Justin Yoon will be an All-American for Notre Dame in 2016.
The ninth prediction in our 16 for 16 series on Slap The Sign is a boomer. I’m sorry, that’s not entirely accurate… dammit. It’s hard to get the right footing- OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!
Justin Yoon is going to kick himself into Notre Dame Fighting Irish lore as the school’s first kicker to win consensus All-American honors. That’s hard to imagine considering the long list of really good kickers from Notre Dame, but after staring at the list for 10 minutes, Justin Yoon would be the first to do it. Notre Dame does have other players that were a consensus All-American, but they played other positions primarily.
In 2015, Justin Yoon’s freshman year, he connected on 15 field goals on 17 attempts, and he was good on 50 extra point kicks on 52 attempts.
Something about the number “2” haunts the 2015 season.
It seemed that Yoon took a small moment at the beginning of the season to find himself, but he soon found himself looking more and more like the robotic leg rifle that he was hyped up to be by Brian Kelly. You have to remember, that on National Signing Day in February of 2016, Brian Kelly announced at his press conference that Justin Yoon would in fact be the starting kicker for Notre Dame for the 2016 season.
Talk about pressure.
Yoon responded quite well to all of it, and in doing so, he has found a confidence that is both needed and revered by kickers. During this last Spring practice session, Yoon approached Kelly and the staff about changing his holder from DeShone Kizer to Montgomery VanGorder because he thought there was a better connection there. While I’m sure this move could and would have been made by the staff anyways considering the position Kizer is in, there is something to be said about a sophomore kicker perfecting his craft no matter what.
Nothing in all that screams, “JUSTIN YOON WILL BE AN ALL-AMERICAN,” but given Notre Dame’s propensity to stall on drives, the loss of some playmakers on offense, and above all the determined robotic accuracy of Yoon and an increase in leg strength, I’ll go out on a limb here and predict a bit of history.
Justin Yoon will be a consensus All-American at kicker.