Texas A&M Football Adds Special Teams Reinforcements with UGA Transfer

Texas A&M football under Mike Elko is moving quickly to address every deficient area on the team.

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs kicker Jared Zirkel (99) against the Alabama
Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs kicker Jared Zirkel (99) against the Alabama / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas A&M Football Adds National Champion Kicker from Transfer Portal

One of the glaring weaknesses for Texas A&M football in 2023 came in the kicking game. The Aggies too often gave up kick and punt returns due to poor play in that third phase of the game; not only in coverage, but also in the length and direction of the actual kicks, not to mention the somewhat unreliable field goal kicking. Though a strength in years prior, in 2023 both Bond and Constantinou left something to be desired.

It looks like the new head man for Texas A&M football is moving as quickly as he can to address that deficiency on the team. UGA K Jared Zirkel, a grad transfer kicker for the Bulldogs, has committed to the Aggies.

I don't think a kicker transfer is something that will make a lot of waves around the country, but this is a subtly genius pickup by Mike Elko and the Aggie staff. Zirkel ranked first in the nation in kickoff yardage this past year, according to The Football Database, and was among the nation's leaders in touchbacks, ranking fourth by that measure. Only three of his 103 kickoffs went out of bounds.

These are the pieces a team needs on the margins to go from a talented but flawed squad to a championship contender. You need to be solid even in the little, non-flashy areas of the game in order to build consistency. Zirkel is a piece that reflects that philosophy, and one that I'm sure new Special Teams coach Patrick Dougherty is very pleased to have as part of the room.

Zirkel didn't kick field goals at Georgia, but he did when at Tivy High School in Kerrville. It is unknown as of yet if he will be asked to be the place kicker for the Aggies or will serve only as the kickoff specialist, but the Aggies also have Ethan Moczulski, who has seen limited time as a redshirt freshman, and could fill the place kicking duties with Bond moving on.

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