The Washington State Cougars have been the beneficiary of excellent placekicking for the vast majority of the last two years, thanks to Erik Powell. With Powell’s strong left leg heading off to try and impress NFL scouts, and no ready replacement seemingly on the roster, the Cougs are in need of a kicker.
It appears they might have found their man, as Arkansas Razorbacks kicker Blake Mazza announced his intention to transfer to WSU, via Twitter:
#GoCougs pic.twitter.com/UhuwaahwYk— Blake Mazza (@blakemazza) January 13, 2018
According to The Spokesman-Review’s Theo Lawson, Mazza was a walk-on last season for the Razorbacks, where he redshirted. And as long as he wasn’t formally “recruited” by Arkansas*, he’ll be eligible to play immediately — which Mazza says he is.
Like most high school kickers, Mazza handled all kicking duties. He appears to have a good leg on kickoffs and placekicking, while his punting ... leaves something to be desired.
Lawson is reporting that Mazza also will join WSU as a walk-on, which is a pretty typical arrangement for kickers. If he’s able to win the job, he’s got a chance to end up on scholarship. But kickers are fickle, and he’ll have to prove himself before that ends up on the table.
And don’t doubt that WSU is still out trying to add kickers to the pile in the hope that they can avoid becoming the butt of #CollegeKicker jokes.
Whoever it is will have a high standard to live up to: Powell hit 29-of-34 field goals in his final 21 games.
*You can find a definition of “recruited athlete” here.