Kickers don’t get a lot of attention from recruiting services or fans during the year, but ask several nationally ranked college football teams from this past season how important it is to have a kicker who can make a clutch kick late in a game.
One of the top prep kickers, not only on the west coast, but likely the entire nation this season will be Mount Si (Snoqualmie, Wa.) K Cameron Van Winkle who has a huge leg, but also the accuracy to go along with it.
“The longest I’ve hit from in a game is 49, but in practice the longest I’ve hit from is 63,” Van Winkle told NEI during the fall. “I barely missed a 57-yarder against Mercer Island, so I have the leg to get it there, but it all depends on how you hit it and I just didn’t get all of it that night.”
This past weekend, Van Winkle took in Washington State’s Junior Day in Pullman and said he came away impressed with what the Cougars have going on.
“It was really great to get over there and meet with them,” Van Winkle noted. “I spent a lot of time talking with coach (Eric) Russell who is their special teams coach over there and he said they like me a lot, but they won’t offer me until I take the SAT. That’s actually what a lot of teams have told me, so I’m going to take it either this month or in May, I’m not sure yet.
“One thing I really liked about Washington State was that if I went there, I would have my own kicking coach so it would be a real workout during practice, not just me and the other kickers and punters doing our own things. That is really a big thing for me.”
Another Pac 12 school showing Van Winkle a ton of interest is Oregon, who told him that he is one of their top kicking prospects.
“I’ve talked to coach (Tom) Osborne there a little and he said they really liked my film, but they want to see me kick in person before they will offer me,” Van Winkle said. “I’m going to get down there for their camp and most likely Stanford’s camp too. I want to get out to Tennessee, they are a school I’ve talked to a little bit, but I’m not really sure about that one right now.”
This past season Van Winkle, who is also a star on the Mount Si soccer team, hit 16 of his 18 field goal attempts while also averaging 37 yards per punt.
Van Winkle is easily the top kicker in the Northwest this year and once the offers start rolling in, you could see a flood of schools trying to show him the love.