Fera fills a big need for Texas
August, 2, 2012
By Carter Strickland | ESPN.com
Texas might have answered one of its largest questions before camp has even started.
Anthony Fera will transfer to the Longhorns, giving Texas an experienced kicker in a spot where it had none.
Fera has two years of eligibility left after transferring from Penn State and will be eligible for the 2012 season. Fera’s scholarship counts against Texas’ 85 as per the NCAA’s ruling on the PSU scandal.
Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesAnthony Fera, who hit 14 of his 17 field goals, should step in and make an immediate impact for Texas.
Fera, a Houston St. Pius X prospect who hit 14-of-17 field goals last season, gives the Longhorns a legitimate threat on field goals. Jordan Tucker graduated after a season in which he hit 17-of-21 field goals, and his departure left the Longhorns with a huge void. William Russ and Ben Pruitt battled for the job in the spring but the results were less than impressive.
Texas does have incoming freshman Nick Jordan. It also brought on walk-ons Nick Rose (Dallas/Highland Park) and Michael Davidson (Houston/Strake Jesuit). Grant Sirgo redshirted as a walk-on in 2011.
Alex King, who is exclusively a punter, transferred from Duke at the start of the summer.
With the addition of Fera, Texas now has seven potential place-kickers. Three of those players, Fera, Jordan and Russ, are on scholarship.
While Texas has had success with true freshman kickers before -- Dusty Mangum was 18-of-26 in 2001 -- the Longhorns, due to a lackluster passing game, figure to be a team in need on a strong and reliable leg.
Jordan has the strength, and the range from 60 yards and in. But the reliability part is what worried Texas. Fera, due to his experience, might be slightly more reliable in pressure situations. Fera was perfect from inside 40 yards. That bodes well for Texas, which had the worst red-zone touchdown efficiency in the history of the Big 12 in 2011.