University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman said he was very happy to add Baylor place-kicker Henrique Ribeiro to UTC's signing class, which is now up to 16 players. Ribeiro signed with the Mocs on Monday.
Ribeiro is not only talented, Huesman said, but he will bring some depth to the kicker/punter positions. UTC already has a scholarship kicker, Nick Pollard, on the roster. Pollard was named to the Southern Conference All-Freshman team last season.
"Obviously [Ribeiro] is an excellent kicker and he'll bring a lot to the table," Huesman said. "At our level you normally have two kicking specialists on scholarship and we decided not to go with a punter. We got to thinking about it and he was too good to pass up."
The addition of Ribeiro, the 2011 Tennessee Mr. Football Kicker of the Year, will create some competition at the position, which Huesman likes. It will also give UTC an option in the case of injury. When Pollard suffered a leg injury in 2010, UTC eventually had to use wide receiver Jeff Veres, a former kicker, as its full-time kicker.
"When you have two you feel better if something happens," Huesman said. "We've seen that firsthand. ... If Nick had gotten hurt [and UTC didn't sign Ribeiro], we've got nobody on this team that can kick a ball through an upright."
A Brazilian who has been kicking only for a couple of years, Ribeiro had touchbacks on 49 of his 53 kickoffs for Baylor in 2011. He made 40 of 41 extra points, and three of his eight field goals were from 51 yards or farther.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.