Star kicker likes Navy and others

Good kickers are getting harder and harder to find these days. Although Navy might not be looking for a kicker this recruiting year, Stephen Picchini of Moorpark has a great list of kicking accomplishments and has strong ties to the Annapolis academy.

Stephen Picchini is a great kicker and his stats prove it. The Southern California kicking star made 11-of-15 field goals as a junior and kicked 44 successful point-after-attempts. You might be thinking that those kicks were probably very short kicks but the fact is Picchini was accurate from over 40 yards several times. Three of his kicks spanned more than that distance and his longest was an impressive 48 yards. In fact, in one game Picchini connected on attempts of 46, 45 and 32 yards. He set a Moorpark High School record for kick scoring in a season at 77 points and also broke the Moorpark record for field goals in a season.

Picchini, who has been trained by the renowned Chris Sailer since his freshmen year, piled up the honors after the 2008 season. Sailer, who was an All-American kicker at UCLA, is impressed with Picchini's kicking abilities and knows a good kicker when he sees one, "Stephen is a talented kicker. He has a good leg and kicks with great consistency. A very accurate field goal kicker that shows college level ability." Sailer continued, "Stephen is a fine young man that would make a great addition to any college football team." Following his junior year Picchini was selected Second Team All-Golden State, First Team All-Ventura County, First Team LA84 Foundation CIF-SS Northern Division, First Team Ventura County Star, and Honorable Mention Ventura County All-Academic Team.

Picchini, who sports a 4.2 GPA, is receiving early interest from several prestigious academic institutions including Cornell, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Navy, Air Force, Stanford, San Diego and Pennsylvania. Picchini has unofficial visits lined up already to San Diego, Stanford, and Cal Poly.

According to his father, Ted, Stephen is "very interested in Stanford and Cal Poly." One other school that Picchini is interested in is Navy. Stephen's dad attended Navy from 1979-83. Back then Ted starred on Navy's powerful sprint football team, which has the same rules as regular football but a weight limit of 172 pounds. After graduating from the Naval Academy with a degree in aerospace engineering, Ted went on to a successful career and retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander.

Stephen is impressed by the Naval Academy and believes the Navy would be a great career for him after football. "The interesting jobs such as flying and working with high quality leaders would be a great career. It would be a great opportunity to play on an outstanding Division 1 football team, get a great education and serve in an exciting career." He'd also feel proud to follow in his father's footsteps, "My dad has been a positive influence in my life. He has instilled a sense of patriotism in me and has exposed me to many different aspects of the Navy. I would feel proud to serve our country and it would be a great honor to attend the Naval Academy."

However, Picchini's dad feels that it might be hard to garner an offer from the Mids staff. Navy has signed several quality kickers over the past few years and they might be reluctant to sign one this recruiting year. Despite that fact the Picchinis hope to visit the academy later this summer.

Stay tuned to and follow kicker Stephen Picchini's recruitment. Top Stories