University of Toledo kicker Jeremiah Detmer has made 22 consecutive field goals for the Rockets. He can break Alex Steigerwald’s team record of 23 straight with two more successful kicks.
BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge
The question was mindless if only because the answer was obvious.
A reporter the other day asked Jeremiah Detmer to name his greatest attribute as a kicker.
“I’d like to say I’m consistent,” Detmer responded.
Oh yeah. Consistency. Of course.
Should he make his next two field goal attempts Detmer will become the most consistent kicker to ever play for the University of Toledo.
Detmer, who will look to make history beginning Saturday against Eastern Washington, has not missed a kick since Sept. 29, 2012, back when the pop song Gangnam Style was still hip and Matt Campbell was still the youngest college football coach in America.
Detmer has responded with 22 straight makes, one shy of tying the program record established by former kicker Alex Steigerwald in 2007 and 2008.
“Best kicker I’ve ever seen in person,” Rockets safety Chaz Whittaker said of Detmer.
Detmer’s streak ranks sixth in NCAA history and needs to grow by eight to match the national record set by Washington’s Chuck Nelson in 1981 and 1982. Tulane’s Cairo Santos, the reigning Lou Groza Award winner as the nation’s top kicker, has an active streak of 24 — two more than Detmer.
Detmer, who is 34 of 40 in his career, says he pays little attention to the streak, choosing instead to focus on his next kick.
“Maybe that’s not fun to hear, but that’s just my mindset,” he said.
Detmer is off to a 5-for-5 start after closing last season with 17 straight makes. And it’s not like his pursuit of perfection is inflated by chip shots. Seven of his 22 makes have come from distances of 40 yards or further, including from 46 and 41 yards in Saturday’s loss at Missouri.
His last miss, a 52-yarder before halftime at Western Michigan, has a caveat: It was blocked and batted to the ground.
“If he does, he does. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t,” Steigerwald said in a phone interview. “There shouldn’t be any pressure on him to break the record. All he has to do is go out and get three points. If he does it, hats off.”
A multi-sport standout at Hilliard Davidson, Detmer could have played Division I college soccer and likely would have if Toledo didn’t offer a football scholarship. Cincinnati and Illinois expressed interest but never offered. It might make for a better story if those programs since suffered kicking woes, but that’s not the case. Cincinnati is 18 of 23 the past two years, while Illinois is 11 of 16.
Detmer praises two of his teammates whose ability to do their job makes his job easier. Matt Wall, Detmer says, is the best snapper he’s ever played with. Holder Vince Penza is steady as well.
“Those guys are unbelievably consistent,” Detmer said.
Consistency likewise describes Detmer, who owns program records for most field goals in a season (24 in 2012) and career field goal percentage (85) and could soon hold another for consecutive makes.
“If you can say that about yourself as a kicker, I think you’re doing an all right job,” he said.