Impact Report - Travis Coons

The day the Washington Huskies lost a quarterback to Mount San Antonio College, they gained a kicker from the same school. Sound fair? Well actually - yeah. On Thursday it was announced that Nick Montana would be transferring to the two-year junior college located in Walnut, Calif., and later that night the Huskies extended an offer to their kicker - Travis Coons.

Coons, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound sophomore who was verbally committed to San Diego State at the time, gobbled up the offer instantly, claiming the opportunity to play in the Pac-12 was too much to pass up. This wasn't a spur-of-the-moment offer either; Washington had been watching Coons carefully and had been in touch.

It's interesting the Coons didn't garner more BCS attention, to be honest. At the ninth annual National Kicking & Snapping Spring Event, held by Chris Sailer Kicking at the end of May in Las Vegas, Coons was the Best Overall Class of 2012 Prospect. This is what Sailer said of Coons at the time:

"Travis is the best combo prospect in the nation.  His field goal, kickoff, and punting skills are all at the D1A scholarship level.  He is an incredibly gifted athlete that has the technique, strength, and mental toughness to excel at the next level.  He has 55-yard field goal range with great height.  His kickoffs average over 70 yards with over 4.0 second hang time.  And he has the ability to hit 50-yard punts with over 5.0 second hang time.  It a rare that a kicker/punter this polished and college ready is available to college coaches.  Offer Now!!!"

Well, the Huskies waited until Thursday night to offer, and their patience was rewarded. Coons said Thursday that he's known Washington's other scholarshipped specialist for the class of 2012 - Korey Durkee from Gig Harbor - for a long time.

Now the work that has to be done is projecting exactly how the kicker position will unfold. Typically Washington will only recruit a junior college player as an immediate stop-gap in a position of need. With Erik Folk and Eric Guttorp both graduating, the position was definitely in need of some depth - and pronto.

With news this week that Lynden's Santiago Lopez would be walking on in the fall, that gives Washington the exact same depth they had last year - albeit with a few more question marks. Coons has three years to play two, which means Lopez will most likely be a redshirt sophomore in 2014. On top of that, it gives the UW staff time to find another prep kicker that they like - for the class of 2013, a name that immediately pops up is Mount Si's Cameron VanWinkle.

So with Coons' commitment, Washington now has all their specialists taken care of for this upcoming season, and on top of that they have picked up two very good athletes and arguably the best available overall kicker in the country - if you listen to Chris Sailer. With the damage returners can do, it should come as comfort to Washington fans that Coons apparently has the leg strength to put the ball routinely in the end zone.

Considering whoever wins the placekicking job in 2012 has big shoes to fill, you might as well give those kicking boots to a guy the experts claim is the best. And with Travis Coons, the Washington coaching staff is banking on Chris Sailer's words going straight through the uprights. Top Stories