Brent Cimaglia would seem like the favorite to win the job for Tennessee football. He continued the tradition Aaron Medley started while filling in for Medley last year, going automatic on field goals within 40 yards. Also like Medley, he was horrible beyond 40 yards. However, he did nail one field goal beyond 50 yards.
Simply put, Cimaglia is all you can ever ask for in a college kicker. Going automatic under 40 yards as a freshman is pretty impressive. If he can improve on that, which Medley never did, he has a chance to be an elite kicker as a sophomore.
The guy pushing him is Ryan Tice, a graduate transfer from the Michigan Wolverines. Considering the fact that Tice has missed his only field goal attempt in college ever, it would seem like he’s not the ideal starter.
However, in his defense, that was a 40-yarder, and it was an odd situation in which he was called upon in the third quarter in a desperation move by Jim Harbaugh after Kenny Allen missed three field goals against the Wisconsin Badgers in 2016. Those distractions would be difficult for anybody to overcome.
Meanwhile, Tice never missed an extra point. And with a resume like Cimaglia’s, Pruitt clearly had to see something in Tice to bring him in and use a scholarship on him as a graduate transfer. Simply put, Tennessee football clearly has a place-kicker competition going on.
With the departure of Trevor Daniel, there’s no real likely challenger to newcomer Paxton Brooks as a punter. But the kicking competition could be very interesting, even if Cimaglia is the favorite to win the starting job.