Football: Kicker job remains open competition

The competition for placekicker will continue into fall camp, coach Sonny Dykes said after Wednesday’s practice.

Sophomore Noah Beito had the upperhand early in spring camp, but the depth chart released on Wednesday showed Beito, senior James Langford and redshirt freshman Matt Anderson separated by “or.”

For all the troubles the Bears experienced last season, placekicker was an oasis of consistency. Graduating senior Vincenzo D’Amato converted 17 of 20 field goal attempts and all but one of his PAT tries.

“Vince was a mentally tough kid,” Dykes said. “If something didn’t go his way, he reacted incredibly well, just believed in himself and grinded through it. That’s unfortunately rare in kickers a lot of times.”

Dykes and his coaching staff will be looking for that mental toughness when they choose among the three candidates in August.

“It’s all about confidence,” he said. “Summer will be good for them. In fall camp we’ll put them in a lot of stressful situations and see who reacts best to that and make a decision.”

Beito, from Scotts Valley, lost his early edge in the competition because he hasn’t kicked as consistently well the past couple weeks. Langford, from Pleasanton, was Cal Poly’s kicker in 2011, when he made 15 of 20 field goals, including kicks from 48, 49 and 50 yards. Anderson, from Danville, kicked 15 field goals as a senior in high school.

Dykes said Langford’s leg strength provides him a potential advantage, but consistency will decide who wins the job.

“This group’s maturing and getting more confident,”┬áDykes said. “We’ll find a good kicker out of the bunch.”

Jeff Faraudo