Montreal kicker J.J. Molson is the top rated kicker in the 2016 class according to Chris Sailer, and after Molson's trip to UCLA this week, it sounds as if he could follow in Sailer's footsteps as another in the long line of talented kickers in Westwood.
"It was an unbelievable visit," Molson said. "I met with the coaches, including defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, and they explained everything they had going on at UCLA. I visited the campus, the football facilities, got a look at the Wasserman project that they're building. It was just fantastic."
The Bruins have not yet offered Molson, who plans to visit Los Angeles again in June. The staff did pitch him on the idea that if they do offer him, he'll have a very good shot at winning the job as a freshman.
"The situation at UCLA, their kicker right now, he's a junior right now, so he's going to be a senior this year," Molson said. "So if I go to UCLA, he would have left UCLA, so they would need a 2016 kicker to step right in as a scholarship guy. I'm going to be attending their kicking camp this summer, so if I do well there, hopefully they'll offer."
If the tenor of his post-visit interview was any indication, that offer could be huge for him.
"Without a doubt, UCLA is near the top for me right now," Molson said. "They talked to me about their tradition of great kickers, Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success, and just the overall greatness of UCLA athletics. I felt really at home there."
Part of that home feel is that he has plenty of family in the area, and his family in Montreal could use his time in L.A. as a good opportunity for vacations to Southern California.
"My uncle actually lives in Laguna Niguel, and I have a lot of family in California," Molson said. "We have a house in Palm Springs, so if I moved there, my family would be very comfortable with it. They could come and visit for a month at a time and just use it as a vacation. They're actually really looking forward it."
This was Molson's second unofficial visit of the spring, as he visited Florida State recently as well. He said he has no plans for further visits yet, since he has a grueling training schedule in advance of the summer kicking camps.
"My training schedule is very full right now," Molson said. "My main focus is to train very hard and show well at the college camps this summer. I'm not going to do any more visits this spring, it's mostly training and fine-tuning my technique."
As with most kickers, Molson started off as a soccer player, transitioning to football two years ago when the head football coach at his school noticed him kicking. He's made those two years count, though, developing a huge leg on both kickoffs and field goals.
"I was averaging 74 yards on kickoffs during camps, my longest was 79," Molson said. "My highest hang time was 4.3 seconds. And field goals, I hit one in practice from 65 yards."
Currently, Molson has just one offer, from Arkansas State, but that'll likely change this spring and summer when he gets in front of college coaches. As for a decision timeline, it could come fairly soon after the UCLA kicking camp in June.
"Probably this summer, that's when I would like to make my final decision, after visiting a few more schools," Molson said. "I just want to get a feel for the environment of every school. I don't want to rush it too fast, but just so I have a perfect picture of it in my mind."
Molson Visits UCLA
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