Kicking Back The Competition

Pine Bluff kicker Austin McGehee (6-1, 190) will be on the participants Saturday at the Arkansas Specialists Camp as he tries to show the Razorbacks - who plan to offer a kicker in the 2014 recruiting class - that he is the guy to follow in Zach Hocker's footsteps.

Arkansas has made it clear that it intends to sign a kicker/punter in the 2014 recruiting class and Pine Bluff's Austin McGehee (6-1, 190) really wants to be that guy.

But he knows that he is going to face some stiff competition Saturday morning at Arkansas' Specialists Camp and that's why he got to Fayetteville earlier this weekend.

"I came in and kicked Monday at their one-day camp because I wanted to get a leg up on the competition," McGehee said. "Arkansas has let it be known that they are going to sign a guy so you are going to see everybody coming in here from Texas and Georgia and every place else trying to be that guy.

"I'm expecting there to be about 80 guys there because we all know Arkansas is looking for a kicker," McGehee added. "I really want to be that guy."

Those athletes will be trying to step into the shoes of Razorback kicker Zach Hocker, who will be a senior this season.

McGehee was 11-of-16 on field goals last season with a long of 42, but made a 58-yarder during his workout at Arkansas on Monday.

"My range has really been expanding over the last year and I really feel comfortable from 55," McGehee said. "I have made some from 60 in practice with a snapper and a holder."

He was 63-of-66 on PATs, had 59 touchbacks in in 70 kickoffs and also averaged just over 41 yards per net punt.

"I had 20 punts that landed inside the 20-yard line," noted McGehee, who is the 37th-best kicker in the nation per Chris Sailer Kicking.

McGehee, who gets personal coaching from former Oklahoma and NFL kicker Scott Blanton and former LSU kicker Colt David, admits that his workout Monday with Arkansas assistant Charlie Partridge was a little daunting.

"Here I am in Razorback Stadium, trying out for my favorite team, the one I grew up loving and here's Coach Partridge giving me instruction and tossing balls at me and it was a little overwhelming early," McGehee said. "But I calmed down after a little bit and started really hitting the ball well both on field goals and kicking off to the goal line or five yards deep each time."

The young kicker then jetted off to Oklahoma State and was happy with his performance at the Cowboys' camp.

"I had a really strong day at Oklahoma State and I have a really strong feeling that an offer is going to be coming my way from them soon," McGehee said. "I was really killing it kicking the ball and had a great day punting and with my kickoffs."

He, of course, would love to land the Razorback offer, commit and forget about heading to Arizona's camp on June 20th.

"I am hoping that I can get in there Saturday and just have a great day and end up being the one getting the offer," McGehee said. "I go against these guys every month at camps so I am ready to go get it done."


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