Muma worked "smarter" to earn starting spot

Fifth-year senior focused on quality over quantity of kicks in offseason and earned start in season-opener Friday against Western Michigan.

Kevin Muma entered the 2010 season at Michigan State in a competition for the starting kicker spot, a battle he ultimately lost to Dan Conroy.

This time around, Muma brought a different approach that led to him winning the starting spot in 2013.

"I kicked smarter this offseason," Muma said. "I didn't do quite as many reps in my workouts, but I was focused more on quantity over quality. … The key was doing those smarter reps when I was working by myself, taking more time in between kicks and kicking smarter."

Muma said having gone through a battle to start before benefited him this time around.

"It definitely felt like I had a little bit of a leg up just because I have been here longer, I have more experience," he said. "In the spring, I kind of took a step backward, but I think that was the kick that I needed to really get working right in the summer and step up and do things better now."

He said he still is in touch with Conroy, as well as former Spartans Bret Swenson and Aaron Bates. He also said that group really helped him along the way.

"We're all really good friends, too," he said. "More friends than competitors. Me and Dan have been going back and forth with each other just trying to help each other out because we know that we want the best kicker out there for our team to be in the best position.

"It didn't really matter which one of us was out there, just that we make each other better and better and get the best possible product out on the field."

Muma said he is excited now that is set to start and that he always knew he could get the spot.

"It feels really good," he said. "I knew I had it in me all along. Now, to be able to get the nod, it feels awesome, but this is where the real work starts now. I can't get complacent and gotta look forward."

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