Demos Hopes To Help Kick The Habit (Spring Football)

Wade Askew

He was arguably the most highly touted player in Northwestern’s 2006 recruiting class. He could be a three-way starter for the Wildcats in the fall.

He also happens to be a kicker.

Redshirt freshman Stefan Demos will have a chance to remedy all three facets of the kicking game – punting, kickoffs and placekicking. During his senior year in high school, Demos converted 13-of-16 field goal attempts, with a long of 51 yards, and averaged 45 yards per punt.

He was ranked in the top 10 nationally among placekickers coming out of high school by most scouting services.

But the spring has not gone as smoothly for the redshirt freshman.

Demos pulled his hip flexor while working out with his kicking coach, Chris Sailer, in California over Spring Break. Things got worse when Demos came down with strep throat upon returning to campus.

“He’s dealing with a lot of adversity right now,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “His attitude is good, and his mechanics will come back. … He’s not even close to being 100 percent.”

Despite the kicker’s spring struggles, most NU followers expect the kicking game to be much improved with Demos toeing the ball.

The Cats made 8 of 12 field goals last year, with a long of 43 yards. NU’s 66.7 field-goal percentage was its best mark since 2000, when Tim Long made 13-of-17 field goal attempts.

Cats kickers have made 52 percent of their field goals in the last six seasons.

A steady kicking game would take pressure off junior quarterback C.J. Bach