Super Fan: Ranking the Gamecocks' top kickers

11/13/2013 11:58 AM

11/13/2013 12:08 PM

There is no doubt that kickers are a different breed of football player. They generally sit at the end of the bench waiting to be called on to kick an extra point, or on occasion, that game-deciding field goal. Also, when the opposing coach calls a timeout to “freeze” them, neither their coach, nor their teammates, talk to them.

No. 5 on my list is Reed Morton (1993-96). Reed holds the number one spot in PATs in a game (11). He is tied for fifth in PATs attempted in a season (43). His career marks include a tie for third in field goals attempted (54), and third in field goals made (39). He is fifth in PATs attempted (90), tied for fifth in PATs made (84).

Morton's best performances came against Vanderbilt in '84 when he was 4-of-4 and responsible for 13-of-19 of USC's points. Also that season he had two 3-pointers in the 33-17 win over Clemson. His 47-yard field goal, the longest in bowl history, was the difference in USC's 24-21 win over West Virginia in the '95 Carquest Bowl.

At No. 4 on my list is Mark Fleetwood (1981-83). Mark's name appears in several places in the record books, including the longest field goal in school history, a 58-yarder against Georgia in 1982. That year he also set the field goal percentage mark (.944) when he connected on 17-of-18 attempts. He is fourth in field goals in a season (17).

Fleetwood is fourth on the career list of field goals attempted (53), third in field goals made (39) and third in field goal percentage .736 (39-of-53). In all three years of his career, he had streaks of 10 field goals in row.

After his junior season Fleetwood earned AP honorable mention All-American honors, and he was named to the All-South Independent first team.

No. 3 of my Top 5 is Spencer Lanning (2008-10), who did double duty as a field goal kicker and punter during his career. He is tied for first in field goals for a game with five. He has the season record for PATs attempted (54) and extra points made (51).

He is number five on the career list for field goals made (34) and field goal percentage at .773 (34-of-44). He is second for a season in punting average at 44.1 (49 for 2,170 yds), and number one in punting average for a career at 42.6 (171 for 7,292 yds.).

As a senior in 2010, Lanning had three field goals in the 36-14 win over Florida in the Swamp and three in the 29-7 victory over Clemson.

The No. 2 spot on my list goes to Ryan Succop (2005-08), who also did double duty as kicker and punter. He is second all-time in field goals attempted (30) and three-pointers made in a season (20).

For a career, he is second in field goals attempted (69) and field goals made (49). He ranks number three in PATs attempted (106) and PATs made (104), and fourth in PAT percentage .981 (104-of-106). His 55-yard field goal ranks second all-time.

Ryan's 44.1 punting average for a season is number two in school history, and he is number two in career punting average at 42.3 (85 for 3,597 yds.). He was USC's leading scorer with 90 points as a senior. He was also an AP honorable mention All-SEC selection that season.

He became “Mr. Irrelevant” by virtue of being selected by the Chiefs with the final pick of the 2009 NFL Draft.

At No. 1 is Collin Mackie (1987-90). Collin is tied for the school record for field goals in a game (5), and the number one spot for field goals attempted (25), and in field goals made (25) in a season.

Mackie has the top spot for a career in field goals attempted (98), field goals made (72), and consecutive field goals (15). He is second on the list for PATs attempted (115), and PATs made (114), and is third in PAT percentage at .991 (114-of-115).

As a freshman he led the NCAA with his 25 field goals and established a USC singe-season scoring record with 113 points.Mackie had two field goals in the win over Clemson (45 for 49 yds), which earned him MVP of the game by ESPN, in the nationally-televised victory over the Tigers. Collin was named an honorable mention All-American by the AP, and he was an All-South Independent first-team selection.

As a member of the Playboy preseason All-American squad heading into his senior season, Mackie made 16-of-22 field goals and was 28-of-29 on PATs. He also kicked a record-setting five three-pointers in the 29-10 victory over West Virginia.

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