Gabe Brkic is a different animal, and that's not a secret to anyone who watched him trot out for the first game-winning kick of his young career.
His outlandish mentality doesn't seem out of the ordinary in his own eyes, though.
"I approach every kick the same, just be happy, go out there and do my thing and not think too much about it," the redshirt sophomore said.
But when asked about his superstar kicker, Oklahoma assistant coach Shane Beamer acknowledged that Brkic is much like a wild stallion: He's just got to be left to his own devices.
"He’s like a lot of those typical kickers — you’re not sure what’s going on in their minds, and don’t really want to know half the time," said Beamer.
Whatever goes on in his head, it sure works. Brkic had arguably the best season by a collegiate kicker in history last year, and he parlayed that success into a second-team All-American nomination in 2020, as well as a spot on the preseason watch list for the Lou Groza Award.
He's a perfect 69-for-69 on kicks as a Sooner, with 17 field goals and 52 extra points to his credit.
Is the Ohio native capable of missing the mark?
"At some point he may miss a kick," Beamer said. "We’re not planning on that, but it’s life.”
Brkic carries an obvious swagger on the field with him, no matter the circumstance. Credit that unparalleled confidence, as well as his meticulous pregame routine and devotion to the mechanics of his craft, for his flawless kicking.
“He’s a guy that we saw that gained a lot of confidence as the season went on," Beamer said of Brkic. "He hit a lot of big kicks for us... he’s a luxury that we have."
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