COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 05: Holder Michael Tart #29 celebrates a late fourth quarter field goal with kicker Nick Ferrara #43 of the Maryland Terrapins against the Miami Hurricanes at Byrd Stadium on September 5, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. Maryland won 32-24. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
A recurring series where we will profile every player on Maryland's roster, counting down to kick-off against William & Mary on September 1. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we finish off the special teams.
Nick Ferrara, Senior, Kicker/Punter, #43
Major: Letters and Sciences
Collegiate Stats: 30/45 on field goals with a long of 50, 53/54 on extra points, 92 punts for 3,641 yards (39.6 average) with a long of 61 and 24 inside the 20
High School Stats: 14/16 on field goals and 46/48 on extra points
Recruiting Ratings: Two stars by Rivals and Scout, #28 kicker in his class by ESPN, #9 kicker in the 2013 draft by NFL Draft Scout
High School: St. Anthony's
Hometown: Hicksville, Ny.
High School Highlights:
Couldn't find any, so here, the last good moment of a Maryland football game:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Ferrara was a highly touted kicking prospect coming out of St. Anthony’s, both as a kicker and as a punter. Although he was recruited by Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, and Tennessee, Maryland was the only school to offer him a scholarship, and he committed to the Terps before the 2009 season. He was an All-League and All-Long Island selection as a senior at St. Anthony’s, and got off to a quick start at Maryland, as he was named a freshman All-American by both the FWAA and Phil Steele.
His sophomore year, however, he struggled, suffering injuries in the preseason and losing out to Travis Baltz in both kicking slots. Ferrara stayed on as the starting kickoff taker, however, leading many to wonder why he didn’t just redshirt the season.
Last season, as a junior, Ferrara did everything kicking-related - he was the starting kicker, punter and kickoff taker for the Terps. As a kicker, he really struggled, making only 12 of his 20 attempts and missing an extra point attempt for the first time in college. What many Terps fans forget is he was one of the better punters in the conference, averaging nearly 40 yards per punt and pinning opponents inside the 20 on nearly a third of his attempts.
Nick "The Kick" Ferrara
Making the freshman All-American team.
His injury and kicking struggles since that point.
Ferrara keeps all three kicking jobs and does them well, recovering from injuries to make an all-conference team.
Ferrara loses the punting job to either Renfro or Tart and has the same field goal woes as last season.
Ferrara suffered an injury that has kept him out of spring practice, so as it stands he's not on Maryland's depth chart. However, he's widely expected to enter the fall as the Terps' starting kicker, punter and kick-off taker - all spots where he was the starter last year.
Michael Tart and Nate Renfro, subjects of our last two PIT's, are the only guys standing in the way of Nick the Kick and total Maryland kicking domination again. Renfro is probably the more likely of the two - he was actually recruited as a scholarship player - but the depth the Terps have at the kicking spots ensure that Ferrara won't be able to take it easy this season and be able to keep his jobs.
Maryland had some major special teams issues last year, and one of the major ones was the inconsistency of the kicking game. If the Terps are to make a significant turnaround from last year's debacle of a season, having a consistent placekicker can only help.
Our next profile is on a person who played fullback at two different schools.