Syracuse Kicking Game Loses Ross Krautman to Career-Ending Injury

Ross Krautman retires after battling hip injuries. How will the Orange special teams adjust?

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Syracuse received some crushing news this weekend that kicker Ross Krautman is retiring from football due to a nagging hip injury that forced him to miss almost all of last season. Krautman was a redshirt senior who was granted a medical redshirt before deciding to call it quits.

Krautman is one of the best placekickers in program history, highlighted by making 18 of 19 field goals his freshman year. He also had a streak of 16 consecutive field goals made. However his chronic hip injury clearly started to affect his play and eventually led to surgery.

This puts the Syracuse kicking game in a very unpredictable spot for the 2014 campaign. Ryan Norton, who has had several off-field incidents, went 10-of-15 on field goals last year after being handed the role after Krautman’s injury. Norton was brought into Syracuse originally to focus on kickoffs but will be asked to switch his attention to the goalposts. Yes, Norton did get experience from last year and might have seen this scenario coming in the offseason. However, he is not a sure thing on or off the field. It will also be interesting to see how uncertainty in the kicking game will affect play-calling on fourth downs.

Even more bad news for the Orange is that there is not another scholarship placekicker besides Norton. Alex Hodgkinson and Cole Murphy are both walk-ons and now have a golden opportunity to fill a huge void if they can impress this month. Hey, both might have even gained some motivation prior to this announcement after seeing how Riley Dixon transformed from a walk-on to breaking school punting records.

If there is any silver lining to this announcement, at least the team knows they will be without Krautman before the season starts instead of two weeks into the season like last year. This should give Norton time to get serious about adjusting to the position permanently and staying out of trouble off the gridiron.

With all the chips in on Norton to step up after Krautman’s retirement from the game, the Orange will have to rely on the Garden City product to lead the kicking game.

Posted by: Zephan Mayell

42 Comments on this Post

  1. orangeinva

    Also a player Jakubowski ( no doubt related to Sebastien Janokowski of Fla St Oakland Raider) is supposed to have some place kicking experience.

  2. And hoping for 8 wins??? How many seasons were lost even with a good FG kicker! Very bad news!! 6-6 looks the best they can do now!!


  3. Dr. Bill

    Good News Terry:

    Further validation of he great recruiting job this staff is doing and signs that recruiting is on the rise. Scout has just reevaluated the SU recruits and upgraded a bunch of our players!!! We went from having 10 3 star players………… 20…yes 20 3 star players, the most in YEARS!!!!!!.

    I think even Terry has to admit……that is a positive sign!!!….Go Cuse!!!!!!!!!

  4. Like the class of 2014 Dr. Bill I feel the people who do the rating didn’t go far enough. I honestly feel that we have 5-8 4* athletes in this years class and that we already have 3-5 4* athletes for the class of 2015.

    Were going to see the true value of these guys 2-3 years down the road when they become juniors and seniors.

  5. BK SU FB Fan

    Ron/Doc speak on it!! But back on topic, I wish Krautman the best. Hope he excels in life. Wish he could have taken his dream further.

  6. Sorry to hear of Ross Krautman. He is a fellow alum of my high school.

    To your point Terry, I believe the coaching staff is on edge about the kicking game too. Apart from landing one of the best kicking recruits in the country this cycle, (although I believe he is a better punter than PK) they made what I think was a very shrude chess move yesterday at practice.

    In the period open to reporters, the team practiced a fake field goal play (that resulted in a TD pass). This was of course reported by the media (or I wouldn’t know of it). This puts it out there to all our opponents that they need to watch for a legitimate fake on a FG attempt. I think it is intended to reduce the pressure opponents will put on the line and the kicker for these attempts. Keeping them on their heels is the name of the game, especially with our goals for a hurry up offense.

    Maybe a bit transparent, but who cares if it achieves its ultimate goal.

  7. BK SU FB Fan

    Malone I like that too. Its like the packers sweep, you knew it was coming but still had to stop it

  8. Terry is right… Again! 6-6 is a probably outcome. Kicking game was alway a hallmark of the Orange. Some good ones! All those kids playing soccer… I don’t buy the importance of a silly play run in practice putting anyone on their heels..come on…..I guess we needed some drama.
    The recruiting continues to look very positive! Let’s hope they all show up on campus. Would be a great next step…..

  9. Cuse17 they have done it two practices now, with Darius Kelly as the holder. An athletic safety who stood up and ran it in. Doing it front of the media is not a coincidence, and I am not the only one who thinks so.

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