TCU coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday that he plans to open the season with a committee approach to his kicking duties while projected starting kicker Jonathon Song is sidelined by an injury. Song, a sophomore, is expected to miss at least the first two games, Patterson said, leaving the kicking duties to be divided between Brandon Hatfield, Ryan Graf and Cole Bunce until further notice.
Patterson raised the possibility that the team could travel as many as three kickers to road games if the situation does not sort itself out quickly. The first opportunity comes in Saturday’s opener against South Dakota State in Amon G. Carter Stadium, with Patterson acknowledging there is no clear favorite about the front-runner at this point.
“It’ll probably be by committee, to be honest with you,” Patterson said. “There’ll be a kickoff guy. There’ll be a short field-goal guy and there’s got a chance to be a long field-goal guy.”
The uncertainty is ironic because TCU has spent the last four seasons leaning on Jaden Oberkrom, a four-year starter who holds most of the school’s kicking records. Asked how long the shared-duty approach might last, Patterson said: “We’ll have eight games or nine games or very close where all of them could travel if we need to.”
The punting situation is more clear-cut, Patterson said, with redshirt freshman Adam Nunez taking that job while also emerging as the team’s top holder.