Who Will Be The UCLA Kicker In 2023?

with Nicholas Barr-Mira out, the UCLA kicker job is a five way race? Vote Now for your pick to get the job!

UCLA is now tasked with finding a new kicker following the departure of Nicholas Barr-Mira. The Bruins must assess their options and identify a reliable kicker to handle field goals and extra points for the upcoming season. Several candidates are in the mix, including the recently acquired Blake Glessner, incumbent R.J. Lopez, Joseph Firebaugh Jr., Kalen Jones, and Ari Libenson.

Options for the Next UCLA Kicker

Blake Glessner, a transfer from Montana State, has committed to UCLA football and brings experience and success at the college level. Given his proven track record, Glessner is likely the frontrunner to take over for Barr-Mira as the UCLA Kicker as they head into spring camp.

RJ Lopez, who served as the kickoff specialist for UCLA in the past two seasons, is another candidate for the starting kicker role. With touchback percentages of 64% and 66% in 2021 and 2022, respectively, Lopez has demonstrated a strong leg and could be a contender for the position.

Joseph Firebaugh Jr. transferred from Southwestern College and made two extra points during the 2022 season. While his experience is limited, he could still be in the mix for the starting kicker job.

Freshman Kalen Jones and veteran Ari Libenson are also on the roster, but their lack of college-level experience may make them less likely candidates to take over as the starting kicker.

UCLA Kicker Conclusions

As UCLA evaluates its kicking options, the team must consider each player’s experience, skill set, and potential for growth. The decision will play a vital role in the Bruins’ overall special teams performance and contribute to their success in the upcoming season. It’s also notable that Lopez handled kickoff duties with Barr-Mira even on the roster so he might continue to do so with someone else handling PATs.

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