PULLMAN – Washington State may have found its kicker of the future.
Blake Mazza, a former five-star recruit according to Chris Sailer Kicking, announced plans to transfer to WSU on Friday afternoon. Mazza joins the Cougars after spending his freshman season at Arkansas and told The Spokesman-Review Friday evening he’ll be eligible to play for WSU in the fall of 2018.
Mazza could be WSU’s long-term solution to replacing Erik Powell, the strong-legged senior who earned All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention honors after making 20-of-24 kicks his senior season, including three of 50 yards or longer.
Most transfers are required to sit out one season when moving from one FBS school to another, but since Mazza was a preferred walk-on at Arkansas, he’s able to play immediately.
He said he’ll also join the Cougars as a walk-on.
Although Mazza was brought to Arkansas to compete for all three of the Razorbacks’ specialist jobs – placekicker, kickoff and punter – he didn’t play during the 2017 season.
A Plano, Texas, native who attended Plano Senior High, Mazza was highly-regarded by national kicking specialist Chris Sailer, who rated him the country’s 12th-best placekicker for the class of 2017. The right-footed Mazza made a 65-yard field goal at one of Sailer’s kicking camps.
Powell handled every field goal and PAT for the Cougars in 2017, but redshirt freshman walk-on Jack Crane appeared in six games and recorded nine kickoffs, averaging 59.8 yards. Powell, inside receiver Kyle Sweet and redshirt junior Mitchell Cox split up the punting duties.