Arkansas Offers Ritter

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Mississippi punter-kicker Andrew Ritter (6-4, 205), who got a a home visit and scholarship offer from Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino on Monday night. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner for details.

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University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino thoroughly impressed Jackson (Miss.) Academy punter/kicker Andrew Ritter on Monday night.

Not only did he fly to Jackson to see the 6-4, 210-pounder kicking standout, but he offered him a scholarship as well.

In return, Petrino got some gumbo.

"As I kicker, I can't even begin to tell you how honored that I am that a head coach would take the time to fly all the way down here from Fayetteville to see me," Ritter said. "That means so much to me and my family.

"We were able to feed him some gumbo so I think he enjoyed the visit as much as we did," Ritter added. "I am honored by the scholarship offer and can't wait to get up there this weekend."

Indeed Ritter – ranked as the 13th-best kicker nationally according to, will take an official visit to Arkansas this weekend.

"This will be my first official visit and the the first time I have ever stepped foot in Arkansas, but I hear it just beautiful up there," Ritter said. "Coach Petrino made it sound great, not just the football program but the school and the kind of guys that want to be a part of the university."

Ritter booted 52 of his 53 kickoffs into the end zone this season and averaged 81 yards per kickoff at an LSU camp this past summer.

"I think I averaged 70 yards per kick so that is something that I do very well," Ritter said. "I take a lot of pride in those touchbacks."

He was 8-of-14 on field goal attempts with a school-record long of 58 and four makes of over 50.

That 58-yard field goal – which came in a 40-7 win over Heritage – was just a yard off of the state record 59-yarder by Clarksdale's Lemeko Williams back in 1994.

"I feel like I have great range and work really hard at it," said Ritter, who has made a 65-yarder using a tee in practice.

Ritter, a top-notch A student who already has a 23 on his ACT, also averaged 41.5 yards per punt.

Those stats have brought offers from Arkansas, Army, Northwestern State and Southern Miss.

"I've also been talking to a few other schools such as Ole Miss and LSU," Ritter said. "We'll just see how everything plays itself out, but I am very impressed with what I heard from Coach Petrino."

Ole Miss, which has a commitment from Little Rock Catholic punter Tyler Campbell and is where many in his family attended school, wants Ritter to walk on and take a scholarship his sophomore season.

"People assume that I am going to go to Ole Miss no matter what, but that's not true," Ritter told earlier this year. "A lot of people think I am going to go there because my parents, my grandparents and my sister went there, but I want to find out what's best for me."

Andrew Ritter

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