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The Boise State Broncos Need a Placekicker who can Fill Brotzman's Shoes

With fall practice in full swing down at Bronco Stadium, head coach Chris Petersen is looking to fill in the final postions of his starting lineup. And no where is that more fluid than filling the slot at placekicker. Last season's kicker Kyle Brotzman has moved on, playing football in the Arena League for the Utah Blaze. Sadly, Brotzman is remembered by the fans for the two missed kicks against Nevada on the road that cost the Broncos a shot at the BCS for the third time and the $16 million bucks that went with it.

But as Petersen looks for Brotzman's replacement he remembers a different player: the one who was the all-time leading scorer in the history of Boise State football and Western Athletic Conference; the one who was one of the best kickers in the country and a finalist for the Lou Groza award; the one that completed a fourth quarter faked punt pass that led the Broncos to victory in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl win over TCU.

Those are some pretty big shoes to fill in the starting lineup. But there are those on the team that have stepped up with the confidence they can get it done.

The Broncos had no less than four placekickers working out during spring ball and one of those kickers has already left the program. That was #84 junior Jimmy Pavel, the Bronco's backup last year. So the battle for a the starting kicker slot has centered on the three remaining players who are competing for the kicking duties. We will find out this month just which one of the three that will be.

Mike Frisina is a 2011 junior college walk-on from Saddleback Community College. Frisina graduated from Brea Olinda High School where he was the team MVP as a senior in 2008, kicking a career long 53-yard field goal. At the West Coast Kicking Academy that summer, Frisina earned 5 out of 5 stars. "Mike is one of the most technically sound kickers we have ever seen, " Brad Bohn said He is a student of the game. If you have a 40 yarder to win the BCS championship, he is your guy!"

At Saddleback JC in 2009, Frisina kicked 9-of-13 field goals and set the school record for consecutive extra points with 53. This season he attended the Chris Sailer Kicking Camp where he picked up a four star ranking. They also noted that Frisina is one of the most consistent FG kickers in the nation.

The second possible starter who is getting a lot of attention this month is sophmore Dan Goodale, 6' 1" 190 lbs. Goodale is a locally grown freshman who walked-on from Boise's Timerline High. Coming off a redshirt, he has shown that he certainly has the leg to kick the air out of a ball. He emerged as the top kicker of spring practice, banging consistently high, long field goals. During the spring game he booted a 52-yard field goal thru the uprights. "I think Dan Goodale has improved as much as anybody on this team since the fall," coach Petersen said in March.

"I wouldn’t say he came out of nowhere," special teams coach Jeff Choate has added about Goodale, "but he’s made the most improvement."

But both of these guys will have to compete with incoming scholarship recruit Jake Van Ginkel, 6' 0" 175 lbs, for the starting job. This record-setting high school kicker set the California High School state record for career field goals (39), was named MaxPreps All-America in 2010 and named first-team All-Baseline League. In 2009, he was selected to the 2009 ESPN Junior All-America Team, first-team all-state by MaxPreps, Golden State Preps and CalHi Sports, and as sophomore All-America by EA Sports/ESPN in 2008. This young kicker has a powerful leg and in 2010 as a high school senir scored 87 points on 14 field goals and 45 successful point after tries, and recorded 47 touchbacks. As a freshman, connected on three field goals of more than 50 yards, with a long of 58 yards.

So there you have the shape of things with the Boise State placekicking postion. Its down to three highly talented kickers. Whether it be junior college transfer Mike Frisina or spring standout Dan Goodale, no decision will be made the starting position until highly touted incoming recruit Jake Van Ginkel gets on the field and shows his stuff.

May the best foot win.