Every year colleges lose games because of poor special teams play. A missed field goal, a botched punt and short kickoffs can all lead to defeat. That's why it makes you scratch your head when you think how hard it is for a kicker to get a scholarship.
One kicker however who has a good chance at landing a scholarship is Jordan Mannisto (6-0, 175, 4.7) from Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake.
Mannisto earned first-team all-CIF, first-team all-county and first-team all-league for his junior season performance.
"Jordan scored 82 points for us last season," Westlake coach Jim Benkert said. "He has a powerful leg. He made 13 field goals, two of them were over 50 yards.
"A lot coaches came by this past spring and saw him work out. They were impressed with his leg strength.
"There is a new rule in college where they will be kicking off from the 30 yard line and Jordan's leg strength is of great interest to D-I school's.
"Last season, Jordan's was 82 percent putting the ball into the end zone. That is a big weapon.
"San Diego State was really high on Jordan this past spring because he can also punt," Benkert said. "He averaged 38.7 yards per punt as a junior.
"I think he projects as a place-kicker, but some schools aren't ruling out punting," Benkert said. "Some schools may end up liking him as a dual guy who could handle both chores.
"The thing about Jordan is he's an athlete," Benkert said. "He's also an all-league athlete in soccer and baseball."
Like many of the nation's best kicking prospects, Mannisto is privately coached by former All-American kicker for UCLA, Chris Sailer.
"Jordan has been working with Chris Sailer and last year as a junior, he was competing at Sailer's camp against seniors and junior college kids," Benkert said. "Even at that young age he was one of the best prospects at the camp."
Nevada also has shown early interest in Mannisto. Don't be surprised if Mannisto becomes one of the most sought after kickers this fall.