Signing Day 2007...Special Teams

Nick Folk is gone and with him the Wildcats' leading punter and kicker. The Cats needed to replace him and decided to use some scholarships to address the kicking situation. The Wildcat coaches only offered two kickers and they got one of the two.

Folk had a stellar year in 2006. He was among the top-20 in the nation in punting and was a solid place kicker and kick-off man. He may best be remembered for the game winner against BYU.

To replace Folk, the program decided to turn to a familiar name, Zendejas. Alex Zendejas, nephew of former UA great Max, has become a fine kicker in his own right. For the first time in the Mike Stoops era a scholarship was extended to a kicking specialist and Zendejas quickly snapped up the offer.

Zendejas has a strong leg. He booted a 59-yarder this year for Glendale (Ariz.) Ironwood and claims that over 80% of his kickoffs sailed into the opponents' end zone.

He should compete from day one to replace Folk. The Cats return scholarship kicker Jason Bondzio, but the junior has not kicked in a regular season game.

Although the Wildcats did not recruit a punter in this class, they did extend a scholarship. Redshirt freshman Keenyn Crier walked-on last season, but knew that he had a chance to earn a scholarship. He was awarded one for the spring semester, but still must compete for the job. Tucsonan Kyle McQuown won the job out of fall camp last August but quickly lost the job to Folk. That being said, he still has a chance to regain the job if he can fend off Crier.

The Wildcats will also need to replace kick returner Syndric Steptoe. A number of their in-coming recruits may get a shot at the job, most notably Tevin Wade.

Pre-Recruiting Cycle Need...1 K

SIGNED...1 (K, Alex Zendejas)

Wildcatinsider.com Position Recruiting Grade...A

In the end the Wildcat coaching staff did what they needed to do and that was replace Nick Folk with a viable replacement. Zendejas will battle with Jason Bondzio and the competition will only help the squad overall. The staff met their kicking need for 2007.


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