Top kickers, picks 6-10

A mere 16 guys handled the placement duties for the Tennessee football program during the 40-year span from 1964 to 2004. That's because most of them kept the job three or four years and never relinquished it until they graduated.

Trying to select the 10 best kickers from a pool of 16 candidates was harder than you might think, though. Some guys had great range but so-so accuracy. Some guys had great accuracy but so-so range. Some guys are known more for a crucial miss than for dozens of successful kicks.

I tried to give equal weight to leg strength, accuracy and clutch performance in ranking my top 10. That said, here are picks 6 through 10:

10. JIMMY GAYLOR: Tennessee's No. 1 kicker in 1975, '76 and ‘77, he also pitched for the Vol baseball team. The Nashville native never led the Vols in scoring and never earned All-SEC recognition but he booted a 57-yard field goal vs. Kentucky in '77 that stood as the school record until Fuad Reveiz broke it in 1982. Gaylor's boot still ranks No. 2 in Vol history.

9. GREG BURKE: A starter in 1989 and ‘90, he had the misfortune to miss a 34-yard field goal in the final seconds of Tennessee's 26-26 tie at Auburn in '90 and have a 50-yarder blocked in the closing minute of a 9-6 loss to Alabama that same year. Still, he hit 32 of 44 career attempts (72.7 percent), including 31 of 40 (77.5 percent) inside 50 yards. His career-long kick of 51 yards came earlier in that 1990 Bama game.

8. RICKY TOWNSEND: A barefooted kicker, he held the top job from 1972 through ‘74. Townsend earned All-SEC recognition in '72 and captured a few All-America honors in '72 and '73. He led UT's scoring in '73 with 60 points (11 field goals, 27 PATs). He never kicked a 50-yarder but he was pretty accurate from 45 yards in. He played one year for the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League.

7. GEORGE HUNT: Tennessee's No. 1 kicker from 1969 through ‘71, he made 26 career field goals and led UT in scoring in each of his three varsity seasons. Hunt nailed a 51-yard field goal vs. Mississippi State in 1971 and hit a 50-yarder vs. Auburn the same year en route to All-SEC recognition. A fifth-round pick in the 1972 NFL Draft, he played parts of two pro seasons.

6. ALAN DUNCAN: As the starter in 1978, '79 and ‘80, this Norris native led the Vols in scoring each year. Duncan connected on 29 career field goals, including a 55-yarder vs. Georgia Tech in 1980 and a 53-yarder vs. Duke in '78. Selected in Round 7 of the 1981 NFL Draft, he wound up playing two years with the United States Football League's Memphis Showboats.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories