After losing the security blanket that was Michael Badgley, the Canes welcome in a new kicker in the form of true freshman Bubba Baxa. Bubba enters college with a lot of accolades. In his senior year of high school, he was the 2nd ranked place kicker in the nation and achieved a three star rating. In truth, Miami has had better punters than kickers in the 21st century. Guys like Badgley, Jake Wieclaw, Matt Goudis, and Jon Peattie were decent kickers, but far from transcendent. The exception being Matt Bosher, who we all know is actually a punter. Bubba will look to blaze a different path. He has a powerful leg having once kicked a 50 yard field goal in the 8th grade. Bubba also has video game like qualities routinely booting kick offs to the back of the end zone. His accuracy is also dynamic. What he’ll look to avoid is the freshman curse that struck Zach Feagles. Bubba will look to play consistent football, which means limiting kicks out of bounds and missing chip shot field goals. In a couple years, Bubba will be fine tuned and potentially great.
Here’s that 50 yard field goal as an 8th grader.
Bubba a little older with honed skills that’ll translate to success in college.
These are Bubba’s senior high lights.
There isn’t reason to suspect that Bubba will be all world his freshman year, but if he can limit mistakes, reliably hit short field goals and extra points, Bubba will have had an exceptional year. We are praying that the freshman bug doesn’t infect him, but he’ll be 18 years old and probably raw entering the season. It’s the brutality of starting a true freshman at a kicking position.