Syracuse has left little doubt who the top kicking specialist is on its recruiting board for 2015. Head coach Scott Shafer watched the kid hit a 55-yard field goal during a December practice in Florida, and his mind was made up. This is who he envisioned taking over the position in the near future. Sterling Hofrichter is the only kicker Syracuse has offered, according to recruiting services. What makes him even more appealing is that his punting might equal his field goal kicking ability. Consider it scholarship consolidation. If Syracuse can land Hofrichter in February, he could develop into a two-way specialist, already possessing the skills to blast a career-best 65-yard field goal in practice off a 1-inch tee and routinely punt the ball 45 yards. "From what it sounds like, it looks like they're looking at me for doing both," Hofrichter said by phone Tuesday night. He said he's planning on taking an unofficial visit to campus this summer, around the time he is traveling north to attend a kicking camp in Wisconsin. That Syracuse was his first offer was meaningful, he said, but a mix of good football with a strong academic curriculum for physical therapy are early factors he values. Miami (Fla.) and Penn State are two schools that have showed interest, but no other school has yet offered. Hofrichter, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, is rated as the No. 5 kicker and No. 8 punter in the nation, according to kohlskicking.com. Hofrichter has attended invite-only camps directed by Jamie Kohl, most recently in January in St. Petersburg, Fla., since last summer. Last year's Lou Groza Award winner, Florida State's Roberto Aguayo, also attended these camps, and the site boasts that 93.5 percent of all Division I football programs include at least one specialist on their roster who has attended a Kohl's camp. Syracuse returns three specialists in 2014. Kicker Ross Krautman was granted a fifth season of eligibility after he underwent season-ending hip surgery. Punter Riley Dixon and Ryan Norton both have two years of eligibility remaining, meaning Syracuse will have turnover at both specialist positions no later than 2016. Hofrichter did not hide his goal of winning a Groza Award, presented annually to the nation's top kicker — or a Ray Guy Award, given to the best punter in college football. "One of those would be great," he said, adding a school looking to recruit him for only one position will not affect his decision-making process. When Shafer spoke with Hofrichter in December to offer him a scholarship, he handed the phone to Chris Gould, a special teams quality control coach who primarily works with the kickers, who told him "he hasn't seen many kickers like me at my age."
Syracuse football first to offer kicker Sterling Hofrichter for 2015 recruiting class
Syracuse.com | Mar 6