2011 Countdown: #28 Matt Wile

2011 Countdown: #28 Matt Wile

August 3, 2011
Matt Wile

Name: Matt Wile
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Francis Parker High School in San Diego, CA
Position: Kicker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #45
Last year: Wile was a high school senior (commitment profile)

Wile was an Army All-American Bowl participant in January, which might be good (Will Hagerup) or bad (Brendan Gibbons).  He hit 10/13 field goals as a senior with a long of 49 and sent 91/101 kickoffs into the endzone for touchbacks.  He hit 9/12 field goals as a junior with a long of 48, so he’s been pretty consistent the past two seasons.

As we all know, Michigan’s combination of Seth Broekhuizen and Gibbons was atrocious in 2010.  Those two combined for 4/14 on field goals.  Since college kickers can’t use blocks, Wile has been practicing kicking off the ground ever since his senior season ended.  If he can make the adjustment well, Wile might be a huge upgrade on special teams and give the team a better chance to win close games.  He might be the starting placekicker right off the bat, but he’ll have to battle Will Hagerup for kickoff duties.  I admittedly know very little about kicking, but Wile sits this high on the list (and might be underrated) because of how much of a train wreck this team will be if its offense takes a step back and the kicker still can’t get the ball through the uprights.  Cross your fingers.

Prediction: Starting placekicker; backup kickoff specialist


  1. Comments: 21379
    Aug 03, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    I think we all realized how much kicking matters last year. In addition to the missed 30 points, Rod (rightfully so) had to go for it on 4th down like a madman for the second half of the season.

  2. Comments: 21379
    Aug 03, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    I was wondering when the next countdown post was going to be up. You should think more about all the bored people at work!

    In all seriousness though, thanks for the great countdown. Keep up the great work!

  3. Comments: 21379
    Aug 03, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    This kid seems like the real deal. Its always hard to judge a highschool player who is transitioning to college play, but kickers are much easier to judge. The fields are all the same size, the uprights are the same width in HS as the college level. Nothing changes for a kicker, so it's nice to see he is pretty accurate (10/13 and 9/12) with longs of about 50 yards (could be more, but you don't know till you try). It's also nice to see that he put 90% of his kickoffs into the endzone, thats something most people over look the importance of.

  4. Comments: 21379
    Aug 03, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    I think the reverse of your predictions will happen. In Matt's high school tape most of his kickoffs went out the back of the endzone (which would at least make it to the endzone in College). This would be a major improvement from both of our last years kickers who would both kick it to about the 10 yard line every time. On the other hand, if Broekhuizen has been practicing this summer, I think the height of his kicks, along with the learned accuracy could win him the starting placekicking job.

  5. Comments: 21379
    Aug 04, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Please GOD make this work.


  6. Comments: 21379
    Aug 04, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    The other thing that doesn't get mentioned much is how many times our kick offs went out of bounds.

    Please be good, Matt.


  7. Comments: 21379
    Aug 05, 2011 at 6:28 AM

    "Wile sits this high on the list (and might be underrated) because of how much of a train wreck this team will be if its offense takes a step back and the kicker still can't get the ball through the uprights"

    He's underrated. Unless the others improve, Wile is worth maybe 3-9 points per game. That could be a few victories.

    @lalondtm: If the transition is so preditable, why didn't we have a good kicker last year?

  8. Comments: 21379
    Marc Shepherd
    Aug 05, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    It is remarkable that Michigan’s 4-14 kickers did not do more damage. All of the Wolverines’ losses were by double digits (i.e., a great kicker would not have made the difference). And in all of their close wins, fortunately the offense got touchdowns when it needed them. It has to be pretty rare to go through a whole season never actually needing a field goal in the 4th quarter or overtime.

  9. Comments: 21379
    Aug 07, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    Matt Wile just became that more important, because he may have to be the punter for the first 4 games of the season, as Will Hagerup has been suspended for "breaking team rules." He already missed the OSU game, and now will miss a quarter of the 2011 regular season. 5 of the first 17 games of his career he will be watching from the sideline (or at home in the case of the OSU game) because he couldn't stay out of trouble. Unbelievable.

  10. Comments: 21379
    Aug 07, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    @ MH20 6:55 p.m.

    Hagerup will actually miss 1/3 of the regular season, not just 1/4.

    Yeesh…as if special teams weren't already enough of a problem.

  11. Comments: 21379
    Aug 08, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    Yeah, my math sucks today. My 2nd grade teacher would be disappointed that I couldn't reduce 4/12 to 1/3 properly.

    Sad face.

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