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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Casey Skowron: The kicker with many talents

Arizona+kicker+Casey+Skowron+%2841%29+prances+into+the+endzone+at+Arizona+Stadium+during+the+Wildcats+win+over+Washington+on+Saturday%2C+Nov.+11%2C+2014.+The+multifaceted+kicker+also+made+two+field+goals+in+the+27-26+win+over+the+Huskies.

Arizona kicker Casey Skowron (41) prances into the endzone at Arizona Stadium during the Wildcats’ win over Washington on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2014. The multifaceted kicker also made two field goals in the 27-26 win over the Huskies.

Colorado return man Donovan Lee maneuvered around all of Arizona’s special teams early in Saturday night’s game. That is, until he met Arizona kicker Casey Skowron.

In fact, it seems like the only consistent tackler throughout the entire season on special teams has been Skowron. The kicker wrapped up Lee and didn’t let him break away for what would have been a touchdown. Most kickers would not have done that; but Skowron isn’t your average kicker.

“We do work with them on tackling a little bit and just a little bit of stripping the ball,” said Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez. “Mostly, just jump on their back and hang on for help. He and [Drew] Riggleman are pretty competitive kids.”

Skowron has been successful with his foot, too. He handles all extra point, kickoff and field goal duties for the Wildcats. Skowron has converted seven of 10 field goals this season and has had success on 36 of 38 extra point attempts.

The multifaceted kicker has converted 71 percent of his field goal tries and 98 percent of his extra point attempts throughout his year and a half of action with the Wildcats.

But that’s not all Skowron can do. The former Arizona soccer team manager also showed off his running skills on a fake field goal attempt for a touchdown last season against Washington.

And for those of you who thought that was all, you obviously haven’t been paying attention.

Skowron stripped the ball and forced a fumble against Oregon State last weekend. Sure, it was called back due to penalty, but for that split second, Skowron displayed the tenacity to get the job done—maybe even play linebacker, you never know.

“Casey, he’s not afraid to mix it up a bit,” Rodriguez said. “He has to be careful. He was a former women’s soccer team manager and most of them could probably kick his tail.”

That’s the biggest factor when it comes to Casey Skowron: he is not afraid.

Skowron redshirted in 2012 and served as a backup kicker in 2013 for Arizona. The exact moment he was waiting for has come over the past two seasons as he has served as the starting kicker.

Even with that, he walked onto the program. He earned his spot.

The starting kicker and his buddy, Arizona punter Drew Riggleman, even attempted to represent the Wildcats at Pac-12 Conference Media Days during preseason.

“This is the official campaign kick starter right now,” Skowron told then Arizona Daily Star reporter Daniel Berk during spring ball. “The most important factor of Pac-12 media day is you need an offensive player, you need a defensive player. I’m putting points on the board; Drew is getting field position when we need it. … Another factor: you want your most attractive guys at Pac-12 media day. … They’re going to be on camera for days at a time; you want something pretty to look at.”

He later chimed in on Twitter in April.

“The scariest punter/kicker combo in the Pac12/nation (sic),” Skowron tweeted. “Get it together! Beautiful and intimidating.”

Skowron also has smarts on his side. He is pursuing a double major in computer science and psychology. He also was a former student Android software developer for University Information Technology Services.

Skowron has learned a lot from all the heartbreaks and triumphs.

“Everything is going to be all right,” Skowron said to Arizona Athletics. “Not everything goes like you plan; but in the end, it works out, whether it’s with class or sports. Things will be on the up-and-up at the end.”

No one on the UA football team can relate to that statement more than Skowron. He received death threats on Twitter after he missed the possible game-winning field goal in Arizona’s 28-26 loss against USC last season. Skowron was the last Wildcat to leave Arizona Stadium after that game.

Skowron uttered redemption just a few weeks after his devastating loss, as he nailed a 47-yard field goal against Washington to beat the Huskies.

Casey Skowron is the kicker with many talents, the player who puts his heart and soul on the field every day. Skowron is the kid who quite simply is one thing: not afraid.


Follow Matt Wall on Twitter.


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