Will Muschamp has promised to put Alex Woznick in plenty of pressure situations during South Carolina’s fall football camp. Woznick is eager for that to happen to make up for the last time.
Woznick is a redshirt freshman place-kicker for the Gamecocks and the heir apparent to big kicking shoes. He is expected to be the man to replace Elliott Fry, who graduated last season after setting the South Carolina scoring record with 359 points. Woznick would like to break that record one day, but first he has to prove to his coaches he can make pressure kicks.
Muschamp gave him one during spring practice. Hit it and practice is done. Miss it and everybody runs.
Woznick missed it.
“I wasn’t having a good day,” said Woznick, a 5-foot-11, 164-pounder. “Hopefully, I’ll get more chances like that, and he’ll put more pressure situations on me.”
Woznick’s goal for the fall is lofty. He hopes not to miss a practice kick.
“Last fall I did pretty good in the first week of fall camp,” he said at the end of the team’s first week of practices this year. “Elliott had class in the mornings so I filled in and went a while without missing in front of the coaches. Right now, that’s how it has gone, and I’d like to keep that up.”
Woznick has not attempted a field goal or extra point in a game but knows the feeling of having all eyes on him from warming up with Fry before games and at halftimes last year.
“Just knowing that there are eyes on you, it’s humbling,” he said. “I feel it a little there. It’ll probably be a little different in the game, but hopefully by that point I am ready.”
That’s why Muschamp will give Woznick more pressure-packed kicks in the weeks leading up to the Sept. 2 opener against N.C. State in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
“Alex has the ability to do everything we need him to do,” Muschamp said, “but he’s never done it in front of 80,000 people before and I can’t simulate that in camp.”
Woznick kicked for Eastside High School in Greenville, where he was a three-year letter winner and led the team in scoring as a senior. He was rated a five-star kicker by Chris Sailer Kicking and won a state title with Eastside’s soccer team.
Fry also was a veteran of Sailer’s kicking camps and was rated only a 4.5 star prospect by Sailer coming out of high school. Now it is Fry who Woznick is measuring himself against.
“I have got some big shoes to fill, very big shoes,” he said. “I looked up to him a lot. He has taught me a lot, too. He helped me out, I got better. I hope to be able to break his record, but that was amazing what he did.”