Nick Pollard was all set to be the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team’s kicker as a freshman last season. He’ll get another shot this season.
The former Tennessee Mr. Football Kicker of the Year from Father Ryan kicked well in the preseason last August before suffering a leg injury that forced him to miss the 2010 season.
Staff File Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press Chattanooga Mocs kicker Nick Pollard makes a field goal during a team scrimmage.
“He was our guy. He was kicking good in camp and was fired up,” Mocs coach Russ Huesman said Tuesday, before the team practiced under the lights at Finley Stadium.
Pollard tore one of the quadriceps muscles in his right leg and never could get the strength back. Against Appalachian State in the season opener, Pollard went 1-for-2 on extra points in relief of fill-in Mike Hammons and sat the rest of the season, taking a medical redshirt.
The Mocs finished last season 4-of-10 on field goals and had six missed extra points. Some of those misses helped keep them out of the playoffs.
Since he came to UTC, Pollard has put about 15 pounds of muscle onto his lean frame. Now fully healthy, he has boomed his kicks during the Mocs’ three spring practices.
His accuracy wasn’t great on the first day, but he’s been on target since and has made kicks in the 40-yard range with plenty of room to spare.
“He’s crushing it,” Huesman said.
No heavy hitting
The Mocs practiced in full pads Tuesday for the first time in 2011. Huesman said before practice that he wanted a lot of contact — he wanted the guys to “get after it pretty good” — but no tackling.
The Mocs will do some live offense vs. defense series during tonight’s practice.
Former UTC coach Buddy Nix was inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame on Monday, as was Lady Mocs women’s basketball coach Wes Moore.
Mocs quarterback B.J. Coleman, who threw for 2,996 yards and 26 touchdowns last season while leading UTC to a 6-5 record, was recognized as the 2010 Male Athlete of the Year.
Huesman spent part of Tuesday visiting with his old secondary coach at UTC, Johnny Henderson, who had two stints as a Mocs assistant in the 1980s. ... The Cookeville Herald-Citizen reported Monday that Livingston Academy Class 4A all-state punter Jake Huitt will be a preferred walk-on at UTC this year.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...