FSU football had a tremendous 2022 campaign where they accomplished their 25th 10-win season in program history.
If the Seminoles want to take the next step as a program, they have to take care of business against teams like LSU and Clemson. Those contests will likely come down to a handful of plays where every play is important.
In that scenario, having a competent field goal kicker if it came down to the final play is a must. Just ask Ohio State in their College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs, where their kicker Noah Ruffles missed a 50-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 42-41 victory.
Regarding FSU football, redshirt junior kicker Ryan Fitzgerald returned for the 2023 season. However, Fitzgerald had quite the up-and-down campaign last season, making 12 of his 20 field goal attempts (60%).
As a result, FSU brought in East Tennessee State kicker transfer Tyler Keltner. He was a two-time All-Southern Conference kicker. Keltner connected on 56 of his 74 field goal attempts and was 131 of 131 on PATs. Interestingly enough, he holds ETSU career program records for field goals and PATs made.
The good news is that Fitzgerald connected on 8 of his last 11 kicks, which included a game-winning 32-yard field goal in the Cheez-It-Bowl victory over the Oklahoma Sooners.
Unlike what the post says, this is a video of Fitzgerald kicking a field goal through the uprights at 60 yards away in practice. For reference, he was 0-for-3 in field attempts over 50+ yards last year. Typically, there is a ton of immense pressure placed on kickers.
They come in during adverse situations expected to fulfill their duties. That could be a daunting taskt, considering that the program brought in another kicker to compete with Fitzgerald this offseason.
With Fitzgerald, he talked a lot about changing techniques in his kicking style last season, which has helped his fundamentals in making field goals. However, I believe he has to have the utmost confidence in order to remain successful.
The reports from fall camp have been good so far, and I have faith in his ability and think he could be in for a phenomenal campaign as the Seminoles look to take the college football world by storm in 2023.