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Getting Their Kicks
Haffar, Koehn in line to be the next home grown Hawkeye kicker
Senior kicker Alden Haffar watches a field goal attempt Thursday during University of Iowa football practice.
Senior kicker Alden Haffar watches a field goal attempt Thursday during University of Iowa football practice.
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April 4, 2014

Practice No. 5 Photo Gallery 

By DARREN MILLER
hawkeyesports.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa football program has gotten a kick out of developing in-state talent to handle its point-after and field goal chores.

The top two scorers in Hawkeye football history -- and three of the top five -- are home grown kickers. Nate Kaeding of Iowa City West leads the way with 373 points from 2000-03. Recently departed Mike Meyer of Dubuque Wahlert scored 324 points from 2010-13. Kyle Schlicher of Ankeny contributed 260 points from 2004-06. Daniel Murray of Iowa City Regina booted one of the most memorable game-winning field goals to upset No. 3 Penn State in 2008.

Two more Iowans are spending spring ball seeing who will emerge as the Hawkeyes' top kicker. Senior Alden Haffar -- a transfer from Iowa Central Community College -- prepped at West Des Moines Valley; junior Marshall Koehn graduated from Solon High School. Koehn converted a PAT and sent a kickoff 62 yards last season during a 59-3 win against Western Michigan.

Both Haffar and Koehn have a field goal range of at least 55 yards. Both picked up pointers from Meyer.

2014 Spring Football





The top two scorers in Hawkeye football history -- and three of the top five -- are home grown kickers. Nate Kaeding of Iowa City West leads the way with 373 points from 2000-03. Recently departed Mike Meyer of Dubuque Wahlert scored 324 points from 2010-13. Kyle Schlicher of Ankeny contributed 260 points from 2004-06. Daniel Murray of Iowa City Regina booted one of the most memorable game-winning field goals to upset No. 3 Penn State in 2008.


"I learned a lot of things in three years behind Mike," Koehn said. "I gained a lot of valuable tips and pointers; it's weird without him, but now it's our time to step up and do what he did. I wanted to win the job as a freshman, but obviously that didn't work out. I feel I'm ready to compete for a job."

What Meyer did over the last four years was make 61-of-80 field goal attempts and 141-of-143 extra points. He averaged 63.2 yards on 254 kickoffs with 70 touchbacks.

"It is different with Mike being gone. He was a hard worker," Haffar said. "If we had time off, he would want to go kick. He taught us not to give up and keep driving to get better day-by-day."

Haffar didn't join Valley's football team until his senior season of high school, where he sent 44-of-53 kickoff attempts into the end zone. In two seasons of junior college ball, he was named all-region twice, made 7-of-11 field goals, and 42 straight PATs.

"My No. 1 strength is kickoff, and field goal is right there," Haffar said. "I would say I have good power and my consistency is starting to come together."

Koehn was named first-team all-state in 2010 after earning second-team honors in 2009. In three seasons with the Spartans, Koehn converted 89 percent of his point-after attempts and 71 percent of his field goal tries.

"I feel comfortable doing both kickoff and field goals," Koehn said. "My kickoffs are one of my strong points, but I need to become more consistent on field goals, and I have been pretty happy with how I have been kicking. Like any position you need consistency, especially kicking. You only get so many opportunities in the game and you have to make them count."

There will be additional competition when fall camp opens in August. Mick Ellis, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound kicker from Allen, Texas, is a member of the 2014 Hawkeye signing day class. He made 13 field goals in high school, with two coming from more than 50 yards.

"It will be competition -- you can never feel comfortable, you always have new people coming in pushing you, it's part of the game," Koehn said.

"His film is great; I have heard he works hard and had a good high school senior year," Haffar said. "He's going to come in and try to compete as well."

The Hawkeyes will wrap up their second week of spring drills with practice No. 6 on Saturday.

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