Kicker Watch List - 2019
Kickers to Watch in 2019
By Evan Jaffe, August 16, 2019
The new football season begins next week, so it's time to sift through our data and organize our Kicker Watch List for 2019. Throughout the 2018 season our math formulas allowed for a precise evaluation of kickers and their individual performances. Our methodology was based on past performance ratings which were determined based on percent of made field goals, distance of the field goal attempts, altitude of the stadium, and whether the kick was during a critical part of the game. In 2019, we will also add temperature and weather conditions to the formula.
We believe past performance is a good indicator of future performance, therefore, in creating our "Best of the Best" list, we decided to follow the math formulas unbiased view of who were statistically the best kickers from 2018. The kickers are listed in alphabetical order (not ranked), but rest assured, if a player is included in this listing we believe they have significant potential to elevate the status of their team in the 2019 season.
One other note: Predicting success for kickers is more difficult than punters. Many capable kickers in the Top 50 have the physical ability and mental strength to be ranked in the Top 10 by season’s end. However, when the average kicker has only 20 field goal attempts per season, just one or two missed field goal attempts can be the difference between a good kicker and a great kicker. It’s a very fine line….so, while we believe all who made this list are most likely to be in the Kicker of the Year discussion, several kickers not on the list will make a strong case too.
Tyler Bass (SR-R) – Georgia Southern – Hometown: Irmo, SC
2017 FAU Ranking: #26
2018 FAU Ranking: #3 and 1st team All-Sun Belt
Tyler was named to the 2nd team All-Sun Belt Conference team by the conference in 2017, and 1st team in 2018. He graduated with a degree in Marketing. He had the best average rating per kick of all 104 ranked FBS kickers in 2018.
Massimo Biscardi (SO) – Coastal Carolina – Hometown: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
2018 FAU Ranking: #30 and 3rd team All-Sun Belt
Selected as a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award in 2018, and named 3rd team All-Sun Belt by the conference and Phil Steele. Massimo’s impressive Freshman campaign was not a surprise as he was evaluated as a 5-star recruit by ChrisSailerkicking.com.
Rodrigo Blankenship (SR) – Georgia – Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
2017 FAU Ranking: #30
2018 FAU Ranking: #25 and 3rd team All-SEC
Rodrigo has the largest Twitter following (over 22,000) of all kickers on our Watch List! He was named second team All-American by The Sporting News for the 2017 season. Rodrigo was selected 2nd team All-SEC by the conference, the AP, Athlon Sports, and Phil Steele. Rodrigo received his undergraduate degree in Digital and Broadcast Journalism in Fall 2018.
Matt Coghlin (JR) – Michigan State – Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
2017 FAU Ranking: #41
2018 FAU Ranking: #18 and 2nd team All-Big Ten
Named semi-finalist by the Lou Groza Award in 2018. Selected 1st team by the Big Ten Conference, and 2nd team All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports, the AP, and Phil Steele. His father, Mark, is an Air Force veteran and now a pilot; he flew the team’s charter plane to Phoenix, Arizona, for the 2018 Arizona State game. Matt is a Business major.
Jonathan Cruz (SO) – Charlotte – Hometown: Cartersville, Georgia
2018 FAU Ranking: #16 and 2nd team All-CUSA
Selected as 2nd team All-CUSA by the conference and Phil Steele. Jonathan was a two-time all-state kicker, and first-team all-state punter in high school. Made a game winning 56-yard field goal with less than 30 seconds left vs. FAU. Majoring in Kinesiology.
Cameron Dicker (SO) – Texas – Hometown: Austin, Texas
2018 FAU Ranking: #40
The phrase “Dicker the Kicker” went viral after Cameron’s game-winning 40-yard FG vs. Oklahoma in 2018. Selected 2nd team All-Big 12 by the Conference. His strong performance was expected as a two-time all-state kicker in high school. Interesting fact: Cameron was born in Hong Kong, and also lived in Shanghai and Taiwan.
Christopher Dunn (SO) – NC State – Hometown: Lexington, North Carolina
2018 FAU Ranking: #31 and 3rd team All-ACC
Christopher was selected as 2nd team All-ACC by the conference, Athlon Sports, the AP, and Phil Steele. He had a great Freshman year going 23 of 26 with a long of 49. His FAU ranking was limited because 22 of his 26 attempts were inside 40 yards; we expect he’ll get more long distance opportunities this year to make his case for a Top 10 ranking. Christopher’s major is Agricultural Science.
Dominik Eberle (SR) – Utah State – Hometown: Nuremberg, Germany
2017 FAU Ranking: #18
2018 FAU Ranking: #27
Dominik qualified as a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award in 2018. Based on our rankings, he had a good year in 2018, but the reality is he was VERY good from 40-49 (6 of 7) and 50+ (3 of 5). If not for a few short miscues, he would be a top 10 kicker in our rankings; field goal kicking can be very unforgiving sometimes. We are expecting great things from Dominik this year. Dominik was selected 1st team by Mmwire.com, 2nd team by MWconnection, 3rd team by Phil Steele, and honorable mention by the conference and FAU.
Logan Justus (SR-R) – Indiana – Hometown: McCordsville, Indiana
2018 FAU Ranking: #18 and 3rd team All-Big Ten
Logan, who is a left-footed kicker, was a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award. Did not see any game action in his Freshman or Sophomore seasons, but made an impressive debut in his junior year earning 3rd team All-Big Ten honors by the conference and Phil Steele. Also, he appears to be a young Matt Damon doppelganger. Logan is an Exercise Science major.
Alex Kessman (JR-R) – Pittsburgh – Hometown: Clarkston, Michigan
2018 FAU Ranking: #7 and 2nd team All-ACC
Only had 17 FG attempts in 2018, but 5 were from 50+….and he made 4! Also handles the kickoff duties that frequently result in a touchback. Was selected 3rd team All-ACC by the conference, Athlon Sports, and Phil Steele. In high school he was also the QB his senior season and won two state championships. Majoring in Administration of Justice.
Connor Limpert (JR) – Arkansas – Hometown: Allen, Texas
2018 FAU Ranking: #13 and 2nd team All-SEC
Connor was a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award in 2018. He was selected as 3rd team All-SEC by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele. Connor is majoring in Recreation and Sport Management.
Blake Lynch (JR) – Kansas State – Hometown: Goddard, Kansas
2018 FAU Ranking: #21 and 3rd team All-Big 12
Was 14 of 16, with only two misses coming from 50+. Known for his short stature (5’5”), he owns it by celebrating each successful kick with a jump to high-five the holder. Earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance in May 2019 and is currently pursuing his MBA.
Tucker McCann (SR) – Missouri – Hometown: O’Fallon, Illinois
2017 FAU Ranking: #37
2018 FAU Ranking: #43
Tucker’s 57-yard field goal was the longest in FBS football this season. He chose Mizzou over Alabama, Florida State, Illinois, Kansas and Purdue….Majoring in Art.
Evan McPherson (SO) – Florida – Hometown: Fort Payne, Alabama
2018 FAU Ranking: #33
Evan was a Lou Groza semi-finalist going 17 of 19 with a long of 48 yards as a Freshman. He made a 60-yard field goal in high school which is one yard short of the state record. He chose Florida over Mississippi State.....Alabama let this one get away.
Ryan Meskell (SR-R) – Hawaii – Hometown: Gold Coast, Australia
2018 FAU Ranking: #26 and 3rd team All-Mountain West
Ryan made 15 of 18 FG attempts in 2018. Nickname is “Mesk.” Majoring in Communication. Ryan played 2 years of soccer at Lewis & Clark College in Illinois. Earned academic All-Mountain West honors.
JJ Molson (SR) – UCLA – Hometown: Montreal, Canada
2018 FAU Ranking: #15 and 2nd team All-PAC 12
Honorable mention by the conference going 10 for 10 inside 44 yards, and 13 of 15 inside 50. JJ is an eighth generation descendant of John Molson, the founder of North America's oldest Brewery in 1786. All-around athlete who played basketball, golf, soccer, and tennis in high school.
Joseph Petrino (SO) – Maryland – Hometown: Richmond Hill, Georgia
2018 FAU Ranking: #42
He made the first 11 field goal attempts of his career, and finished the season 12 of 14. You know he’s a soccer player because: he was featured on SportsCenter's “Top-10 Plays” for kicking 50-yard field goals with both his right and left foot. Joseph is majoring in Letters & Science.
Cooper Rothe (SR) – Wyoming – Hometown: Longmont, Colorado
2018 FAU Ranking: #9 and 1st team All-Mountain West
Lou Groza Award finalist in 2018 (Top 3 kickers). Led the nation in field goal percentage. Went 16 of 17 with a long of 51 yards. Also picked as 1st team All-Mountain West by the conference, MWconnection, and Phil Steele.
Brandon Ruiz (JR) – Arizona State – Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona
2018 FAU Ranking: #17 and 3rd team All-PAC 12
Brandon was selected as 3rd team All-PAC 12 by the Athlon Sports and Phil Steele. In high school, he made a 58-yard field goal, and 85% of his kickoffs went for touchback.
Nick Sciba (SO) – Wake Forest – Hometown: Clover, South Carolina
2018 FAU Ranking: #35
Nick had a great Freshman season converting 19 of 22 field goals including his last 11, not missing an attempt in his last 9 games. Nick was a member of his high school soccer team. He was also involved in a football-related high school campaign to help stop pediatric cancer.
Evan Staley (JR-R) – West Virginia – Hometown: Romney, West Virginia
2018 FAU Ranking: #8 and 1st team All-Big 12
Usually we are in general agreement with other award organizations, but not this time. None of the other five we follow had Evan in their top 3 kickers in the conference in 2018. We believe that was a big omission.
Tyler Sumpter (JR) – Troy – Hometown: Hoover, Alabama
2018 FAU Ranking: #38
Only player on both the Kicker Watch List and Punter Watch List. He made 18 of 24 FGs last year with a long of 50. Majoring in Elementary Education. The Sun Belt Conference awarded Tyler 2nd team All-Sun Belt honors as a kicker and 3rd team All-Sun Belt as a punter.
Andre Szmyt (SO-R) – Syracuse – Hometown: Vernon Hills, Illinois
2018 FAU Ranking: #4 and 1st team All-ACC
Winner of the Lou Groza Award in his Freshman season. Enough said.
Jet Toner (JR) – Stanford – Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
2018 FAU Ranking: #20
Full name is John Edward Toner V (the acronym spells “Jet”). In 2017, Jet was named All-PAC 12 honorable mention. In 2018, he was selected 2nd team by the conf. Athlon Sports, the AP, and Phil Steele. In addition to his cool name, Jet is from a cool place – Honolulu, Hawaii. Enjoys surfing, hiking, camping, and golf. Majoring in science, technology and society (innovation and organization).
Matthew Trickett (SO) – Kent State – Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
2018 FAU Ranking: #41 and 2nd team All-MAC
MAC Conference and Phil Steele named Matthew as a 1st team All-MAC selection. He was a starting Centerback for a state championship soccer team in high school. Matthew made a 59-yard field goal in high school.
Jake Verity (JR) – East Carolina – Hometown: Bremen, Georgia
2018 FAU Ranking: #6 and 1st team All-American Conference
Also selected 1st team by the American Conference and Phil Steele. Majors in Construction Management. Jake was a soccer standout in high school.