There are easy ways to plant a foot, swing a big leg and drive into the Jared Zirkel story.
If all goes to plan, he will be the next kicker at Georgia. Zirkel will be the first scholarship kicker for the program since Rodrigo Blankenship in 2015.
It all sets up for him to follow the program’s first Lou Groza Award winner. Blankenship now stands as one of the best kickers in Bulldog history. He was also easily one of the most popular Bulldogs of the last decade.
No pressure, right?
But that’s the lot for kickers. Zirkel certainly has the leg for it. And then some.
His kicking coach Brent Grablachoff equates his leg strength on kickoffs to what one of his former proteges exhibited in college. It bodes well for Zirkel’s potential. Especially since Jason Sanders has nailed 41 field goals in two seasons with the Miami Dolphins. He was one of only two kickers to get drafted in 2018.
Grablachoff has told DawgNation that he has seen thousands of kickers come through his Kicking World camps over the past 13 years.
He said last March that Zirkel had the biggest kickoff leg in the country. He even added that Zirkel’s leg strength as a high school junior was on par with what Sanders displayed as a junior in college. That’s when he led the entire Football Bowl Sub-division in kickoff and touchback percentage.
The 59-yard field goal Zirkel boomed in a game as a junior also serves notice of his leg strength.
He’s also versed in pressure. Zirkel won a survivor competition last June in Athens. It netted that scholarship offer to kick for Georgia. The 6-foot-3 Texan readily accepted.
Those are good places to tee this up, but there’s a better angle sitting on a tee. There are actually two great launch points for this story.
Zirkel played high school ball for Tivy High in Kerrville. That’s the same school which produced 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Jared Zirkel was already rocking the gear as a Bulldog legacy at a very early age. (Jared Zirkel/Contributed photo)
Being a Bulldog just runs in his family. The picture up top reflects the fact he was in Georgia gear while kicking the rails of his crib.
Trinette Zirkel, his mother, raised him to be a ‘Dawg out in Texas. She graduated from UGA in 1987. She references those as some of the Kevin Butler days. That’s the kicker’s mom coming out there.