FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — At a press conference Wednesday morning, nobody was asking Cam Little about competition kicking through the uprights.
That's the main thing he's focused on, anyway.
He did handle kickoffs in the Outback Bowl win over Penn State, but he just kicked it through the uprights last season ... a lot.
After Vito Calvaruso transferred to Wisconsin, Little is competing with Texas State transfer Jake Bates for the opportunity to take on the kickoff job full-time.
"It would be great to add those duties," Little said in a press conference with punter-holder Reid Bauer. "I'd be doing kickoffs and field goals so you've gotta focus on two things, but I think the job is wide open. I think we're both in a good competition for the job."
His main goal, though, is having a better year putting the ball through the goal posts.
"Obviously, you want to build on what you did last year and in years past," Little said.
He just wants to improve on longer field goals after going 20-of-24 last season. Little's 20 made field goals were the third-most by an Arkansas kicker in a single season, and his 83.3% conversion rate was the fifth-best mark in school history.
Little also made all 46 of his extra point attempts.
"Two of those misses came from 50-plus," Little said. "On those long kicks, I want to be above 50%. That’s what we try and aim for. Obviously it’s nice to make all of them, but I really do think that’s where I’m trying to improve, is on longer field goals."
He also wants to be more accurate than last year.
"It’s common sense, but just putting more field goals up for the team," Little said. "I want to be above that 90% mark. Those are high expectations, but I think I can get it done.
"A lot of elite guys that are in the NFL — and if you see guys that get drafted — they usually have a 90% season or a 100% season. So just making more points for the team and making sure my operation is crisp with Reid (Bauer) and the snapper."
Part of that has been getting stronger.
"I definitely feel like I’ve gotten a stronger leg this offseason," Little said. "I had a 52 (yard kick) in the scrimmage this past weekend and I cleared it by a good amount. I’m probably about three more yards comfortable going a little further than last year."
But he doesn't worry about the wind. He can't control it.
"Sometimes the wind goes into you, sometimes it’s with you," he said. "I kind of make that a game time decision on what I feel like is doable during the game. If there was no wind going both ways, I feel like I’m good from about 56 in.
"Going both ways I’d get it to the uprights."
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