When we think of kickers, most of the time we think of high-pressure situations with little time left. Unfortunately, the outcomes of those games are often riding on the foot of the kicker setting up to either win the game or take the blame.
For Texas Longhorns fans, there are more happy memories than most college football fans get to remember. The 2005 Rose Bowl against Michigan where Dusty Mangum squeezed it through the uprights with just enough gas to clear the crossbar is one that comes to mind. Hunter Lawrence’s miracle in Dallas in the Big-12 Championship game is also another obvious happy memory for ‘Horns fans. His kick stayed just inside the upright to send the Longhorns to Pasadena for a chance at the National Championship against Alabama.
More recently, Justin Tucker put one through to take the last meeting ever with the Texas A&M Aggies in 2011. But, kicking isn’t always about the game winning kicks with iconic broadcasts that stayed burned in the mind of fans for as long as they live. It’s not always about scoring points and in the case of Longhorn kicker Nick Rose it’s about doing his part to stop the other team from scoring points.
Rose is a Highland Park graduate recruited as a walk-on freshmen kicker and now under scholarship. His main objective is to kick the football so hard and so far the other team has no opportunity to return it on kick off situations.
Rose will likely be the Longhorns kickoff specialist this season using his power to the advantage of the Texas defense, which has a lot of questions after last season’s dismal results. But, if need be the sophomore kicker can kick field goals and punt. In recent years, Mack Brown has gone to Rugby style punts which have proven to be an effective way to turn the ball back over to the other team using more clocks, making it harder for a catch and return as well as making fake punts easier to execute.
The Longhorns always have options at every position. While recent seasons have shown holes in their development of talent, kicking has been a strong point for Texas. Despite losing to West Virginia last year with multiple opportunities to both cut down on the Mountaineers lead and at one point even tie it with field goals, Texas will be fine at the kicking position this season and Nick Rose will be a big part of that.