Most fans are aware that the place kicking position in football is not the most glamorous of positions. But what most Illinois fans may not realize is that they’re potentially watching history unfold right before their eyes.
Chase McLaughlin is one of the players we’re most hyped to watch this season. He’s coming off a perfect 26 for 26 in extra points made, and will crack the Top 10 in total field goals made in Illinois history this season if he converts 12 attempts this year (his total from 2016). Despite missing a game-tying field goal against Purdue last season, McLaughlin had his moments of brilliance as well. His 53 yard bomb against Minnesota was tied for the longest field goal made in the Big Ten (4th longest in program history). With an offense that has it’s fair share of question marks surrounding it, having a kicker with a range that exceeds 50 yards is a very valuable asset.
Chase is going to have upwards of 20+ field goal attempts this season, and we expect him to convert roughly 16+ of those. That feat would give him the 10th most field goals in program history, with one more season to add to his total. Throw in his trick shot videos from 2014-2015 (check them all out below), and Chase McLaughlin is one of our most hyped players for the 2017 season. Remember fans, kickers are people too.