It might end up being Trent Mossbrucker.
We’ve been over Iowa’s placekicking last season under Austin Signor and Daniel Murray, but it deserves review.
The Hawkeyes finished 10th in the Big Ten with a .625 field goal kicking percentage (10 of 16), just ahead of last place and Big Ten winless Minnesota. Iowa finished last in PAT percent, missing four PATs including a pair in the West Michigan loss (ultimately, they didn’t come back to haunt). I will say this about the kickers. Iowa was breaking in a new long snapper for field goals and punter Ryan Donahue was in his first year as the holder. It was Signor’s and Murray’s first seasons on the field, too. That’s a lot of first timers.
That said, the job will certainly be open when Iowa begins fall camp at or around Aug. 4.
Mossbrucker is an athlete, which brings the comparisons to all-forever kicker Nate Kaeding. At Iowa City West, Kaeding was a state champion in football, soccer and basketball. During his career at quarterback for Mooresville (Ind.) High School, Mossbrucker set school records for completions (525) and yards (4,208) while throwing for 39 TDs.
His kicking numbers weren’t too shabby, either. Last season, he was 8-for-11 on field goals and missed just one extra point in 48 attempts. Also, 46 of his 65 kickoffs were touchbacks.
That’s not to say expect another Kaeding. I’m not one for outlandish predictions, unless you guys consider 5-7 outlandish (I’m not predicting that, not yet).
This was from April 17 near the end of spring practice, but here’s what coach Kirk Ferentz had to say about kicking duties at the time:
Responding to a question if anyone had claimed the kicking job, “In one word, no. We have seen good and we have seen bad. In my mind, it’s even right now at this point. That will go into the summer as well.”
I’m going to put the over/under at two for Iowa football games this fall that will be decided by good or bad special teams play.