We may be a day late on this because of a quick work trip over the Atlantic that stole away some free time this week, but we still had to post this. Notre Dame’s senior kicker Justin Yoon appears to have added some range this off-season. A lot of range. Yoon nailed a 62 yard field goal in practice this week. With room to spare.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 24, 2018
First off, let’s start with the kick itself. Aside from being a freaking 62 yard field goal, the kick itself was beautiful. Yoon blasts the ball off his foot and gets it pretty high, pretty quick. It wasn’t just a line drive kick that could easily be blocked. He didn’t just sneak this one inside the upright either. It had a little room to spare.
The only thing I question is why the heck the rest of the team didn’t freak out more. Has Yoon been nailing this all summer so they are used to it by now? If not, I would have expected there to be more of a scene around Yoon. Hitting a 62 yard field, even in practice, is not easy or common.
If this is any indication of what kind of range Justin Yoon has this year, he will be a weapon for the Irish in more ways than one. Yoon was 14-18 on field goals last year but just 5-9 on kicks over 40 yards including missing his only attempt over 50 yards. If Yoon’s range has expanded and the Irish staff can call on him from longer distances this year, not only does it increase Notre Dame’s chances of scoring points, it will allow Chip Long to be more aggressive when in field goal range on third downs if he knows that Yoon is going to come in and be reliable from longer distances this year.
Career to date, Yoon has only attempted two kicks of 50 yards or more in his career at Notre Dame. He nailed a 52 yarder as a freshman against Navy but has not made another 50 yarder since then. He attempted against Wake Forest last fall but was unsuccessful.
With 275 points through his first three seasons at Notre Dame, he sits just 45 points behind Vegas Ferguson for the career scoring record at Notre Dame so in all likelihood Yoon should become the record holder in October. If he can also become more of a weapon for Notre Dame this fall though, he could be one of the differences between Notre Dame making the playoffs or missing out yet again this year.