches the ball.

“I get a dissertation from my kicking guru Nick Novak. He'll go through all the nuances of a kick and I'll tell him, ‘The only thing I want to know is does it go through the uprights.’ That's what I measure them on. We're not giving style points here. I was talking to [Novak] today about what Ferrara had to do, and he says, 'Stop kicking like a high school kid and start learning the art of kicking.' So I've got 12 days for him to learn the art of kicking.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  August 25, 2009; 10:20 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Predicting Maryland's Record

Comments

ok, now this is bad news. Novak won more than few games for us and a good kicker is a must for the team to meet my current prediction of 14-0 and a NC.

Posted by: HughGRection | August 25, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

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