Pac-12: Matt Anderson

Our look at position groups in the Pac-12 continues with place-kickers.

Arizona: Casey Skowron, Bret Miller and Michael Unzicker are all in the mix this spring to replace Jake Smith, who converted 12 of 19 kicks (63.2 percent) last season, including a long of 53. The 12 converted field goals were the lowest in the conference, as was the conversion percentage.

Arizona State: No team in the Pac-12 attempted more field goals in 2013 than the Sun Devils -- and Zane Gonzalez was one of the few bright spots for an otherwise dismal ASU special teams unit. The freshman All-American converted 25 of 30 attempts (83.3) and had a streak of 18 straight.

California: With Vincenzo D’Amato gone (he was 17 of 20 last season), it’s looking like James Langford, Noah Beito and Matt Anderson will all get looks. Langford might have the edge as the kickoff guy with Beito a potential early frontrunner for field goals.

Colorado: Senior Will Oliver is back after converting 17 of 24 kicks last year (70.8 percent). He was perfect inside the 30 (7 of 7) and missed just once inside of 40 yards. Three of his misses came from 50-plus (2 of 5). He’s a potential All-American candidate. Strong-legged Diego Gonzalez from Guadalupe, Mexico, is waiting in the wings.

Oregon: Oregon’s kicking adventures weren’t as interesting in 2013 as they’ve been in the past. While the Ducks attempted the fewest field goals in the conference, Matt Wogan was a solid 7 of 9, and Alejandro Maldonado was 3 of 5 for a combined 71.4 percent -- seventh in the conference. Wogan returns and should be considered the frontrunner to handle all kicking duties, including punting.

Oregon State: Trevor Romaine returns as a fourth-year starter after converting 14 of 20 attempts last season. He was mostly money inside of 40 yards, converting 11 of 13 attempts. But struggled on the longer kicks, converting just 2 of 5 between 40-49 yards and 1 of 2 beyond 50.

Stanford: Jordan Williamson is back after connecting on 18 of 22 kicks in 2013, including a long of 48. Of his four misses, two of them came from 50 yards or longer, where he was 0 for 2. He was automatic inside the 30 and 15 of 16 inside of 40 yards. Time to finally put the 2011 Fiesta Bowl to rest. He's one of the league's most consistent kickers.

UCLA: Ka’imi Fairbairn returns after a hit-and-miss year where he connected on 14 of 21 kicks with a long of 48. He had a stretch where he converted on eight in a row. But also had some inconsistent games (2 of 4 against Nebraska, 2 of 4 against ASU).

USC: Andre Heidari had an up-and-down season. He struggled greatly in the 40-49 yard range, converting on just 3 of 8 kicks. Overall, he was 15 of 22, and his 2013 will most likely be remembered for his 47-yard game-winner against Stanford. Heidari also handled almost every kickoff, though punter Kris Albarado is available if needed.

Utah: "Automatic" Andy Phillips returns after making quite the splash in his first season of football. The former skier became a household name -- well, at least a name in Pac-12 households -- after converting on the first 11 field goals of his career. He’s got a big leg, converting on 9 of 11 from 40 yards or longer.

Washington: No easy task replacing Travis Coons, who handled kicking and punting for the Huskies. He was the Pac-12’s most accurate kicker in 2013, converting on 15 of 16 attempts. Cameron Van Winkle handled some kickoffs before an injury set him back, and Tristan Vizcaino comes in this fall and should be in the mix.

Washington State: Strong-legged Andrew Furney is gone. Wes Concepcion and Erik Powell are the kickers on the roster. Powell was a walk-on, but the coaching staff is high on him. Concepcion likely will handle punting but could kick if needed.

Previous positions

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Cornerback
Linebacker
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Tight end
Quarterback
Running back
Receiver
Offensive line
Defensive tackle

Busy days on recruiting trail

June, 19, 2012
6/19/12
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The past few days have seen a flurry of activity in Pac-12 recruiting with several players committing around the conference.

Here's a quick rundown on some of the new players coming in.
  • Oregon State finally got on the recruiting board with defensive specialist Terin Solomon (Murrieta, Calif). Per ESPN.com's Erik McKinney, he could go either direction at the next level. He's 5-foot-11, 183 pounds now, but could bulk up to linebacker or focus on being a safety.
  • There's going to be another Owusu on The Farm as Francis Owusu (Westlake Village, Calif.), brother of the recently graduated Chris Owusu, committed to the Cardinal. He's Stanford's fourth commit, and all four are ranked in the ESPN 300. Last season, Owusu caught 35 balls for 705 yards and eight scores.
  • Oregon landed tight end John Mundt (Modesto, Calif.), whose stock was trending up after earning a strong rating at last month's Northern California Nike weekend. He recorded the highest rating of any tight end nationally in Nike's SPARQ Combine Tour.
  • Colorado picked up commitments from wide receiver Elijah Dunston (West Hills, Calif.) and offensive lineman John Lisella (Littleton, Colo.).
  • Washington State picked up verbals from linebacker Peyton Pelluer (Sammamish, Wash.), wide receiver River Cracraft (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and defensive back Markell Sanders (Bellevue, Wash.). Pelluer had offers from Arizona State and Colorado.
  • Arizona got commitments from linebacker Philip Wright (Santa Rosa, Calif.), quarterback Thomas Woodson (Monroeville, Pa.) and Hutchinson (Kan) Community College athlete Prince Holloway. Wright told McKinney that Arizona was his first offer, and he jumped at the chance to give the Wildcats his commitment. He's the first linebacker commit to the 2013 class. Arizona was also the first to offer Woodson.
  • Finally, Cal picked up a verbal from kicker Matt Anderson (Danville, Calif.). Rivals.com reported that Anderson had drawn interest from Stanford, UCLA and USC. He's the sixth Cal commit, and was a teammate of current Cal quarterback Zach Kline.

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