It’s no anomaly seeing a Texas placekicker in the NFL.
Justin Tucker was named first-team All-Pro this season for the Baltimore Ravens.
Phil Dawson holds the Cleveland Browns’ franchise record for most field goals made — more than Hall of Famer Lou Groza.
And next season, the man who tied Dawson for the Texas consecutive field goal record, Anthony Fera, should be the third kicker on an NFL roster in 2014.
But Fera’s college football journey wasn’t simple.
After he opted to go to Penn State, he became a candidate for the Ray Guy Award — an award for the nation’s top punter — and a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, an award for the nation’s best kicker.
After Fera’s second year with the Nittany Lions, scandal broke. With Penn State facing a slew of penalties, Fera decided to transfer, taking advantage of the NCAA allowed transfer without sitting out a year, but for a different reason: his mom.
“Shortly before I arrived on campus, the most important person in my life was diagnosed with MS, making it more and more difficult to travel each weekend from Texas to see me play,” Fera said in a statement following his decision to transfer. “I’ve been afforded the opportunity to give back to my family and make their lives a little easier by transferring to a university much closer to home, The University of Texas.”
Fera was hampered by injuries in his first season on the 40 Acres. He missed the first four games of the 2012 season with a groin injury and the final three with a hip injury.
He entered his senior year healthy and started all 13 games, connecting on 20 of 22 field goals and missing just one extra point in 46 attempts. He was also the No. 1 punter on the depth chart, averaging 40.7 yards per punt.
His 90.9 field goal percentage placed him second all-time in Longhorns’ history and helped Fera become the first Texas consensus All-American kicker, and the first Lou Groza Award finalist in Longhorn history.
Despite no game-winning, memorable field goals, Fera’s consistency has him poised to be a late round pick. and continue the legacy of successful Texas placekickers at the next level.