Rhoads calls kicker competition a “dead heat”

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AMES — It’s Iowa State. Of course there’s a kicking competition. 

With all of the question marks and holes within Iowa State’s young roster that have been dissected ad nauseum this spring, the kickers seemed to have been ignored for the most part. 

However when head coach Paul Rhoads was asked about his team’s kicking game during Tuesday’s press conference, Iowa State’s leader made his stance very clear. 

“I would call it a dead heat,” said Rhoads. “I think that is accurate.”

Rhoads is talking about senior (walk-on) Edwin Arceo, who converted on 12-of-18 field goals last season, and Cole Netten, a scholarship kicker out of Ankeny who redshirted the 2012 campaign. 

“I think that both have had good days. I think they have had off days,” said Rhoads. “Maybe they have had them together quite honestly.”

This past Saturday’s scrimmage didn’t go very well. In fact, Rhoads acknowledged his disappointment in the specialists after the scrimmage by saying that the guys didn’t “show up for work today.”

“We didn’t have great conditions to kick and spent the bulk of that time; every time we kicked from a spot both of them got that opportunity,” said Rhoads. “Wind was swirling in Jack Trice and it was only the third time that we had gone out this spring.”

And there is another quirk that the two kickers have had to get used to this year and that is having a new holder at the helm. Brett Bueker handled holding responsibilities last season and he has since graduated. Currently, walk-on wide receiver Justin Coleman and punter Kirby Van Der Kamp are sharing time at the position this spring.

“The thing that I really didn’t anticipate was the effect of bringing in a new holder in this process,” said Rhoads. “Justin Coleman is working at that and doing a very nice job and Kirby is also a candidate, could be the main guy and could be a backup. It has affected them a little bit as well.” 

As spring football comes to an end, the Iowa State kicking game is a work in progress as a starting kicker or holder still have not been named for the 2013 season. During Saturday’s Cyclone Gridiron Club Spring Game, Rhoads said that both kickers will kick from multiple positions on the field.