It's unfortunate, but a kicker's job is often one of the most scrutinized on the teams. Drew Brees had a good season in 1999, but if Travis Dorsch had made a few more kicks it would have been a great season. If Chris Summers makes a few kicks against Oregon the 2008 season might have been different. Florida State has lost at least two national championships solely because of poor kicking.
Conversely, Summers had an excellent 2007 season and nailed a game-winner in a bowl game. Dorsch was our offense in 2001. The jury is still out on the Seminoles. Today's profile is that of our kicker, and so far he has been a good one.
Carson Wiggs - Jr.
Hometown: Grand Prairie, TX (South Grand Prairie HS)
6', 197 pounds
2010 Projection: Starter at kicker, possible starter at punter
Wiggs came to Purdue as one of the highest rated kickers in the nation for his high school class. He originally committed after Summers struggled through the 2006 season, but when Chris had a great 2007 it looked like Wiggs would redshirt one year, sit behind Summers in 2009, and then take over kicking duties this year. Once Summers struggled with placekicking again at the beginning of 2008, Wiggs took those duties over. He hit on 8 of 11 field goals starting in that year's Ohio State game. We knew we had something special when he banged home a school record 53-yard kick in that game for his first career make.
He has since beaten that twice, hitting from 59 yards against Toledo last year and 55 against Ohio State, both before halftime. He gives us a weapon few teams have in knowing that we have a shot at a score late in a half as long as we reach the 45. He is 22 of 32 in his career on field goals and 59 of 62 on PATs. His 59 yard kick against the Rockets was the longest in the nation last year.
Wiggs comes into the season as a candidate to do double duty with punting. I am not a fan of this, as many kickers struggle when they have to share duties. Matt Bosher at Miami and Dorsch are rare examples of both excelling. Wiggs could do it as he punted a few times last season and was a special teams co-MVP with Robert Maci. He is also on the watch list for the Groza award. With 22 made field goals he already ranks third on Purdue's all-time list, but he has a way to go before reaching Dorsch's record of 69.
As far as I know, Carson is the only player with his own facebook fan club. The building construction management technology major deserves it after his three first half field goals turned around the Ohio State game last season.