Utah address kicking concerns with transfer commitment from former Colorado kicker
Utah sorely needed to upgrade its kicking game this offseason, and it looks like reinforcements are on the way.
Former Colorado place kicker Cole Becker announced on Twitter Friday he intends to transfer to Utah. Becker spent two seasons with the Buffs’ program, earning an immediate job as the team’s starting kicker. He’ll have three years to play two for the Utes.
— Cole Becker (@colebecker01) January 6, 2023
A Roseville, California native, Becker was named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Pac-12 First Team as a true freshman after going 14-for-20 on his field goal attempts and 25-for-25 on PATs. His longest kick went for 56 yards. He also handled kickoffs, with 29 of his 48 attempts going for touchbacks (60%).
As a sophomore in 2022, scoring opportunities were few and far between given how mightily the CU offense struggled to move the football, but Becker was reliable when given a chance. He connected on 11 of his 13 field goals (long of 49) and 20 of his 21 PATs. On the kickoff team, Becker’s 74% touchback rate led all qualified Pac-12 players. He produced 34 touchbacks on 46 kickoffs.
Becker became the 10th fastest player to score 100 points in CU history, reaching it in 20 games.
Utah’s two kickers — Jordan Noyes and Jadon Redding — had the third-worst and the worst touchback percentages in the conference. Noyes went out of bounds four times. As a team, Utah has ranked 10th (2021) and 11th (2022) in touchback percentage on kickoffs the last two seasons.
Because of the inconsistency in the kicking game, coach Kyle Whittingham opted to leave his kickers on the sideline more often than not. Only CU attempted fewer field goals than Utah in the Pac-12 this season, and only two teams went for it on fourth down more than the Utes.
If Becker can win the job and produce at the same level he did in Boulder, Utah should benefit greatly in the field position department.