Josh Kendall

South Carolina’s new place-kicker expecting to compete for job

South Carolina lured Shane Hynes to Columbia in part by offering him a scholarship, but the graduate transfer place-kicker from Kent State isn’t expecting to walk right into a starting job.

“I know they had some struggles in the kicking department last year, but Parker (White) and Woz (Alexander Woznick) are phenomenal kickers,” Hynes said. “They have good legs. I don’t know if it was just an operational thing, but they are both good kickers.”

Hynes, 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, hit 30-of-44 kicks for the Golden Flashes from 2015-2017. Last season, he was 9-of-15, including 8-of-11 from inside 40 yards. He will join his new teammates either in June or August, and his scholarship will count toward South Carolina’s 2019 class, he said.

“South Carolina was the best opportunity not only athletically but more so academically,” said Hynes, who will be working toward a master’s degree in sports management while at USC. “They have a top-tier program in sports management, so I see it as an opportunity.”

Hynes visited South Carolina for the second time last weekend, bringing his mother to show her the campus, he said, before returning to Kent State. He earned his undergraduate degree from Kent State in December but currently is enrolled in two classes there in order to remain eligible.

White, a walk-on, earned the South Carolina starting place-kicker position last season but finished the season 14-of-25, including 4-of-14 from beyond 40 yards. Woznick, who is on scholarship and was once a top high school kicking prospect, was 1-for-3 last season. Both are sophomores. Hynes has just one year of eligibility remaining.

“It’s going to be competition for everybody day in and day out,” Hynes said. “It’s the same with any position. I’m sure Jake Bentley is competing with the other quarterbacks.”