He was arguably the biggest surprise of the 2013 season.
But Elliott Fry wants 2014 to be even better.
“Last year, I was focused on winning the job,” the sophomore kicker said at Media Day. “This year, I’m trying to make everything.
He came close to reaching that goal last season. Fry, who turned down a scholarship offer from Louisiana Tech to walk on at South Carolina, connected on 15-of-18 field goal attempts and 54-of-55 extra points. He was the first freshman placekicker to start a season opener at South Carolina in 17 years. He scored 13 of the Gamecocks’ 19 points in a win over Florida, while his 54 extra points broke the school record.
His mindset is no mystery; it’s tattooed on his left forearm for everyone to see.
“Kicking’s a lot different from any other position,” Fry said. “I’m defined by my misses. I only get one shot to make these kicks.”
That reality was never more evident than last October against Missouri. Fry drilled a 40-yarder to give South Carolina a 27-24 lead on the road in double overtime. His counterpart, Missouri’s Andrew Baggett, saw his 24-yard attempt clang off the left upright, giving South Carolina the victory.
Despite the win, Fry admitted that he felt the bonds of the kicking fraternity after Baggett’s miss.
My first reaction when he missed it was, “Oh my God, I feel so bad for him,” said Fry. “Because a lot of people don’t realize that the snap and the hold plays a part in that. The hold was not very good; he got pure laces.”
That’s right, it’s not just a key plot point in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” According to Fry, the laces do, in fact, play a huge role in any kick.
“100%,” said Fry when asked if the laces actually had any impact on a field goal attempt. “It changes the trajectory, it changes how you kick it. It’s also a mental thing. You’re not kicking at a flat surface, you’re kicking something that’s rugged. It really does throw you off.”
No matter the positioning of the laces, Gamecock fans are certain to be confident whenever Fry takes the field.
But even after his fantastic freshman campaign, Fry won’t be trying to convince Steve Spurrier to take the offense off the field on fourth downs in field goal territory.
“I’ll let him make that call,” Fry said. “I’m ready whenever he needs me, but I’m never going to go try and get involved in his play-calling. That’s him, not me.”