Here’s the Kicker: The Best UC Kickers of the 2000s

Bearcats Blog, did you think of a stupid pun title last night that and then decided to go through with that for an article today? The answer, my invisible reader, is yes. There is no real reason to rank the Cincinnati kickers since 2000. 2000 itself is kind of arbitrary because that's how far back the stats go on Sports Reference. Jonathan Ruffin's 1999 season is cut off on their stats. Jonathan Ruffin's 1999 season was pretty awful, he scored 38 points, but it should be acknowledged.

12 men have attempted kicks for Cincinnati since 2000. That sounds like a lot more than you imagined. It was more than I thought. That's about 1 a year. We know Ruffin kicked for 3 years, Jake Rogers all 4 and Tony Miliano for 2, so how are there so many? That's the point of this countdown.

12) Gino Guidugli

Career kicking: 0-1 extra points

This says that Gino Guidugli attempted an extra point in the 2003 game against Army. What he did attempt was a 2 point conversion. Therefore Sports Reference is already incorrect. Plus, they list Jake Rogers and Jacob Rogers as separate people, which is weird. So there are 11 men have attempted kicks as a Cincinnati Bearcat. Learning new things.

11) Cedric Dawley

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Career kicking: 2-2 extra points

This one is another highly disputed mark because it's wrong. Both of Dawley's extra points are credited to the 2004 season. Sports Reference and ESPN both give Dawley credit for 2-2. SR gives Dawley credit for extra points against Louisville and in the bowl game against Marshall. Cincinnati attempted 2 extra points in the bowl game, both in the first half. That pretty much eliminates Dawley. In the Go Bearcats play by play of the Louisville game, Dawley is given credit for the Cincinnati extra point. In the ESPN play by play, it's Kevin Lovell. In the cumulative season statistics, Lovell is given credit for every extra point. How can this be? Both of them wore #15.

10) Collin Carey

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Career kicking: 1-1

Carey is best known for being awful in the 70-7 loss to Louisville. He is not known for making an extra point against Southern Miss in 2003. Considering he only threw 3 passes that year, it was because he did not hit an extra point against Southern Mississippi. This is yet another case of wrong score keeping. At least Dawley wore the same number as the kicker. This one is just weird. Carey is ranked higher because I assumed his was fake as well. So we are down to 9.

9) Shane Popham

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Shane Popham did actually kick for Cincinnati. He made 2 extra points against Austin Peay and 1 against Akron. Popham finished his career 18-18 on extra points when you count his time at Wake Forest. I'm not though, because this is about Cincinnati kickers. Pop pop.

8 )Brandon Yingling

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Brandon Yingling was the back up kicker to Jake Rogers in 2007 and 2008. It was a pretty sweet time to be the back up kicker because he got 14 extra point attempts. He made 12. He hit 4 against Southeast Missouri St and 4 the following year against Eastern Kentucky. His highest pressure kick came at Oklahoma, where he missed one. 12-14 isn't bad. He's kicking some place it seems. That's from his twitter. Good job, Brandon.

7) Jason Mammarelli

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Jason Mammarelli was a fat kicker. He's number 15. He kicked with Cincinnati in 1999 and 2000. He was the long distance kicker. He was pretty awful in 1999 because he missed every kick. UC would have been better off not kicking in 1999. Mammarelli ranks this high because he went 3-3 in 2000. All 3 kicks he made were huge. The picture above sent UC to a 12-10 victory over Syracuse. The following week, he went 2-2, including a 46 yarder at the end of regulation, to tie Wisconsin. Eventually the fat man would lose his job to the top ranked kicker on this list. No shame in that. His being fat and flair for the dramatic almost moved him up a spot.

6) Chet Ervin

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Chet Ervin was the Cincinnati punter for all 4 of his seasons. In 2003, he handled field goals. Like Mammarelli, he handled the longer kicks. Ervin didn't handle them particularly well. He hit 10-17, 59%. From 30-39 he was pretty good, 5-6. But Chris Manfredini was also pretty good from 30-39 at 3-3. Ervin was just 5-11 from 40-49. His long was 44. He had 3 kicks blocked. Ervin actually hit his first 3 from 40+. That means he went 2-8 to close the year. That's not great. That's also why he was a punter the rest of his time.

Fun fact, this is the first picture on a google search


5) Chris Manfredini

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Chris Manfredini is actually one of the most accurate kickers of the 2000s. For his career, his 87.7% field goal percentage is 3rd in the NCAA since 2000. His 87% leads the Mountain West. He was 57-65 for his career, not really a lot of attempts. He was mainly an extra point and short kick guy at UC and eventually TCU. Although he missed 11 extra points. That's a lot. He missed more extra points than he did field goals. That was true of his time at Cincinnati. He went 26-28 on extra points and 10-11 on field goals in 2003. He left Cincinnati after his freshman season.

4) Kevin Lovell

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Kevin Lovell had a pretty solid 3 years as the Cincinnati kicker. He hit 83-84 on extra points. He wasn't that accurate with the leg overall, 33-47, but he improved to 18-23 his senior season. What stands out for Lovell is the 2005 season. Cincinnati scored 192 points all season. For comparison sake, UC scored 183 points in the first 5 games year. Lovell attempted just 9 field goals. It was one of the rare cases where the kicker wasn't the leading scorer for a team. Kevin Lovell hit the last 11 field goal attempts of his career.

3) Jake Rogers

Jacob Rogers is the 88th all time scorer in  NCAA history. He's Cincinnati's all time leading scorer with 339 points. Yet, I have him ranked 3rd. I don't think was as good as Jonathan Ruffin. I think that Tony Miliano will pass him in points. Rogers was the kicking product of a great system. 186 of his 339 points were from extra points. He missed 9 extra points during his career. That's more than Ruffin and Miliano combined. Plus, Rogers wasn't an accurate kicker, 51-75 for his career. That's just 68%.

2) Tony Miliano

Tony Miliano is the current kicker for the Bearcats. He's scored 200 points, which puts him 3rd in the 2000s. He'll pass Jonathan Ruffin's 2000s total this season. At least he should. Miliano is 98-103 on extra points. He cut the misses from 3 to 2. Hopefully he has missed his last extra point. Tony is 34-47 on field goals, 72.3%. He had a major uptick last year, hitting 77.3%. That was over 9% better than his freshman season total. Miliano hasn't accomplished as much as Rogers yet, but I think that he will have, so that's why he gets the bump. Plus, he's leading scorer on and off the field.

1) Jonathan Ruffin

Jonathan Ruffin was a consensus All American in 2000. He made 26-27 extra points and 26-29 field goals. His 26 makes led the NCAA. He was 10th in the NCAA in scoring that season. He's the only Bearcat to win the Groza Award. Ruffin made 85.1% of his field goals in the 2000s, giving him the 6th best percentage in the NCAA. He's still the Conference USA leader in percentage. He hit 57-67 his final 3 years as a Bearcat. He went 106-109 on extra points. His 315 career points rank him 144th in NCAA history. Jonathan Ruffin is the gold standard of UC kickers.


About Scott

I write Bearcats Blog and also on the Student Section.