We began last week looking at what I call standout players. We are placing the spotlight on five players I believe will be standouts for this 2017 Bulldog team. As I explained, there will be some ultra-talented players who do not make the list for various reasons. The only players who will make this list are the top five that I feel impact our season the most if they are not effective.
This is part two of our five-week series. Last week our spotlight was on Jeffery Simmons. There is some depth on the defensive front, but Jeff is on a whole other level. If he does what is expected of him, he will be a game changer for this team.
The player that I place the spotlight on this week is going to be surprising to some. He has never played a snap in college and just a few short months ago was attending his high school prom. This player, however, can literally decide the fate of our season with one play.
4. Tucker Day
I know, I know, you can’t put a kicker on a list like this you say. I beg to differ. In the Mullen era, our special teams have not lived up to our expectations . The place kicking, the last few years has been especially atrocious. I was recently watching our Sylvester Croom-coached Bulldogs take on Ed Orgeron and his TSUN team in the 2007 Egg Bowl. Sly Croom was fully confident in allowing Adam Carlson to kick a 48-yard field goal to win the game. He wanted to be in that situation because he and all of the Bulldog faithful trusted our kicker to make the kick. I asked myself, when is the last time we had that confidence in our kicker. In 2015 we had the opportunity to kick the game winning field goal at around 50 yards, and we all knew it wasn’t going to happen. Certainly, that’s no easy task, but it has to be at least a possibility. As of late, it seems that even chip shots are a chore. I’m not saying we have to be 100 percent. But at the very least, we hope that Tucker will give us some confidence from 45 plus and be much more effective inside 40 than we have been the last few years.
Tucker has the potential to do all that is expected of an SEC kicker. He was 11 for 13 on FG attempts as a senior in high school with a long of 50 yards. Not a huge sample size, but enough to give us a glimmer of hope. Let’s be honest, it can’t get much worse than it’s been of late.
A kicker who is effective can certainly be a game changer. I really believe Tucker Day will be that for us. Here’s to hoping for a game-winning field goal this season.
Be on the lookout in a few days for spotlight player number three.