Georgia Tech Football: Butker impresses in his NFL debut

BLACKSBURG, VA - NOVEMBER 12: Kicker Harrison Butker
BLACKSBURG, VA - NOVEMBER 12: Kicker Harrison Butker /

 Former Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butker impressed fans last night in his NFL debut for the Carolina Panthers.

Former Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butker made his first NFL field goal last night during the fourth quarter of the Carolina Panthers pre season game against the Houston Texans. Butker’s name was called to attempt a 51-yard field goal, and he took full advantage of his opportunity, extending the Panther’s lead to 10 points.

Previously in the game, Panthers kicker Graham Gano missed a 50-yarder – and after Butker split the uprights, Panthers fans shared their opinion on who they want to see starting this fall.

In his four years at Georgia Tech, Butker was the Jackets starting kicker from day one. In his true freshman season, he made 71% of his field goals and was the Jackets leading scorer. His sophomore and junior seasons saw him struggle to make just 61% and 63% respectively. Last season, however, Butker returned to form and improved up his numbers. He made a career-high 88.2% of his field goals making 15 of 17 attempts throughout the season.

While he wasn’t one of the highest rated kickers in last year’s NFL Draft by experts, Butker’s senior season propelled him up the Panthers draft board. In the seventh round, the Panthers used the 233rd overall pick on the Atlanta native. Originally brought in to compete for the spot and help push veteran kicker Graham Gano, Butker may be in the driver seat.

Butker will get another chance to help himself win the starting kicking job for the Panthers next Saturday against the Tennessee Titans. If Butker can show the consistency as well as the power to make 50+-yard field goals consistency, he could be the new starting kicker of the Panthers come September 10th.