After struggling to find a kicker in each of their last won season, Georgia Tech Football possibly has found an answer at the position.
On Sunday, Tennessee transfer Brent Cimaglia announced he’d be continuing his collegiate career on The Flats. The Nashville, Tennessee native comes to Georgia Tech after spending four seasons as the Volunteers place kicker. In 37 career games, Cimaglia was 88-for-89 in extra point attempts and 46-for-62 in field goal opportunities.
In 2020, the 6-foot-0, 210-pounder was just 5-for-9 in field goal attempts though did battle leg issues that cut his season short. However, in his two season prior, the 2020 Lou Groza Preseason Watchlist and All-SEC Preseason First Team member was a combined 33-for-40. If Cimaglia could even bring just part of that consistency to The Flats it would be a huge victory for the Jackets.
Over just the last two seasons, the Jackets place kicking has been a huge detriment to their offensive success. The Jackets have rarely felt comfortable in letting their kickers try beyond 40-yards, forcing the offense to often go for it, in what would usually be field goal range. While they have been fine in extra point attempts going a combined 49-for-53, they’ve gone just 6-for-16 in field goal attempts, going 3-for-8 in both seasons.
Now, the Jackets have a kicker they should be able to trust. Cimaglia for his career is 2-for-2 inside 20, 12-for-12 inside 30, 14-for-19 inside 40, 14-for-23 inside 50, and 4-for-6 beyond 50-yards. Is he perfect? By no means but very few college kickers are, after all that is why we often tweet “#collegekickers” after baffling misses throughout the season. That being said, he’s rather reliable. Inside of 30-yards, he’s 14-for-14, he hits nearly 75% of his kicks inside 50 and while he can struggle from long distance, he has the leg to certainly hit those kicks as well.
As long as Cimaglia can bring the level of play he had in his sophomore and junior seasons, the Jackets offense can breathe a little bit easier. It is no longer, a touchdown or bust nearly every drive. The Jackets can now settle for field goals and even at times maybe walk away with points that they maybe shouldn’t have on paper (long range). Overall, having a kicker like Cimaglia over the course of the season could add maybe an extra win or two, perhaps even more. After all, all those field goal opportunities the Jackets passed up and ultimately failed on their fourth down attempts add up over the course of a game and a season and have cost the Jackets chances at victories in the past. It won’t singlehandedly make the Jackets a team that could fight for six wins and go bowling this upcoming season but it will most definitely help in that process.