Texas, Mack Brown still making up for 2003

AddThis

Justin Tucker will enter this season as Texas’ do-it-all kicker. The Longhorns have given a scholarship to a kicker every other year since 2006.
Justin Tucker will enter this season as Texas’ do-it-all kicker. The Longhorns have given a scholarship to a kicker every other year since 2006.

Texas offered a scholarship to Coppell kicker Nick Jordan on Monday because Mack Brown still remembers 2003.

That’s the year he didn’t offer Georgetown’s Mason Crosby.

Colorado got him and for four years (2003-2006), Crosby was the best kicker in the country. He would finish his four-year career in Boulder as a unanimous All American, as Colorado’s all-time leader in points, was named Conference Player of the Week eight times his senior season, and kicked a 60-yard field goal. Of 203 career kickoffs, 138 were touchbacks.

Brown didn’t think that a scholarship needed to be spent on a kicker, because kickers don’t run or throw or tackle or block. They just kick, and just about all of them do it with the same proficiency.

So Texas offered Crosby nothing more than walk-on status. Four years later, Brown regretted the decision so much that he sent a handwritten letter to Crosby, apologizing for not offering him a scholarship, calling him the best college kicker he had ever seen, and told him he’d enjoy looking forward to watching him play on Sundays, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

It never really bit the Longhorns in the butt as much as it could have — Dusty Mangum did hit that 37-yard field goal against Michigan in 2004 — but, it was an oversight that Brown has spent the past five years trying to correct.

He offered a scholarship in 2006 to Hunter Lawrence, one to Justin Tucker in 2008, one to William Russ in 2010 and now, to Jordan for the 2012 class.

Lawrence hit the game-winner against Nebraska in 2009, Tucker was the most valuable player on the team last season, Russ should be the heir-apparent once Tucker graduates after this season and Jordan will come after that.

Jordan, one of the top kickers in the country, wasn’t sure Texas would be able to offer him a scholarship initially, as scholarship numbers were almost at a max limit and he would be the third kicker on the roster (walk-on Ben Pruitt of The Woodlands will join the Longhorns for the 2011 season).

“They knew they wanted me, but the problem was that they had to come up with a scholarship,” Jordan said.

Texas came through with the scholarship — Brown’s determined not to make the same mistake twice.  

Read more in our blogs about Nick Jordan