Utah senior Matt Gay began this season as the second option at place-kicker. Since he got a chance, he’s run with it and become the nation’s top kicker so far this season. Wednesday, Gay and Utah found out the senior has been granted another year of eligibility.

Gay, a former soccer player at Utah Valley University, received an additional year of eligibility through a clock extension related to his LDS church mission. Gay can participate with the Utes through the spring of 2019. Because he has received an eligibility clock extension, he does not need a waiver from the NCAA.

A walk-on from Orem who joined the Utes during preseason, Gay battled freshman kicker Chayden Johnson for the starting job heading into the Utes’ opener. After Johnson missed his first attempt of the season, Gay has gone 14-for-14 on field goal attempts including the second-longest field goal in program history – a 56-yard kick against San Jose State.

He ranks first in field goals made (14), total points (56), points per game (14.0), field goals per game (3.50) and field goal percentage (1.000). Gay and defending Ray Guy Award winning punter Mitch Wishnowsky have given the Utes a dynamic special teams duo.

Gay, who played football at Orem High School as a senior in 2011, was a member of the UVU soccer team in 2014 and 2016. He served a church mission during the 2015-16 academic year.