Name: Matt Wile
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Francis Parker High School in San Diego, CA
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
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