Kicker is often an overlooked position in college football recruiting. Some coaches don't use scholarships to recruit kickers and instead reward the best walk-ons after they've proved themselves. Washington State has gone the opposite direction under Mike Leach and the Cougars added a verbal commitment from kicker Matt Abramo on Friday. It appears Cougfan.com tweeted the news first with Britton Ransford offering more insight on the WazzuWatch.com subscription message boards.
Special teams have been an area of emphasis in the Leach era. It makes sense with special teams coach Eric Russell one of the highest-paid assistant coaches and the associate head coach. WSU gave Mike Bowlin a scholarship two years ago and were prepared to go down a similar route last year before Tristan Vizcaino flipped to Washington.
Abramo is a 3-star prospect according to scout and is given 2-stars by Rivals. WSU is his biggest reported offers with Air Force, Cal Poly, San Jose State and Yale his other reported offers. Abramo may be the future replacement of Andrew Furney, but he is going to really utilize the unlimited food at WSU if he's going to look anything like Furney. Rivals lists Abramo at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds and that appears to be 20 pounds generous.
When it comes to kicker recruits, leg strength and accuracy are the keys. Abramo appears to have a strong leg, booming some kickoffs through the endzone and with hangtime. He also bombs some field goals well through the uprights, even from distance. According to his highlights, 80 percent of his kickoffs went for touchbacks and he made 10-of-16 field goal attempts as a junior. It doesn't look like Abramo's league uses tees on field goal attempts, so that's at least one less transition he'll have to make.
Abramo becomes the 11th verbal commitment in the 2015 recruiting class and the third in two days. Here are his junior highlights: