Today's player finds himself in a heated position battle even though he has been the incumbent starter for two seasons. Since he comes onto the field only in situations where Purdue is running a specific play to score points I would say it is a very important battle.
Paul Griggs - Jr.
Charlotte, NC (Charlotte Latin HS)
6'1", 197 pounds
2014 Projection: Starter at kicker
Griggs came to Purdue in the fall of 2012 and was expected to start immediately as the replacement for Carson Wiggs. He was ranked as the No. 3 HS kicker in the nation and it was thought that he would be the guy for four years and we could forget about it for awhile. It didn't work out that way.
In 2012 he found himself in a season-long battle with redshirt freshman Sam McCartney. The walk-on from West Lafayette HS was the more accurate of the pair, going 5 of 7 on FGs, but struggled somewhat on PATs, going 28 of 31. Griggs found himself taking the longer kicks and went 4 of 7 and was 16 of 18 on PATs. The highlight, however, was Griggs' 46-yard FG as time expired that beat Our Most Hated Rival in Iowa City. It was Purdue's first win at Iowa in 20 years.
Last season Griggs had the job all to himself and struggled just about as much as the Purdue offense. He was only 6 of 12 on FGs with a career long of 47 against Northern Illinois and Notre Dame. He was also 21 of 22 on PATs.
He enters this year battling classmate Thomas Meadows, who has primarily been used on kickoffs to this point, but has improved in practice enough to push Griggs for the placekicking job. McCartney has left the program, but Ian MacDougall has transferred in from Wabash College and is a solid option as well. There is also incoming punter Austin McGehee, who handled placekicking duties with aplomb in his high school. It should make for an interesting fight, as no one has been guaranteed the job yet.