Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis
Every Tuesday, The SEC Blog will rank the top player at each position for each team in the SEC. Today, we rank the best kicker at every school in the conference.
14. Marshall Morgan, Georgia
Morgan is a true freshman that hails from South Florida. He signed with the Bulldogs in February after being a consensus top-10 kicker by all major recruiting services. Blair Walsh struggled in his final season last year, and Georgia desperately needs stability at kicker.
13. Taylor Bertolet, Texas A&M
Bertolet has the most pressure on him of any of the SEC's young place kickers. He's the likely replacement to Lou Groza-award winner Randy Bullock for the Aggies. He was ranked as the No. 1 kicker in high school by Rivals.com in 2011.
12. Landon Ard, South Carolina
Ard is a former walk-on that is one of the primary contenders to replace the recently departed Jay Wooten. The redshirt freshman from Rock Hill, S.C. has never attempted a kick at the college level. He will battle Adam Yates for the spot this summer.
11. Brian Egan, Mississippi State
Egan is a former Parade All-American who transferred from Western Illinois to Mississippi State prior to the 2011 season, and will replace Derek DePasquale in Starkville. DePasquale hit 12-of-18 field goal attempts last season.
10. Ryan Fowler, Vanderbilt
Fowler hit 4-of-7 field goals last season, splitting time with Carey Spear. The two will battle this offseason for primary place-kicking duties. Fowler has hit 28-of-41 field goals during his Commodore career, with a long of 47.
9. Trey Barrow, Missouri
Barrow was named to the second-team All-Big 12 last season as a punter, but was pressed into action as a place kicker after Grant Ressel was injured. Barrow responded by nailing 7-of-9 field goals and 23 extra points.
8. Bryson Rose, Ole Miss
Rose finds himself atop Ole Miss' post-spring depth chart as a rising senior. He hit 9-of-11 field goals last season, including a long of 43. For his career, he's hit 25-of-29 field goals (.862) and 65-of-67 extra points.
7. Michael Palardy, Tennessee
Palardy converted 9-of-14 field goal attempts last season for the Vols with a long of 52, and also hit 25-of-26 extra point attempts. The rising junior has a strong leg, and can become one of the SEC's best if he becomes a little bit more consistent.
6. Jeremy Shelley, Alabama
Shelley was part of the problem on Nov. 5, when he went 1-for-2 on field goal attempts, contributing to Alabama's 9-6 loss at home to LSU. He then saved the day two months later, hitting 5-of-7 field goal attempts in the 21-0 win over LSU in the BCS National Championship Game. He will split duties with Cade Foster in 2012, while Adam Griffith pushes them both.
5. Craig McIntosh, Kentucky
McIntosh was solid as a junior in 2011, converting 12-of-14 field goal attempts and making 20-of-21 extra points. The often-overlooked senior has hit 23-of-29 field goals during his career at Kentucky.
4. Cody Parkey, Auburn
Parkey is more of a threat as a kickoff specialist, but the rising junior hit 13-of-18 field goal attempts last season and 41-of-42 extra points in his first season as starter. With Auburn installing a new offense, converting field goals will be extra-important, especially early in 2012.
3. Zach Hocker, Arkansas
Hocker is known as a strong place kicker and kickoff specialist, which is why he's above LSU's Drew Alleman on the SEC 150. As a pure field-goal kicker, he's solid as well. He hit 21-of-27 attempts last season with a long of 50, and currently holds Arkansas' career field goal percentage record at 80.4 percent.
2. Drew Alleman, LSU
Alleman was remarkably consistent last season, hitting 16-of-18 field goals and 62-of-63 extra points. Considering LSU's offensive struggles last season, field goals were crucial for the Tigers en route to the 2011 SEC Championship. Alleman was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza award last season.
1. Caleb Sturgis, Florida
Sturgis was a Lou Groza finalist last season, after the rising senior hit 22-of-26 field goals last season with a long of 55. He's got a cannon for a leg, and has been counted on during the last few years as Florida's offense has struggled to find its identity.