One of the top kickers listed on the Iowa Hawkeye depth chart heading into the fall is a walk-on from Urbandale who was unexpectedly thrust into action last year. Austin Signor wasn’t even on the depth chart after spring practice in 2006, but was pressed into action due to an injury.
Signor says it was a surprise when Kyle Schlicher went down with an injury, as Signor says he wasn’t even sure he was going to make it into camp that August. "It was big shock and it was a great opportunity, and I was thrilled to get the chance," Signor says. He came through in a big way, hitting all five PAT’s and two field goals in the 2006 season opener against Montana. Signor went on to handle the kick-off duties in several more games.
Signor says the experience he gained last year was very valuable, and helped calm his nerves down and he knows what to expect for this year. Signor is listed as a co-number one on the depth chart this fall along with freshman Daniel Murray of Iowa City. He says the game experience is big in winning a spot in the lineup.
Signor says: " I think it definitely gives me an advantage…You can’t beat experience sometimes, so it defiantly is going to help." One challenge facing Signor and other kickers this year is the rule change moving the kickoff back to the 30 yard line.
Signor says the move is going to have a big impact on every college football team, and can be a big edge for teams that are successful in overcoming the extra five yards. Iowa opens the season September 1 against Northern Illinois at Soldier Field in Chicago.