At one point in time, Alabama fans handled the issues of the program’s kicking game in one of three ways: saying different chants to build up the kicker’s confidence, drink to ease the pain of each missed field goal, or walk out of a room when the kicker is up.
It looks like the Crimson Tide nation will not have to revert to those habits any more.
Before he arrived in Alabama’s 2019 signing class, Will Reichard told Justin Smith of Touchdown Alabama Magazine that he would ‘fix the kicking woes.’ After a successful career at Hoover (Ala.) High School, Reichard was starting to fulfill his promise — until a hip injury occurred versus Southern Mississippi. He tried to come back against Tennessee in the following week, but he ended up hurting himself even more.
Reichard missed the remainder of his freshman year and people wondered if the injury would play on his mental psyche. The answered was a resounding “No” as the sophomore is back and showing high confidence.
Alabama fans are now happier than ever to watch field goals and PAT’s.
Reichard has given the team a special leg and its most consistent one since Jeremy Shelley.
He has made all six of his field goal attempts — including a 52-yarder versus Georgia. Regardless of him not trying a kick between 40 and 49 yards, Reichard has made two kicks between 20 and 29 yards, three field goals between 30 and 39 yards, and one attempt from 50+ yards.
He connected on a pair of field goals in a matchup with Tennessee, helping the Tide earn a 48-17 victory. Along with the made kicks, Reichard has also hit on all 32 of his extra points.
With each made attempt, Tide fans become more aware of its team having a reliable specialist.
According to Nick Saban, having Reichard healthy has taken a lot of pressure off the offense.
“It is very comforting,” Saban said on having a productive kicker. “A lot of times, you get into situations and there is nothing more demoralizing for a team when you have an opportunity to kick a field goal… you are already upset because you did not score a touchdown or didn’t continue the drive, and then you miss it and it’s really kind of a psychological letdown. So, to have a good kicker is really a positive. I think it is a weapon, and I think Will has done a really good job so far.”
Getting at least three points is starting to become automatic for Alabama.
Fans were looking at other programs for a while and thinking ‘Man, it must be nice to have a great kicker.’ As Reichard continues to grow, he gives the Tide joy at the position.
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