Welcome to a new series in which we try to determine if the Arizona Wildcats’ position groups are in strong, stable, unstable, serious, or critical condition heading into fall camp. Next up are the kickers.
Projected Starters: Lucas Havrisik (Kickoff), Josh Pollack (Placekicking)
Last season, the field goal unit was limited due to some long-snapping issues. Starter Nick Reinhardt tore his ACL and Arizona went through multiple replacements.
Arizona used a combination of Josh Pollack and Lucas Havrisik as their placekickers, which ended up being a healthy balance.
Pollack, who has been placekicking for two years now, served as the primary. He’s had some bad misses during his time, but seems to have moved past that phase now.
However, there were many instances where you would have liked to have gone for a field goal, but Rich Rodriguez opted to go for it instead. Whether that’s a game plan management issue or a lack of trust in his kicker — maybe it’s a mix — it’s up for interpretation.
In all, Pollack went 11-for-14 last season, with distance being an issue, going 2-for-4 from beyond 40 yards out.
To correct the issue, the staff used Havrisik’s big leg for deeper kicks, and he ended up going 3-for-4, hitting a long of 57 yards, which led the nation last season.
Havrisik was a much needed scholarship kicker who was one of many valuable freshmen from the 2017 class.
He serves as a kickoff specialist, sending 63 of his 93 kickoffs for touchbacks.
Havrisik compliments Pollack well, and takes a lot of the pressure off. Ultimately it’s up to Pollack to his those field goals within 35 yards, but if that becomes an issue, Havrisik will likely take over full time.
It’s asking for a lot from a kicker to take both kickoff and placekicking duties, but it’s hard to not count Havrisik out if the field go unit struggles. For now, it works.
There’s too much inconsistency on the field goal unit to say that it’s a strong group. It’s extremely possible that Kevin Sumlin rocks with Havrisik right out of the gate, too, which would probably bring more clarity. But for the time being, we’ll assume that Pollack retains his role.
You hope that Nick Reinhardt returning also limits the number of poor kicks as well, with snaps being a big issue last season. When it comes to Havrisik, we know his leg is as strong as any in the country, and that very few teams will be able to return his kicks.
What condition are Arizona’s kickers in?
This poll is closed