With Pickering questionable, NU has 'decision to make' at kicker
As Nebraska wraps up its preparation for Saturday’s first road game of the season at Colorado, head coach Scott Frost and his staff will still have a rather important decision looming when they arrive in Boulder.
Sophomore kicker Barret Pickering missed last week’s season opener with an injury that special teams coordinator Jovan Dewitt described as “a freak soft tissue thing that I’ve never seen before.”
That left true freshman walk-on Dylan Jorgensen to get the start vs. Alabama, where he made all five of his extra points but missed his only field goal attempt from 31 yards.
While Dewitt said on Tuesday that Pickering would “be fine” for the Colorado game, Frost said his status would likely be a game-time decision. Should Pickering be out again, it sounds like even more decisions might have to be made as to his replacement.
Frost said the Huskers worked out a couple emergency kickers during Thursday’s walk-through practice, with senior punter Isaac Armstrong and sophomore walk-on safety Lane McCallum both getting reps.
“We actually had some of those kicks today to see who else could do it,” Frost said. “We’ve got a decision to make.”
Armstrong was a second-team Super-State selection as a senior place kicker and punter at Lincoln (Neb.) Southwest in 2014, while McCallum spent his freshman season as a kicker at Air Force in 2017 before transferring to walk-on at NU.
McCallum was an All-Nebraska kicker at Norfolk (Neb.) and still holds his school’s career record for points scored (354) after going 120-of-123 on extra points and 20-of-31 on field goals.
For comparison, Jorgensen was a first-team Super-State selection last year for Southwest after going 7-for-11 on field goals and hitting all 29 of his extra points. He also became the first true freshman walk-on to start a game for Nebraska since Andy Janovich in 2012.
While Jorgensen got the nod in Week 1, Frost said it was no guarantee that he would automatically be the starter again if Pickering was unable to play.
“We’ll see,” Frost said. “We’ve got to make a decision.”