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I love walk-ons. I love them because any walk-on that lasts more than a year in a college football program is tough, both mentally and physically.

On today’s Countdown To Kickoff blog, here’s a shout out to Iowa State’s 2016 Outstanding Walk-On Award winner, No. 41 Chris Francis.

Francis quietly filled a significant role on last year’s Iowa State football team – handling kickoffs for the entire season. Francis, now a junior, tallied 35 touchbacks in 67 attempts.

He will be in the middle of a battle to be Iowa State’s top placekicker when camp starts next week with a graduate transfer out of Oregon State Garrett Owens.

Right now, it’s a toss-up to see who will replace the all-time leading scorer in Iowa State history – Cole Netten.

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