Folk sets lofty expectations

Eric Folk, the junior placekicker out of Woodland Hills, California wants to have a season for the record books this coming fall. Despite finishing the 2009 year with the third highest field goal percentage in Washington history, he told Monday that he would be disappointed with anything less than perfection.

"[I'm] just expecting to go 100 percent on my field goals, make them all," Folk said after Monday's first practice of the Huskies' fall camp. And it's not the only area that the UW kicker has been focusing on either.

Folk, who has kicking in his genes – his brother Nick will kick for the NY Jets this year after three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys – hopes the time he put in during the offseason on kickoffs will help him improve an area he struggled with at times a season ago. He averaged almost three yards less per kickoff than UW opponents in 2009, producing a net average loss of five yards. This means he wasn't able to maximize UW's kick coverages by putting the ball where it was schemed to go. According to Folk, that won't be a problem this year.

"I worked on my steps a lot," he said. "Last year my steps were off, and just a couple things with my swing, some mechanical issues I had problems with last year."

With this extra emphasis, Folk intends to do exactly what the coaches want, which is put the kickoff wherever they need it to be.

Folk gets his drive from within, not feeling any of the external pressure that comes with living up to the solid season he had last year or the comparisons to his brother. Known as a player who will stand up and be counted in the clutch after his last second 22-yard field goal against USC, a kick that gave the Huskies a 16-13 victory over the then third ranked Trojans, Folk wants to be automatic in every situation .

"I just kind of focus on what I need to do," he said, matter-of-factly. "I mean I haven't been worried about other expectations. I've been more worried about my own, which is to go 100 percent every single day."

Though he's confident, Folk admitted he's a little wary about the new faces that make up Washington's 2010 battery. Walk-on Brendan Lopez is the long snapper this year after taking over for the graduated Danny Morovick, who held the duty for the last four years. Add to that a first-year holder in Cody Bruns, who is taking over for departed quarterback Ronnie Fouch, and you have the makings for some interesting interaction.

"At first it was kind of rough getting used to it, but I built up a pretty good rhythm with them since spring ball pretty much and now we're cooperating pretty well so we've gotten used to it a lot," Folk said of his new battery mates. "This fall should go a long way toward tightening things up."

Speaking of a long ways, Folk is ready to be counted on from wherever on the field he's needed for those crucial three points. "Yeah, if [Sarkisian]'ll let me kick from there," he said with a smile on his face when asked if he'd be willing to give it a go from even as far out as 75 yards.

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