Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
COLUMBIA, Mo. — As tends to be the case with kickers, most of Andrew Baggett’s notoriety at Missouri has come as a result of misses.
Now, however, he is a solid senior season away from leaving a legacy that has more to do with his kicks that went through the uprights.
Baggett is 70 points away from tying Jeff Wolfert’s record as the highest-scoring player in Missouri history.
“It’d be awesome, but I’m not out here trying to break school records,” Baggett said. “I’m trying to put points up when I’m called out there.”
Baggett, who went on scholarship last year, made 18-of-25 field goal attempts each of his last two seasons and posted near-identical extra-point percentages of 95.7 and 95.6.
Baggett, a Lee’s Summit North graduate, has never scored fewer than 75 points in his three seasons as Missouri kicker. Last year, he moved up seven spots on the all-time list, surpassing noted Missouri point-scorers Jeremy Maclin (198), Grant Ressel (270) and Brad Smith (284).
“I think just having the opportunity to be in that position is a reflection of our team,” Baggett said. “Because if we don’t get down the field, I can’t kick it.”
That might not be true this season. With Christian Brinser lost to graduation and no heir apparent, Baggett is contending for the job of punter.
Baggett said working on punting has not affected his kicking game.
“It’s a different swing,” he said. “It can (affect kicking), but really whenever I go to punt period, I just focus on that, and when I go to field-goal periods, I focus on that. You try to practice, make sure that you’re not blending the two.”
Sophomore Luke Jackson is listed as the second-string punter on Missouri’s depth chart behind Baggett, and the Tigers extended a scholarship to incoming freshman Corey Fatony, the fifth-ranked punter by Kohl’s Kicking in the 2015 class. Junior Dayton Balvanz and redshirt freshman Tom Kalish are also punters on the roster.
Baggett said the punting group is coming along well.
“I think the big thing is I want to get better every day, but I also want to help all the younger guys get better,” he said. “They are true punters. Obviously, I want to try to put my best foot forward, but it’s not necessarily my job type.”
Does that mean he would prefer to not have to focus on anything but kicking?
“I don’t want to say yes, and I don’t want to say no,” he said. “Obviously, the more workload you have, the more you have to focus on reps you get. You’re spread a little more thin rather than focusing on the one or two things. But also, it’s my fifth year, I know how to handle that kind of stuff now, so it doesn’t necessarily matter.”