Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Crimson Countdown: K Michael Hunnicutt
By Brandon Chatmon
During the summer months, SoonerNation will take a closer look at each player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we will analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term impact. Starting with No. 1 Kendal Thompson, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 99 Chaz Nelson.
Impact thus far: Easily the most overlooked impact Sooner on the roster. OU’s kicking game was a major topic of conversation when the Sooners struggled but Hunnicutt’s consistency is going unnoticed since he took over field goal duties in 2011. He has made 36 of 43 career field goal attempts (83.7 percent) and 112 of 115 PAT attempts. Kickoffs are Hunnicutt’s biggest weakness, as only eight of his 30 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.
From No. 1 Kendal Thompson to No. 99 Chaz Nelson, SoonerNation is evaluating the Oklahoma roster numerically. View the entire Crimson Countdown series.
Expectations for 2013: Hunnicutt will be a critical member of OU’s special teams and will bring peace of mind with his consistency. He’s not a strong-legged weapon to be deployed as soon as the Sooners cross midfield, but he’s very good at what he does.
Best-case scenario in 2013: Hunnicutt shows major improvement as a kickoff specialist and on field goals from 40 yards or longer. It’s possible as Hunnicutt made clear improvement in kickoffs from his freshman (33-yard line opponent average starting point) to sophomore season (22-yard opponent average starting point) and boasts a career-high 53-yard field goal.
Worst-case scenario in 2013: Hunnicutt loses his confidence and loses his consistency on field goals of 40 yards or less. That would force the Sooners’ coaching staff to begin worrying about a part of the game they knew was taken care of heading into the season.
SoonerNation's evaluation grade for Hunnicutt: A. The Sooners handling of Hunnicutt’s recruitment and evaluation was superb. He didn’t have a scholarship when he arrived on campus and, even though he had been promised a scholarship in the future, Hunnicutt was the Sooners’ starting kicker before he received one.
SoonerNation’s development grade for Hunnicutt: A. Even though Jimmy Stevens was the starting kicker at the beginning of Hunnicutt’s redshirt freshman year, the Sooners didn’t hesitate to give him the job when Stevens struggled as a senior.