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Scouting report on Georgia's new Kicker

One of the least talked about recruits of Georgia's stellar Class of 2003 was kicker/punter <b>Andy Bailey</b>. Ironically, he may go down as one of the best signees of the year.

Saying Andy Bailey has a strong leg is equivalent to saying "Boss Bailey can jump high." Bailey not only routinely kicked the ball for touchbacks on kickoffs, he left little doubt by clearing the endzone entirely. They kick off from the 40 yardline in high school and from the 35 in college, so Bailey will still have plenty of leg to knock the ball to the back of the endzone on the majority of his kicks.

It's not the pure leg strength of Bailey that caught my eye though; it's the trajectory of the ball. A line drive 5 yards deep in the endzone is asking for trouble from a good kick return man. Bailey's kickoffs however are long towering kicks that reach their highest point near the opponent's 20 yardline, then seem to drop straight down from the sky.

The height of his kick will be a coverage unit's dream. Bailey will give Georgia the option of letting the opponent start from the 20, or he can hit a long, high placement kick into the corner that will let the coverage unit swarm a returner inside the 10 yardline. Brett Kirouac did not possess Bailey's pure leg strength, but he was a master at pinning a return man in a corner. Bailey will be able to do both on kickoffs.

His leg strength will also be a weapon on long field goals. Bailey easily has the leg to make it from 50 yards out, and he will have a year behind Billy Bennett to get accustomed to the college atmosphere, noise, and pressure.

Bailey can also punt the ball extremely well. His punts looks as if they are coming out of a catapult. Like his kickoffs, they too are towering kicks that come straight are coming straight down when they reach the return man. Watching Bailey's highlight tape, one can almost hear Larry Munson making the call on one of his "Long, Long, High punt. My goodness, I don't know that the stadium is going to hold those punts from Bailey."

Jonathan Kilgo and Brett Kirouac were unsung heroes on the 2002 SEC Championship Team, and their senior leadership will be hard to replace. Bailey has all of the tools to come in and be even better.


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