For the first time in what feels like weeks, we won't be highlighting a tight end or defensive lineman today. You may soon be pining for those salad days when you learn that I'm diving into the kicker race on today's countdown.
We've got 84 days until kickoff...so today we'll be taking a look at number 84 on the Bronco roster—Michael Frisina
#84 Michael Frisina, Senior, Place Kicker
Weight: 159 lbs.
High School/Junior College: Saddleback Community College via Brea Olinda HS, Brea, CA
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Frisina walked on from Saddleback Community College in time to join the Broncos for 2011 Spring Camp and immediately vied for playing time on the Kyle Brotzman-less roster. Frisina had enjoyed a successful two year career at SCC and was named first team all-conference as a sophomore after hitting 11 of 18 field goals. As a freshman, Frisina was named second-team all-conference after nailing 9 of 13 kicks. Frisina completed his Saddleback career as the highest scoring kicker in school history. At Brea Olinda, Frisina was named team captain and MVP as a senior after playing place kicker and quarterback. As a senior kicker, he had been a perfect 5 for 5 on the year before sustaining an injury. Went 6 of 10 as a junior at Brea Olinda.
Seems as good as any.
2008 All-Century League honors. 2009 Orange County All-Star game selection. 2009 2nd team all-conference selection at Saddleback Community College. 2010 unanimous first-team all-conference selection. Played in 5 games for the Broncos in his debut season, hitting 3 of 4 field goals and 21 of 23 PATs.
Oh boy—I finally get to talk about the kickers.
Frisina, who joined the Broncos with 3 years to play 2, will likely be entering his final season with the squad and man, do I hope that he can make the best of it. If you really crunch the numbers, Frisina might have been our best place kicker last season, even though for the majority of the year he was behind Dan Goodale on the depth chart. Neither kicker was rock solid, however, and that's why even mentioning the word "kicker" rightly gets some Bronco fans hearts racing. 8 PATs were missed last season, which is easily a few seasons worth of misses if you ask me...Frisina only accounted for two of those misses, while "starter" Goodale whiffed on six. Similarly, Frisina missed just one FG out of his 4 attempts, while Goodale missed 2 of his 5 (one being a fairly important miss). Now...it's impossible to say that Frisina was the "better" kicker last year...he may have missed the same amount of PATs as Goodale had he had as many attempts (Frisina had 23 attempts to Goodale's 56) and honestly, going 3 of 4 on field goals really isn't a heckuva lot different than going 3 of 5—the difference was the "weight" of the kick(s) that Goodale missed. All I really know is that there needs to be a lot of improvement throughout the entire kicking corps in 2012 or the Broncos better get used to that gnawing disappointment that's become so common the last two years.
The Broncos, as everyone knows, are in a "rebuilding" year and games are expected to be a tad tighter this season. In tight games, kicks matter—Bronco fans know this ALL too well—and I don't know that the fans, or the coaches have a world of confidence in any of the current crop. Jake Van Ginkel redshirted last season and is purported to have the biggest leg of the bunch...but in Spring camp didn't exactly draw the highest praise...neither did the incumbent Goodale or Frisina. Like I said...there will need to be improvement and I think again we'll have kicking specialists in each area of the Bronco special teams attack. Frisina may well be the Broncos PAT man this year with Goodale and Van Ginkel battling it out for field goal duties...Van Ginkel and Harman jousting for kickoff duties, and Harman and newbie Sean Wale trying to lock down the punting job. There's a slim chance, however, that Sean Wale could come in and be the best all-around kicker we've got. It won't be "fun" like the other position races, but it will be vital that the Broncos find reliability and consistency in the kicking game ASAP. Frisina, as of right now, is still in the thick of it.
Completely made up fact
When equipment manager Dale Holste ran out of helmets last season, he just spraypainted an acorn husk blue for the diminutive Frisina to wear.