Earlier today, ESPN reported that kicker Anthony Fera, who transferred from Penn State, was not practicing due to a groin injury. Since then, the prognosis for Fera hasn't been good.
As David Ubbens of ESPN.com points out, the injury must be serious, as the Longhorns do not typically announce them unless the player is intended to be out for a substantial period of time. If that is the case, this loss is a setback for Texas going into 2012.
Fera was supposed to replace Justin Tucker at kicker. In 2011, Fera had a total of 62 points for Penn State and an outstanding 82.4 percent conversion rate. He averaged 42 yards a punt. He was even named the 2011 first-team All-Big Ten punter by ESPN.com and second-team all-conference by media and coaches, per the Penn State Athletic Website.
With Penn state, he became the first kicker since 1975 to be the starter for field goals, kickoffs and punts, proving just how strong of a leg Fera had. The potential was so great for Fera going into 2012 with the Longhorns, but it looks like that will have to be put on hold.
Ultimately, the loss of Fera will force Texas to find a starting kicker and punter now for the season. Simply put, it's bad luck all around for both the Longhorns and for Fera. A star in the Big Ten at kicking, Fera was expected to make a huge impact quickly for Texas. The Longhorns will recover, but there is no doubt that this is tough news for Mack Brown and his crew.
Hopefully Fera's injury heals quickly, allowing him to get back in the game sooner rather than later. In the mean time, the Longhorns will have to reevaluate what to do, as this news as made for a major setback.
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