Kyle Whittingham Still Undecided As Tightly Contested Kicking Battle Continues

Nov 4, 2020, 4:41 PM
Utah kicker Jaydon Redding during fall camp. (Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)...
Utah kicker Jaydon Redding during fall camp. (Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah football team is now just days away from beginning their 2020 campaign against Arizona Wildcats this upcoming Saturday afternoon at Rice Eccles-Stadium. Many players at a number of positions are still battling for playing time as the season quickly approaches, the kicking battle is still a tightly contested race.

Jadon Redding, a sophomore from Virginia, is attempting to regain his starting position coming off a 2019 season in which he made 77 percent of his kicks. Redding also enters the 2020 season on scholarship after being awarded one during the offseason.

Redding is a proven commodity, which gives him an advantage over his challengers. However, Redding’s long from a season ago was just 42 yards. Despite being accurate, Redding is yet to prove that he can make field goals from 42 plus yards.

Jordan Noyes Redding’s competitor. Noyes, who hails from Kent, England, joined the Utah program during summer conditioning after hearing of former kicker Matt Gay’s success.

Noyes’s wife, who is also from England, is cousins with Gay’s wife.

Noyes was a talented soccer player back in his native country of England. His leg strength is uncanny and very reminiscent of Gay. However, unlike Gay who kicked for his high school team – the Orem Tigers, Noyes has never played in a competitive American football game. Learning how to strap the pads and helmet on was something that Noyes learned just a few months ago.

The kicking battle is a tightly contested race. Redding has proven that he can perform under Pac-12 circumstances while Noyes has more potential to play in the NFL but is yet to play in a game.

Regardless, the upcoming decision by head coach Kyle Whittingham is an important one. Picking the starting kicker will likely impact the outcomes of future conference games.

But do not be fooled, back in 2017, Gay lost the job entering the season to Chayden Johnston who proceeded to miss his first attempt from 45 yards out on the left hash. Gay got the next crack at a field goal and proceeded to never look back as he was ultimately named a consensus all-American following his first year with the team.

Whoever trots out on Rice Eccles-Stadium to attempt the first field-goal of 2020 will be on a short leash and will have very little, if any, room for error.

Whittingham has a very important decision to make.

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