Toser, Brewer finding scholarships scarce for kickers

Toser, Brewer finding scholarships scarce for kickers

January 29th, 2015 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Ooltewah's Laszlo Toser was chosen TSSAA Kicker of the Year at the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards ceremony Monday at Murfreesboro.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Baylor's Colin Brewer (4) celebrates after kicking a field goal against McCallie in October. He has been outstanding both as a place-kicker and a punter for the Red Raiders.

Baylor's Colin Brewer (4) celebrates after kicking a...

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Laszlo Toser III has been attending kicking camps and combines for several years. He's ranked among the nation's top high school senior kickers.

The winner of Tennessee's 2014 Mr. Football award for kickers, Ooltewah's Toser has been disappointed with college recruiters thus far. The trips to New Jersey, Las Vegas and Miami for camps and combines have yet to produce the desired results.

He might be better off, though, than Colin Brewer, the senior football and soccer player at Baylor.

The closest either has come to a football scholarship offer is a University of Tennessee invitation for Toser to come to Knoxville as a preferred walk-on, prove himself and maybe later get a scholarship. He is on an official visit there this weekend, while Brewer is visiting Birmingham-Southern. Next weekend Toser is scheduled to visit Alabama.

"There are about 35 Division I scholarships available each year. That's all," said Baylor coach Phil Massey, who has two former Red Raiders now kicking in NCAA Division I: Henrique Ribeiro at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Rafael Gaglianone at Wisconsin.

Invitations to walk on are the norm rather than the exception for kickers, punters and long-snappers.

"That's generally what happens. Arkansas, LSU and Texas A&M wanted Rafael to walk on. 'Come walk on and earn your scholarship,'" Massey said. "They just have one or two scholarships they allot each four years for kicking."

Kickers have to market themselves, and the earlier they start, usually the better. Part of that is getting the name out there via camps and combines.

"Rafael started doing the camps as a sophomore," Massey said. "While a lot of kickers are getting offers before their senior season, he didn't commit until he made a visit (in October) to Wisconsin. They offered on his visit, and he accepted."

Gaglianone was Wisconsin's second-leading scorer this past season, converting 19 of 22 field-goal attempts and 59 of 61 extra-point kicks. Ribeiro led the Mocs in scoring by making 16 of 22 field-goal tries and 60 of 62 PAT attempts.

Brewer and Toser punted for their high schools in addition to kicking off and place-kicking, but so far college programs are passing on the extra value.

"We're not having any luck, although UT-Martin contacted me last week and we sent them a transcript," Massey said. "You look at what Colin did and the success he had, and if one of them would show a little love, some school is going to get a pretty good kicker."

Ooltewah coach Mac Bryan feels the same about Toser, who put 62 of 70 kickoffs into the end zone and had a school-record 52-yard field goal among the 14 he made.

Disillusioned might be too strong a description for either kicker.

"The work hasn't been for nothing," Toser said. "The work is why I won Mr. Football. But I am a little disappointed. There are a lot of kickers out there, but I thought I'd surely get a scholarship."

Brewer does have some offers for soccer, in which he is an all-state goalkeeper.

"I'm still up in the air whether I will play. I was hoping football (scholarship)," he said. "I'd like to punt in college and I might consider walking on if a scholarship was out there (in the future). If not, soccer is still an option."

National signing day for college football is Wednesday, Feb. 4.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.