June 18, 2024

College football’s 15 best place kickers of 2023

College football's 15 best place kickers of 2023

TCU place kicker Griffin Kell (39) attempts a PAT during the second quarter against Colorado Friday September 2, 2022 at Folsom Field. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

They always come through to save the day, and still don’t receive the respect they deserve.

Some don’t even have scholarships and had to prove their worth as a walk-on. Kickers have to deliver in the clutch for their teams, and they have a slim margin for error. Crowd noise levels and weather conditions come with the territory. So the key is to have a short term memory.

There has to be consistency with length and accuracy. The pressure moments provide opportunities for kickers to be heroes. Feeling no pressure in the biggest moments and having ice water in the veins is vital. These 15 kickers displayed those qualities last season, and are looking to build on their legacies this spring.

15. Colton Boomer, UCF: The Florida native made is Gus Malzahn’s secret weapon, who made 14 of his 15 field goal attempts last season. Boomer was money inside the 40-yard line, and nailed 11 kicks. Not to mention Boomer made all three of his attempts inside the 50-yard line. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder missed his only 50-yard attempt. However, Boomer made two field goals, including a 41-yarder at Florida Atlantic, He connected on all four of his attempts, including a season-high, 43-yarder in the victory over Georgia Tech. Boomer also nailed a 41-yard field goal in the win over SMU.

14. Camden Lewis, Oregon: The North Carolina native delivered in clutch moments for the Ducks last year. Not only did Lewis make 14 of his 16 field goal attempts, but he also didn’t miss a PAT the entire season. He was money inside the 40-yard line, and connected on all 10 of his attempts. Lewis nailed three field goals against Washington State. Not to mention he made a season-high, 44-yard field goal against UCLA. The 5-foot-10, 206-pounder nailed two kicks against Washington, including a 43-yarder. Lewis generated two field goals apiece against Oregon State and Utah.

13. Tyler Loop, Arizona: The former three-star prospect was one of the few bright spots during the Wildcats’ 5-7 campaign last season. Although Loop wasn’t that accurate long range, he was still money inside the 40-yard line and connected on all 14 of his attempts. The Texas native registered three field goals against Oregon. Not to mention Loop made three field goals, including a 42-yarder against USC. Loop generated two field goals against Washington State, including a 47-yarder. His 48-yard field goal at Washington was a season-high. Loop’s a reason why Arizona will be improved this fall.

12. Bert Auburn, Texas: The Texas native isn’t hard to spot on the sidelines with his curly locks. Bert finished 11th in the FBS in scoring last season. Auburn also ranked 11th in the country in field goals per game. Not to mention Bert has  range, and didn’t miss a PAT all season. Bert nailed two field goals, including a 44-yarder in the victory over UTSA. The six-foot, 181-pounder also recorded two field goals, including a 48-yarder at Texas Tech. Bert put together a stellar performance against Alabama, and connected on four of his five of his attempts, including a season-high, 49-yard field goal.

11. Andres Borregales, Miami: The former three-star prospect is coming off a second-straight impressive campaign. Not only did Borregales nail 17 of his 20 field goals attempts in 2022, but he also handled kickoff duties, with 37 touchbacks. He made three field goals in the victory over Southern Miss, including a 40-yarder. The hometown kid also nailed three field goals against Texas A&M. Borregales made all four of his attempts, including a 42-yarder in the overtime victory at Virginia. The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder posted a season-high, 49-yard field goal against Florida State.

10. Harrison Mevis, Missouri: The former three-star prospect made 22 field goals last season. If Mevis was more consistent, he’d be considered one of the best kickers in the country. After all, he ranked second in the almighty SEC and eighth in the FBS in field goals per game. Not to mention he has an extremely strong leg, and didn’t miss a PAT the entire season. Mevis made three field goals, including a 50-yarder against South Carolina. The Indiana native also posted three field goals against Arkansas. Mevis registered five field goals against Georgia, including a 56-yarder, which was a season-high.

9. Ben Sauls, Pittsburgh: The former two-star prospect delivered in the clutch for the Panthers last season. Sauls ranked 18th in the FBS in field goals per game. He nailed 20 field goals, and finished 26th in the country in scoring. Not to mention Sauls didn’t miss a PAT the entire year. Sauls made two field goals, including a season-high 51-yarder in the victory over Duke. The Ohio native left a lasting impression when he posted five field goals, including a season-high, five field goals, including a 49-yarder in the bowl game against UCLA. Sauls has range, and should be more consistent this fall.

8. Diego Guajardo, South Alabama: The Alabama native is coming off a stellar campaign with the Red Wolves, in which he connected on 18 of his 10 field goal attempts . Guajardo capped off the season with second-team, All-Sun Belt honors. He only missed one PAT the entire year, and made on 13 of his 14 field goal attempts inside the 40-yard line. Not to mention Guajardo nailed all five of his attempts from 40 yards and beyond. Guajardo posted two field goals, including a season-high, 49-yarder against Southern Miss. He also made two field goals apiece against Old Dominion and Nicholls State

7. James Turner, Louisville: The Michigan native made a name for himself after he nailed 20 of his 22 field goal attempts last season. Turner also capped off the year with third-team, All-ACC honors for his heroics on the gridiron. Not to mention he was perfect on all 17 of his kicks in the 40-yard line. Turner made four field goals against NC State. He posted two field goals, including a season-high, 48-yarder against Boston College. The six-foot, 205-pounder also nailed a 48-yard field goal against Pittsburgh. Turner left a lasting impression with a 48-yard field goal in the bowl victory over Cincinnati.

6. Griffin Kell, TCU: The Texas native made a name for himself in the Big 12 last season, and was a big part of the Horned Frogs’ run to the National Championship Game. Kell even capped off his amazing campaign with first-team, All-Big 12 honors. He only missed one of his nine field goal attempts inside the 40-yard line, and two PATs the entire season. Kell still has a strong leg and amazing range. The six-foot, 193-pounder posted three field goals in the victory over Oklahoma State, including a 47-yarder. Kell made two field goals, including a season-high, 54-yarder in the win over Iowa State.

5. John Hoyland, Wyoming: The Colorado native is coming off an amazing season with the Cowboys. Not only did Hoyland nail 22 field goals, but he didn’t miss a PAT the entire year. He also finished his memorable campaign with first-team, All-MWC honors. He made four of his five field goal attempts, including a season-high, 55-yarder in the victory over Tulsa. Hoyland registered four field goals against Northern Colorado. Not to mention he nailed a 53-yard field goal against Boise State. Hoyland left a lasting impression with two field goals, including a 53-yarder in the bowl game against Ohio.

4. Dominic Zvada, Arkansas State: The Arizona native put together an unforgettable campaign with the Red Wolves as a true freshman last season. Zvada made 17 of his 18 field goal attempts and capped off the year with first-team, All-Sun Belt honors. He nailed a 46-yard field goal against Memphis and Louisiana-Monroe. Not to mention Zvada posted two field goals, including a season-high, 56-yarder at Texas State. However, his performance at Ohio State was unforgettable. Zvada registered four field goals against the Buckeyes, including a 45-yarder inside the Horseshoe.

3. Drew Stevens, Iowa: The South Carolina native had no starts behind his name out of high school, but is coming off a stellar campaign with the Hawkeyes. Stevens ranked first in the Big Ten and 16th in the FBS in field goal percentage. He also handled kickoff duties, and finished with 31 touchbacks. Not to mention Stevens didn’t miss a PAT the entire season, and earned second-team, All-Big Ten honors. Stevens made two field goals, including a 51-yarder in the victory at Rutgers. The six-foot, 180-pounder generated four field goals, including a season-high, 54-yarder in the in over Northwestern.

2. Will Reichard, Alabama: The former three-star put together a magnificent campaign with the Crimson Tide in 2022. Not only did Reichard rank fifth in the FBS in scoring, but he was also ninth in the country in field goals per game. He also capped off the season with second-team, All-SEC honors. Reichard also handled kickoffs, and finished with 47 touchbacks. Reichard didn’t miss a PAT the entire season, and connected on 13 of his 14 tires inside the 40-yard line. The Alabama native made four field goals against LSU and three against Ole Miss. His 52-yard field goal at Texas was a season-high.

1. Joshua Karty, Stanford: The former three-star prospect made all 18 of his field goal attempts, and was the lone bright spot for the Cardinal last season. Not only did Karty display amazing accuracy, but his long range raised eyebrows. He also handled kickoff duties, and finished with 40 touchbacks. Not to mention Karty capped off his magnificent campaign with first-team, All-Pac-12 honor. Karty was a Lou Groza Award finalist too, and only missed one PAT. He nailed a 54-yard field goal against BYU. Karty made a five field goals against Arizona State. His 61-yard kick against California was a season-high.