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Hawkeye kickers: Ferentz looking for consistency at the position

[ 0 ] August 10, 2014 |

Marshall Koehn came to Iowa with one ultimate goal.

Three long years later, the former Solon standout finds himself in position to make that top goal a reality.

Koehn entered fall camp atop the Iowa depth chart at place kicker and one of three players vying to be the starter when Iowa kicks things off Aug. 30 against Northern Iowa.

“It’s always been my goal to be the starter,” Koehn said. “It’s been a dream of mine ever since I started here and hopefully I can get a chance to play this year, that’s my ultimate goal.”

Koehn came to Iowa in 2011 after a stellar career at Solon, in which he was a part of four straight state titles.

A three-year starter for the Spartans, Koehn was a two-time, all-state kicker helping Solon go 41-1 during his time as a starter.

Following his prep career Koehn joined Iowa as a walk-on in 2011 and says he still came to campus with the goal of starting.

Instead he watched for three years as another walk-on, Mike Meyer, became the second leading scorer in program history with 324 points.

“It was my goal to be a starter when I came but it didn’t happen,” Koehn said. “I learned a lot from Mike Meyer, he is a great kicker and he’s taught me a lot of things.”

With Meyer and his 61 career field goals gone, Koehn’s time appears to be now.

The 6-foot-0, 195-pound junior has appeared in one game in his career, converting a PAT and kicking off once in a 59-3 win over Western Michigan last season.

Yet even with a limited resume, Koehn is the most experienced kicker on the Iowa roster.

True freshmen Mick Ellis and Miguel Recinos joined the program this fall and will compete with Koehn for the starting nod.

Ellis was 13-of-17 on field goals with a long of 53 yards as a junior at Lovejoy High School in Allen, Texas. Recinos, a first-team all-state pick last season at Mason City, joined the program as a walk-on.

“They are always bringing guys in to compete with you and competition is good for everybody,” Koehn said. “Hopefully it brings the best out of one of us and hopefully we can help the team be great this year.”

Even with Koehn’s name alone on the depth chart, head coach Kirk Ferentz made no bones about the fact the kick chores remained wide open heading into fall camp.

“The placekicking is a big question mark now,” Ferentz said at media day. “We just don’t know. It could well be Marshall Koehn. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. But we need to develop consistency at that position, the competition there should be healthy.”

Koehn is hoping his experience, though limited, will help him in the kicking competition.

Although he is short on game day experience, Koehn has been through the rigors of three fall camps and three full seasons and believes that could help him.

“Going through, this will be my fourth camp and I have seen a lot of what goes down in the a camp,” Koehn said. “I hope being here those past years definitely aids me and allows me to prevail in the kick job.”

In his first three years at Iowa, Koehn also has had the advantage of learning from Meyer who will go down as one of the most consistent kickers in Iowa history.

“He had a great mental approach,” Koehn said of Meyer. “If he missed a kick in practice he wasn’t going to let it affect his next kick and I think that is one thing I could really take away from him is his consistency.”

KICKERS

- Projected Starters: PK – Marshall Koehn, Jr., 6-0, 195; P – Connor Kornbrath, Jr., 6-6, 240.

Keep an eye on: Junior punter Dillon Kidd enrolled at semester and will push Kornbrath for the punting chores.

Biggest Question mark: Who emerges at place kicker and can whoever snags the job come close to matching Meyer’s consistency?

Analysis: Both the kicking and punting position will be hotly contested throughout fall camp. Kornbrath has been solid the past two season and will be challenged by Kidd who spent two seasons at Florida State as a walk on.

Whoever earns the place kicking chores, and don’t rule out the possibility of kickoff and field goal duties being split, will be short on experience however the Hawkeyes have had success in the past developing walkons into highly productive kickers.

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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