If you have been watching any of the NFL play-offs this past weekend then you know how invaluable a good kicker can be. In a game that is often won by special teams play and where the battle for field position is a huge weapon in the college game, kicker has become a very important position on the roster.
The Cats went a long way in advancing their special teams play by adding a weapon to the arsenal with the verbal commitment of Tyler (Texas) Tyler Junior College kicker George Pierson this weekend. One of the top punters in the country, Pierson visited Kansas State this weekend and pulled the trigger.
"Yes, George committed this weekend to Kansas State. He texted me while he was one his visit and really was just so excited that I do not think he wanted to wait to share the news. He has liked Kansas State for awhile but then when you throw in that the Head Coach is talking to you and telling you what you would mean to the program. George was very impressed that Coach Prince took the time to talk to him while he was there and express that he wanted him. How often do you go for a visit and the Head Coach spends a good time talking to you and telling you how he wants you to be part of the program and what you could mean for them? Just taking the personal time with Coach Prince I know was a huge factor here," assistant Head Coach Ryan Mahon told KStateFans.
Listed at 6 foot even and roughly 180 pounds, this kicker is being billed as a difference maker.
"What sets George apart on the football field is his leg strength. He really has a strong leg and can change things in a hurry for you. He is really able to get the ball off and when he gets ahold of one, which is usually the case he can send it sailing. There are alot of games this year where he has given us an edge with his leg strength and ability to send the ball downfield. He is very strong in terms of leg strength and how he can move the ball and really field position. There are many games where we have relied on him to come through for us and put us in a better position and he cane do that for you. George can change things in a hurry that way."
Past that though, Coach Mahon says that his star player is one of a kind off the field as well.
"At this level you just do not have special teams coaches that really coach kickers and so pretty much he has done alot of it on his own. Kansas State has really done a good job recruiting him. Coach Burns sat through and advisory meeting with George and talked to him about academics and really did a good job in recruiting him the right way. Making sure that George was a good kid, going to class, making his grades and just really a kid that you want in your program. And we as coaches appreciate Coach Burns and Coach Prince doing that the right way. They really recruited him the right way and not everyone does that. George is a great kid and is going to fit in really well at Kansas State," said Coach Mahon.
In terms of his commitment, Coach Mayon says that Pierson committed to the Cats on the spot.
"He committed as soon as they offered. He was just enamored with the way that Coach Prince spent time with him and how he recruited him on his visit, letting him know they wanted him and that they had done their homework on him. I know there were some other schools involved but George committed while he was on his visit and did not want to go anywhere else. I know that Oregon State and also UAB were recruiting him and then of course a bunch of Division II schools. But he really liked his visit there and wanted to be part of their program."
Asked if this second-team All-American was done with recruiting or would be taking any other visits, Coach Mayon had this to say:
"No, George is done. Kansas State is it and he is really happy with his decision."
Pierson will graduate in May of this year and then head to the Little Apple to compete for the starting spot.