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Countdown Schmountdown: #51

The atomic clock actually says that we have just 51 days until the Ducks hit the blue turf (hard).

So, today we'll continue our countdown by briefly highlighting the Bronco player with the jersey number that corresponds with the number of days remaining till the opener. Sorry there isn't a more clear and concise way to explain that.

And we're off..

#51 Jimmy Pavel, PK

Jimmy Pavel might be the fastest place kicker alive. Don't put much stock in his 40 times...check out his quarter mile. Yeah, you could say that walk-on kicker Jimmy Pavel excels ("accels", har!) at two sports. You see, the stocky kick specialist from Molalla, Oregon has a hobby...not stamp collecting, or ornithology...he drives racecars. You'd be hard pressed to find a crossover athlete with quite the same skillset at Pavel, who won the P.H.R.A. Rookie of the Year award at age 16. Pavel races Dwarf cars (like regular cars, but with long beards and battle-axes) around the Northwest, and as you can see from his website, is quite good at it. Pavel's hobby may come in handy backing up Kyle Brotzman, who currently handles kickoffs, field goals, PATs and punting—riding in racecars beats riding the bench any day.

Pavel was a two-year letterman at Central Catholic High in Molalla where he was named All-League as a punter and kicker his senior year. He was an honorable mention All-State pick at kicker that same year and an honorable mention All-Conference performer as a junior. At 5'9" and almost 220 lbs., Pavel is built like a running back, but it's not likely the Broncos are interested in him toting the rock. Pavel, from what I saw this Spring, looked like a capable backup in the (knock on wood) event that Brotzman is injured. As only a frosh, he will also place himself in fine position for a starting role in 2011. Pavel certainly has an interesting story to tell, and will add some much needed depth and competition to the thin kicking corps.