ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Kenny Allen didn’t know he was going to be the starting kicker this season, but admits he always wanted to be.
“You know I kind of always had it in the back of my mind, but to honest I never thought I would be perusing the kicking job this much,” said the redshirt sophomore. “And then when the opportunity did arise, then it really did start to become a reality.”
And so far Allen’s been pretty consistent, making 3-4 field goals this season.
“After getting the first kick out of the way, I think everything felt a lot easier, a weight was lifted” Allen said, who was primarily used as punter and kickoff specialist his first three years at U-M. “And then from then on everything is just smooth and I felt comfortable.”
A former walk-on, Allen received the news he would be a full scholarship player before playing Oregon State, who ironically offered him a full ride scholarship in high school. However, he chose to walk-on at Michigan instead.
“Its kind of ironic because I turned down a full ride from Oregon State coming out of high school,” Allen said. “Then the week that we play them, I was put on scholarship here. So it’s kind of nice to see that other people think that I am working hard and think that I am deserving of a scholarship.”
First year special teams coach John Baxter has worked with Allen on his punting and kicking, and Allen credits his new coach with his new found success on the field this season.
“Yeah, Coach Baxter done a great job with us,” Allen said. “And specifically with me, he’s just helped me focus on the things that I need to focus on as a player. … He pushed me to work harder and be more consistent. I think that really paid off.”
Michigan (1-1) next plays host to UNLV this Saturday at noon ET.