May 14, 2008
Kicking it with Trent Mossbrucker
Many times the outcome of a football game can rest on the leg of a field goal kicker. Given the importance of the kicking game, it is amazing that scholarship opportunities are hard to find. But, last summer, Trent Mossbrucker earned one from Iowa after an outstanding performance in camp. The Indiana native talks about his kicking skills and preparing to compete for the starting spot this fall.
Q: What have you been doing football wise since signing day?
MOSSBRUCKER: I have been working out on my own and I have also been going to a place called St. Vincent Sports where a couple of NFL players like Jason Baker workout. I have been going there twice a week on top of the daily workouts that I have been doing. I have also been kicking outside when the weather allows. Things have gone pretty well so far.
Q: Have you sat down and talked to Jason Baker?
MOSSBRUCKER: Yeah, I have. I went to his house a couple of times in Carmel and text message with him every once in a while.
Q: Have you asked him about kicking in Kinnick and what that will be like?
MOSSBRUCKER: We haven't really talked about what that will be like. I think he is going to let me find that one out on my own, but we have talked about campus life, the distractions that can happen and what that will be like. He told me what it will probably be like for me in my first couple of years.
Q: Is it nice to have someone around that you can talk with who has been through it at Iowa to give you advice?
MOSSBRUCKER: Yeah, especially coming from him because I think we are the same type of guy. We have a similar type work ethic and he knows what I am going through right now and I respect him because he has been through it and has played in the league. It has been nice to have someone to talk to about it.
Q: One of the stories that I heard on signing day was about your performance at Iowa's camp where you really impressed the coaches. You must have been on fire that day because the coaches really liked what they saw.
MOSSBRUCKER: (laugh) It was a good day. There was no wind or anything like that and it was pretty hot so I think I got pretty loose. I don't think it was anything special, but I just focused and concentrated. It was actually my first time kicking on a college campus in front of coaches, so I was pretty focused.
Q: Was that a pretty typical day for you kicking the ball or were you locked in?
MOSSBRUCKER: I would say that I was pretty locked in, but it is pretty hard for me to miss a kick when there is no snap or rush coming in. One of my main goals when I got out to kick is to never miss a kick and on that day I didn't miss too many so that was a good thing.
Q: One of the things that Coach Ferentz mentioned about you was that you kind of remind him of Nate Kaeding. You are someone who like Nate, wasn't just a kicker, but participated in a lot of different sports in high school. Can you talk about that comparision.
MOSSBRUCKER: It is obviously very nice to be compared to Nate because he is a Groza Award winner and he is in the league. It is an honor to be mentioned in the same breath with him. As far as the other sports go, I grew up playing baseball and soccer and then when I got into high school I started playing football and basketball. I come from a competitive family and winning in the top priority in sports. I train with that on my mind, where losing isn't an option.
Q: You are a pretty good basketball player. Does playing a sport like that where there are late game opportunities like a last second shot help prepare you for something like a last second field goal?
MOSSBRUCKER: Yeah it does. In football when I played quarterback, I would get the chance to do stuff all through the game, but in basketball you can get one shot at the end of the game and I look at like I would a field goal. But, playing all kinds of sports helped prepare me because you can put yourself in pressure situations.
Q: One of the things that Coach Ferentz mentioned recently was that he wasn't entirely thrilled with the place kicking this spring and that the job is still pretty open heading into the fall. It seems like there will be an opportunity for you. What are your thoughts heading in?
MOSSBRUCKER: Obviously those two guys have been there and they know what it is like. I am just going to come in there and try to follow along and compete for the job. I would love to have it and I will do everything in my power to earn it, but I know it is competition with two other guys already there. I am just going to go out there every day and see what happens.
Q: What is your comfort level in terms of distance on your field goals?
MOSSBRUCKER: I feel good from 50 to 55. I think those are solid make opportunities for me. I can hit from 60, but 50-55 is my comfort level.
Q: How did become a kicker?
MOSSBRUCKER: Growing up I played a lot of soccer and then I started football and everyone needs a kicker. Since I had played soccer I went out for that position and got the job. I also played quarterback and safety in football, but my brother kind of led the way as a kicker since he kicked for a D2 school
Q: When do you plan to get to Iowa City this summer?
MOSSBRUCKER: June 1st.
Q: Are you planning to stay the whole summer?
MOSSBRUCKER: Pretty much. I am leaving for one week to play in our state high school all star game, but other than that I will be there.
Q: After playing and being out of the field in football as a quarterback and safety and playing basketball is it going to be tough as a kicker not to be out there all the time and how are you going to handle that?
MOSSBRUCKER: It will be tough, but I am sure I will figure out how to handle it in practice. As far as football, I am going to soak up as much knowledge as I can at Iowa because someday I would like to be a coach.
Q: Are you going to be one of kickers that runs down on a kickoff looking to put a hat on somebody in the return game?
MOSSBRUCKER: (laugh) I don't think I will be one of those guys. Hopefully I won't have to tackle anyone, but if I have to, I will stick my nose in there.
Q: What is your range on kickoffs? Are you pretty consistent at putting it out of the end zone?
MOSSBRUCKER: In high school, I was about 80 to 90% touchbacks and that was from the 40 and I usually put it 7 or 8 yards deep. I feel like I am pretty consistent at putting it between the five and the goal line.
Q: Do people realize how important it is to have a good kickoff and put it into the end zone and how difficult it really is?
MOSSBRUCKER: I don't think so. Sometimes if you try to kick it through the end zone you kick a line drive and then your coverage isn't as good down the field. Height and distance is overlooked sometimes.
Q: One of the things Coach Ferentz would do with Kaeding was he would signal to him on kickoffs if he wanted it high and on the goal line or out of the end zone. It was almost like he felt that it would be even better to kick it high and land it between the five and goal line. Are you comfortable with something like that?
MOSSBRUCKER: I am pretty comfortable with it. I am not sure I can drop it on a specific yard line yet, but I can put it between the hash and the out of bounds line.
Q: How are things wrapping up academically for you?
MOSSBRUCKER: It is going well. It is a pretty neat time heading into graduation. Now I just have to get in my last bit of training and I should be good to go.
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