Not For Kicks: 3-Star Placekicker Sterling Hofrichter Visits Syracuse

The Orange knows it’s in need of some special teams upgrades.

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Special teams is usually not a major topic of conversation. However, a potential kicker Syracuse has been targeting might be just who the Orange needs.

Sterling Hofrichter, a 3-star placekicker, visited the Orange this past weekend on his trip to the Hill. Syracuse is the only school to offer the Florida product but Auburn and Tennessee have shown interest. Hofrichter told the Post-Standard:

“[Shafer] told me I’m their man and they’re not going to offer anybody, but if it gets too late later on and they don’t know if I’m going to commit to them, they might offer another kicker.”

Syracuse clearly knows who they want to take over the kicking duties when Krautman leaves. It is hard for a recruit who is interested in a school to reject a program who basically is handing over the placekicking duties to him and letting him know they are not offering others.

Kicking has been an under-the-radar issue for the Orange over the past few years. The Orange has seen plenty of missed extra points and chip shots that have sailed wide of the sticks—and Syracuse is traditionally a team that needs to convert on its chances on the opponent’s side of the field.

Ross Krautman, as successful of a kicker as he has been, has been plagued by injuries recently. He will, however, return for a fifth year after undergoing surgery on his hip last season. The punting duties will remain with Riley Dixon, who did a phenomenal job after being granted a scholarship. Dixon thrived in pinning Syracuse opponents behind the 20-yard line and avoiding touchbacks. He also had a pretty long punt last season too.

Ryan Norton will also likely be back in the kickoff role. Norton has had his fair share of off-the-field incidences, most recently violating team rules resulting in a temporary suspension in the spring. He also took over the placekicking duties after Krautman’s injury. Unfortunately for the Orange, Norton struggled throughout the season, going 10-for-15 on his field goals.

More importantly, Scott Shafer showed a lack of confidence in his kicking game at a time when points came at a premium for the Syracuse offense.

Syracuse needs to lock up Hofrichter to solidify the future kicking game. With a team who relies on its defense more than scoring points, a strong kicker could be the difference between a winning and losing season. The Orange did its part in offering the kicking spot in the 2015 class to the Seffner, FL native. Now they must play the waiting game.

Posted by: Zephan Mayell 

21 Comments on this Post

  1. orangeinva

    Kicking in a dome, a 40 yard FG should be like a layup. Yet for years it has been a seeming gold standard- the best we could hope for.

    We either need someone 6’1″ and 200 lbs or a guy 5’8″+ with gams like fire hydrants. The 5’10” 160 lb kicker doesn’t cut it anymore.
    This aint high school.

  2. After reading the article on him it looks like Hofrichter isn’t really interested in becoming an Orangemen and will make visits to Tennessee and Auburn before making his decision. Coach Shafer has told him if he waits to long to make his committment that Syracuse will go after someone else.

    After watching his looks like he’s getting the ball into the endzone on kickoffs and looks to me like he’s kicking between 45 and 55 yd field goals.

  3. Russell MacEachern

    Nowadays you have to give a scholly up to get a PK because specialist’s that are good enough are rare! Same goes for longsnapper…both can turn a game around!! Right Ron? lol

  4. chris

    Kickers thrive on pressure ,so its coming up,time wise to apply a little pressure yo Hofrichter.Consistency inside the 45 yard line is a must have for the Orange. This kid has the ability to give them that consistency.Shafer needs to convince this kid that Syracuse offers him the best place and chance for an education and audition for the NFL.

  5. @Russell MacEachern;

    I guess Russell you gotta do what you need to do to advance the quality of your team.

    If it means giving a scholarship to a PK specialist then I guess it’s ok.

    I have always believed that you do what you have to do in order to bring in the recruits that you want. I think the coaching staff knows more about the teams needs than most of us that are on the outside looking in. Let’s let them do their jobs and see what materializes come LOI in February.

    I’ve noticed that Syracuse is after a couple more recruits out of New Jersey.

    Nice to have you back old friend,welcome home.

  6. Terry

    RONNIE=”giving a scholarship to a PK specialist then I guess its ok” you better believe its ok. Over the past years SU has signed some below average talent. FGK’s can win games and they play too!! SU has way to many fannies on the sidelines not playing. SU always had a good kicker through the years until recently!! So a FGK is a must!! SU will do great if they make a 6-6 season!! FG’s will win you games, not players on the sidelines watching the game!! You better give him/her a full ride. After all there’s players on this team with full rides that are busts!! Sorry RON that’s a crazy statement!!

  7. Terry

    If Malik Brown wants SU please have HCSS tell him NO WAY!! I know dougie’s lying move was probably the real reason he left for TENN. But at the same time HCSS has said straight up “if you don’t want to be here then SU does not want you”!! I agree!! Also SU needs to stop taking crumbs left over too!! He might pan out some where else!! But let him!! If he was good enough he’d stay at TENN! But he wasn’t!!


  8. @Terry;

    My response was to Russell’s question concerning giving a scholarship to PK. You do what you gotta do to improve the team. The kid looks like he was kicking field goals from the 40-50 yard line and was kicking the ball into the end zone on kickoffs. I know I would give the kid a full ride if it were up to me.

    You and I are in agreement on Malik Brown. He didn’t want to be here,changed his mind and went to Tennessee and now wants tocome here to play. I say forget him,he’s damaged goods and besides we have 3 DE’s that will do just fine on the team already.

    Just remember Terry,you and I are in total agreement on both issues. have a great day.

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