Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
With older brother Anthony now seeking a career in the NFL, Jack Cantele looks to assume kicking duties for the Wildcats in 2013.
Wildcat fans, there are now just three days until kick-off against North Dakota State, and the countdown continues. There are two players listed on the preseason roster at number three – kicker Jack Cantele and receiver Cody Harrison – although Cantele should be wearing the jersey when the team trots out onto the field on Friday. Let’s get started.
Cantele handled all kicking duties during the Spring Game, and it appears the competition for the job was over early (if it existed at all). A redshirt sophomore from Wichita, Cantele kicked for Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School, was an All-State selection his senior year, and had over 50 touchbacks for his team. Cantele is one of those guys blessed the ability to know exactly where and how hard to connect with a ball – he also graduated with the second lowest round of golf in Kansas State High School history, hitting a five-under par.
Jack Cantele was able to showcase some of his abilities during the spring game, and booted a 51-yard field goal. And while he may not have the distance of former kicking greats like Martin Gramatica, the team looks to be in capable hands (feet?) over the next three years. Said coach Bill Snyder after the field goal, “He hit it so there was a little bit of pressure there. I was pleased with him. I told him he could keep his scholarship.”
Cody Harrison is a redshirt junior from Topeka, graduating from Topeka High School in 2010. He was an all-city honoree at running back and kick returner, and all-state at cornerback. However, the Wildcat coaching staff made him a wide receiver and he’s an intriguing body that offers unique abilities. At 5’6″ and 160 pounds, he reminds me of former Wildcat receiver Brandon Banks. His height is suited for running back – cornerback is a stretch (har har!) at the D-I level – but his body may be too small to take on running back duties.
Harrison is a solid athlete, and won two state championships in weightlifting in high school with five state records to his name. He also wrestled, and placed fifth in 5A his senior year. Harrison saw time in two games in 2011 and one last season, but did not contribute any statistics. He’s not a big body, possession receiver, but could be utilized on screens and other plays that get him in space and minimize the need to battle for jump balls. While not destined to be a major contributor, defensive coordinators should get nervous about the potential trickery abound when he steps on to the field.