Some days on the countdown there are two players that wear the same number. I mean, there are only so many available numbers and there are A LOT of players on a football team especially when you take into account walk-ons. Naturally, there will be some overlap. Today is one of those days. The post on the other player wearing 45, who you might recognize, will come out later today.
Preston Nichols - Redshirt Freshman
Ligonier, Indiana (West Noble High School)
6’5” - 230
2023 Projection: Backup Kicker
Being a kicker is a thankless, difficult, and frustrating job. If you do your job well, hardly anyone remembers or notices you. You’ve got to be one of the best ever to be recognized and talked about and even then you’ll just sort of fade from memory. Fans are quick to blame the kicker, they’ve got one job!, and slow to thank them. I don’t know about you but if you lined me up out there right now I couldn’t hit an extra point let alone a 30 yard field goal. With all of that in mind we’ve got Julio Macias stepping into a (likely) backup role this year.
Macias appeared in one game last year, yes it was against Indiana State, when he kicked off twice. Maybe not important to anyone else bu Macias was born in 2004 which was my first year at Purdue meaning I’m officially old and need to go lie down now. During Macias’ 2021 high school season he averaged 40.1 yards per punt, made all 13 attempted extra points, and was 11-15 on field goals with a long of 47 yards. While he was recruited as a kicker he could obviously be in the running for some punting duties should the need arise. I know I’m like a broken record but new coaching staff might mean new expectations for a lot of these players.
Kicker is always interesting because there could be an entrenched started or a big name recruit in front of you but all it takes is that person having one bad game for you to be able to step into the starting spot and never look back. Macias will need to be loose and have that leg ready. All it takes is one bad game and it’s his time to shine.