Cloninger Soundoff: Fry bright spot on special teams
09/18/2013 9:32 PM
09/18/2013 9:37 PM
With all of the justifiable lamenting of South Carolina’s special teams woes, one crucial part has been overlooked. The Gamecocks have a reliable kicker.
Eyebrows were raised when freshman walk-on Elliott Fry was chosen to start the opener, and then quickly lowered when he made his first field goal attempt. Through three games, Fry is 3-for-3 on field goals with a long of 39 yards, and 11-of-12 on PATs, with the one miss being on a bad snap.
It’s always been a fluctuating position at USC in terms of results. Jay Wooten and Adam Yates over the past two seasons have been solid, but not spectacular. Before them came the nobody-will-outwork-me ethic of Spencer Lanning and the bazooka-legged Ryan Succop, who are each in the NFL now.
Remember the guys before then, when it was a revolving door? Josh Brown? Daniel Weaver? Steve Florio? Courtney Leavitt? Sometimes, it seemed like USC was picking guys at random from the soccer team and hoping it would all work out.
Fry has yet to try one from 40 yards or more. The way the Gamecocks’ offense is rolling up the points, though, everybody feels more confident, and the coaches and Fry feel that he wouldn’t have a problem if he had to try it.
Either way, it was an immediate answer to a question that had been a concern all through preseason camp. While Nick St. Germain was on scholarship, he wasn’t playing, and special teams coach Joe Robinson had searched for walk-ons to make sure he could have competition in practice. Some thought it might be a week-to-week tryout.
Instead, Fry has taken over the position and has no plans to leave.