South Carolina Football: Watch Gamecock commitment nail 50-yard game-winning field goal

South Carolina football. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
South Carolina football. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

South Carolina football has had a really good run of kickers and punters over the last couple of decades. Both Kai Kroeger and Mitch Jeter have received preseason All-SEC honors (Kroeger is even a preseason All-American), and the two specialists were named to the watchlist for the Ray Guy Award and Lou Groza Award, respectively.

Both Kroeger and Jeter are in their fourth year in the program, and Gamecock fans are already wondering who could replace the two big-time special teams performers.

Special teams coordinator Pete Lembo secured a commitment from class of 2024 punter/kicker Mason Love out of the state of Missouri. The South Carolina football assistant offered Love a scholarship, something that is a bit of a rarity across college football.

However, both Kroeger and Jeter are on scholarship, and being willing to give a scholarship to a specialist gives a program a huge leg up in the recruiting process, and the scholarship was a big reason for the Gamecocks’ reeling in Mason Love.

Over the weekend, playing for Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Missouri, Love was called on with less than two minutes left in a 10-10 tie game against Rock Bridge High School. Love calmly drilled the 50-yard kick to seal the 13-10 victory for the Panthers.

Love has an extremely talented leg. According to Kohl’s Kicking (the premier kicking ranking outlet), Love is rated as the #1 punter in the country and the nation’s #22 placekicker. Those rankings make him a 5-star punter and a 5-star kicker according to Kohl’s Kicking.

Love is expected to be the heir apparent at punter but could factor into the kicking job in Columbia, as well.

Both Kai Kroeger and Mitch Jeter could return in 2024, utilizing the “Covid redshirt,” but it is unclear what their plans are at this point. Mason Love, class of 2023 walk-on Peyton Argent, and fellow walk-ons William Joyce and Daniel Lester will fight for the vacated spots.