2024 Big Ten K/P Rankings: Minnesota’s Dragan Kesich Returns With His Crown

    The 2024 Big Ten K/P Rankings have every flavor of kicker and punter to sate your cravings. But who is the crème de la crème?

    With the amount of talent in the expanded conference, the 2024 Big Ten K/P Rankings may take a backseat to other units. However, these kickers and punters are weapons in their own right, allowing their coaching staff to rest easy knowing they can rely on them.

    Big Ten 2024 K/P Rankings

    10) Mark Crawford, P, Minnesota Golden Gophers

    Mark Crawford has been Minnesota’s primary punter for the last three years, but he saw the most action of his career last season. While the offense struggled, he did his best to keep the momentum from swinging too far the other way for his defense. Crawford recorded 32 fair catches (tied for most in the conference) and 25 punts inside the 20 (third).


    9) Jayden Fielding, K, Ohio State Buckeyes

    After walking on in the summer of 2022, Jayden Fielding has earned Ohio State’s field goal and kickoff duties. He doesn’t have the booming leg as others on this list, as he missed his only 50+ yard attempt last year, was 5 of 8 from 40-49 yards out, and only 50% of his kickoffs have gone for touchbacks.

    However, Fielding was flawless within his range (less than 40 yards) and pushed through all but one of his 50 extra points.

    8) Nathanial Vakos, K, Wisconsin Badgers

    Nathanial Vakos was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist last season, making 15 of 19 FGs and 34 of 34 XPs. His success was no surprise to Ohio Bobcats fans, as he went 19 of 23 and 48 of 49 as a true freshman for the program in 2022. Entering Year 2 with the Badgers and head coach Luke Fickell, Vakos is primed for his best season yet.

    7) Riley Thompson, P, Penn State Nittany Lions

    A high rate of Riley Thompson’s punts were returned last season, but those returns rarely went anywhere due to his placement and the consistency of his gunners.

    MORE: 2024 Big Ten QB Rankings

    The FAU transfer averaged 45.8 yards per punt (tied for third in the Big Ten) and booted 15 punts 50+ yards downfield (fourth). Nittany Lions fans hope they won’t see Thompson as often in 2024, with QB Drew Allar gearing up for his second season as a starter.

    6) Tommy Doman, P, Michigan Wolverines

    In the hierarchy of hangtime, Tommy Doman checks in at No. 1. Yet, as you’d expect from a punter on a national title-winning team, he only attempted 53 punts in 15 games, the fourth fewest in the conference. He made the most of them, though, as he averaged 44.3 yards per punt (fifth), with 26 being fair caught (fourth most).

    With so much turnover on the offensive depth chart, especially along the offensive line and at QB with J.J. McCarthy off to the NFL, expect more Doman in 2024.

    5) Jonathan Kim, K, Michigan State Spartans

    Jonathan Kim nailed the longest field goal in the conference at 58 yards, and the Spartans clearly trusted him from range. He attempted and made the most 50+ yard kicks (4 of 7). He wasn’t perfect, holding only a 72.2% field goal rate, but his massive leg keeps him in the top five of the 2024 Big Ten K/P Rankings.

    4) Grady Gross, K, Washington Huskies

    En route to Washington’s national championship bid, Grady Gross connected on 18 of 22 attempts, with one of them being blocked. Also of note is his perfect 63 for 63 performance on extra points, which isn’t as much of a given at the collegiate level as it is in the NFL. The Huskies are going to come down to Earth a bit in 2024, but Gross will keep the points flowing.

    3) Ross James, P, Oregon Ducks

    We weren’t blessed with much Ross James film due to Oregon’s high-powered offense, but when he was on the field, he was spectacular. On 27 punts, 10 went for 50+ yards, 11 landed inside the 20, 15 were fair caught, and his 48.4-yard average would’ve led the Big Ten last season.

    Unfortunately, we likely won’t see much of James once again in 2024 due to QB Dillon Gabrial, WRs Tez Johnson and Evan Stewart, and RB Jordan James primed for another explosive campaign.

    2) Ryan Eckley, P, Michigan State Spartans

    Tory Taylor was on his own level last season, but Ryan Eckley was quietly launching bombs for Michigan State, and we actually saw them have a punt off in Week 5!

    KEEP READING: 2024 Big Ten Weekly Football Schedule

    A whopping 43% of Eckley’s punts went for 50+ yards, the same rate as Taylor himself and 5% higher than the next closest punter. With a new staff, philosophy, and scheme in place, perhaps he won’t need to trot on the field as often.

    Nevertheless, new head coach Jonathan Smith knows Eckley will put the defense in an advantageous position, even if the offense doesn’t.

    1) Dragan Kesich, K, Minnesota Golden Gophers

    We began the list with a Golden Gopher, and it’s poetic that we end with one. Dragan Kesich was practically automatic last season, hitting 85% of his field goals and 100% of his extra points. But what makes that 85% even more impressive is that 10 came from 40+ yards, and he only missed two.

    Oh, and Kesich led the Big Ten with a 64.7-yard average on kickoffs, as 53 of his 62 attempts went for touchbacks. What can’t he do?!

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