Iowa Central kicker will walk on
Buried under the "Iowa grabs juco WR" headline was Alden Haffar's arrival.
Haffar is a kicker who made 6 of 8 field goals with a long of 51 last season at Iowa Central Community College. According to HawkeyeReport.com, Haffar will transfer in January and is going to jump right into the kicker competition. He does have three years to play two, so he also could redshirt this season with senior Mike Meyer carrying the job.
"They [Iowa coaches] said the best man is going to play," Haffar told HawkeyeReport.com. "They think I can compete with the two kickers they have now, Mike Meyer and Marshall Koehn, and if I can beat them, I'll be the starter and be put on scholarship."
Meyer was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist and earned honorable mention all-Big Ten. Meyer made 17 of 21 field goals and finished third in the Big Ten with an 81.0 percentage. He made 5 of 8 from 40-plus and was automatic on the chips shots, hitting 10 of 10 from 20 yards to 29.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz spoke of Meyers as one of the Hawkeyes most improved players. No argument on that here.
"Most likely I'm going to redshirt this year and then I'll have two years to play," Haffar said. "I'm not 100% sure though because I know they are really looking for a guy that can put the ball in the end zone on kickoffs and that's one of my strengths. At Iowa Central this year, I had 33 of 47 in the end zone for touchbacks."
OK, kickoffs could be an opportunity. Meyer had a career-high 21 touchbacks last season. That was ninth in the Big Ten and 71st nationally. Ferentz's preference is put kickoffs in the end zone, no returns.
Haffar, a West Des Moines Valley grad, will be a preffered walk-on, meaning he will have a spot on the 105-man roster when fall camp begins in August. Iowa has had three kickers in camp consistently since 2009.