Rick Krautman has picked up some honors as a kicker.
Associated Press 3rd Team All-State (junior)
Star Ledger 1st Team All-State (Group 3 Schools) (junior)
1st Team All North Jersey (junior)
1st Team Star Ledger All Bergen County (junior)
1st Team WGHT Radio All Area (junior)
1st Team All County (Coaches)
He also owns some records including:
New Jersey record for most points in a season (79)
New Jersey record for consecutive extra points (58 and that streak is still going)
Bergen County record for most career extra points (116)
Bergen County record for most career field goals (14)
Add to that five school records including longest field goal (44 yards) and you have a record that you can't kick about.
Hmmm. Maybe that was a poor choice of words.
I caught up with Rick last night and talked about kicking and about his plans for next year.
My call to Rick ended up being a little late. I had a hard time getting him earlier in the evening. It turns out that Rick was practicing kicking as he does 3 or 4 times a week. It pays off. Although Rick struck me as a modest young man I couldn't help to be astonished by what he told me can do when kicking a football. For instance, just as a junior in high school Rick kicked 30 touchbacks last year, including 6 out of 6 against Sparta and 5 our of 6 against Wayne Hills. When I asked him how deep in the endzone he kicked the ball he told me that he generally kicks the ball out of the endzone! Performance like that prompted Max Emfinger to recently list Rick as one of the top four place-kickers in the entire nation.
With all that it is no wonder that Rick is getting major attention from schools across the nation. The schools showing the most interest right now are Rutgers, Virginia, Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, West Virginia and Georgia but Rutgers recently became the first school to extend a written scholarship offer to Krautman and is one of Rick's early favorites in the coming recruiting battles for his talents.
Rick has been told that several things are putting him high on the recruiting wish lists of the schools who are recruiting him. Schools like his consistence, his poise under pressure and his leg strength. On the last point I asked Rick how far he felt he could consistently kick field goals and he told me that he can kick 45 to 50 yard field goals at a consistency of 85 to 90 per cent.
It is not just football that Rick excels at. He has a 4.95 GPA and was recently nominated to the National Honors Society.
In looking at a college destination Rick notes that he is looking for a school with a good academic reputation, good campus life and a coach and team mates he feels comfortable with. He should feel some comfort level with RU considering that his former high school coach was a fellow named Mike Miello ... a guy who has been seen around RU once or twice. In fact, Rick lists Rutgers, Virginia, Georgia and Michigan as his early favorites.
Overall the recruiting war for Rick Krautman's services should be an interesting one. Virginia assigned the formidable Al Golden to recruit Rick to the Cavaliers and you can bet that before this season is over a number of the nation's top recruiters will take the trip up to Bergen County to pay a visit to perhaps the finest kicker in New Jersey scholastic history.
Stay tuned as we'll follow this interesting recruiting story throughout the season.
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net