East Lansing, MI
There is no secret that Mark Dantonio plays a ball control offense with a tough as nails defense. With that style points are of the upmost of importance, because he prefers a conservative approach on offense.
That is why when the number one kicker in the nation for the 2013 football recruiting class pledged to Michigan State it was a big deal. A VERY big deal. Geiger came right in and immediately paid dividends.
Geiger set a freshman record of accuracy nailing 15/16 field goals and the sky appeared to be the limit. He took a step back in 2014 hitting only 14/22, but he did convert on all 72 extra point attempts.
So heading into last season many of the pundits, including me, looked for Geiger to rebound. Unfortunately he entered the season injured and unable to get any momentum from off season workouts and he struggled he entire season. He was 51/53 with extra point attempts, but was 12/19 with field goals.
Geiger is finally healthy and has had perhaps the best off season of any Spartan. He is booming the ball with great explosion and making all the kicks. So when I caught up with Mark Dantonio in his office at the start of camp I asked him about his kicker.
“As our field goal kicker goes, we go. With close games, look at the Ohio State game; he had to make the kick. He had a flip flexor issue going into last season. He missed a lot of summer camp. He missed all that time last year preparing for the season. We got him back barely to kick in August. This is his senior year. He has to have a big year. He had a tremendous freshman year, but he has to measure up to that. He has to measure up to his freshman year.”
I agree, and now healthy I have zero doubts that he will.
Geiger said of his special teams as whole, “I feel like we have a really experienced unit. We have Jake (Hartbarger) coming back, we have Kevin Cronin coming back and then we have some competition at long snapper. The first couple days of camp are always interesting for special teams. There is a lot of teaching and stuff going on and you have to make sure you do not get caught standing around but all the kicks have been good. You have Matt Coghlin coming in, who is very talented, so I would say it has been pretty good so far.
He also addressed his health adding, “I could not be more excited. I have been waiting all year for fall to come around and when it does it is just a blessing to have another year. This is my senior year so I am even more excited and focused on having a great senior year.”
I asked Dantonio after practice yesterday how his kicker has done so far. Even though it has been only five practices, he was pleased. “Geiger has kicked well in the time that he has had the opportunities. Which again, we are in our fifth practice, so he has kicked a couple of times.”
If Geiger can return to his freshman form, the Spartans will have another weapon for an already deadly attack. That is good news for Dantonio and the Spartan Nation.