Choosing a Husky Starting Lineup: Big Foot Lives on the UW Roster

The UW place-kicking competition is one of the more inspirational scenarios on Jimmy Lake's football team.
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Some people are done once they face adversity.

Their careers flat-line when things don't go right.

They can't get their confidence back. 

Never believe in themselves again.

They don't recover from the big moment that got away.

They absolutely wilt in the face of added competition — in this case, a player handed a football scholarship to do the same job that you do without financial assistance.

As we continue to choose a Husky football starting lineup, the current place-kicker position battle offers one of the more inspirational stories for this UW team, an impressive tale of redemption and fortitude.

It's about the unheralded walk-on kicker who rose up and won the job two years ago.

Yet he missed a short field goal to beat Oregon at Autzen weeks later.

He was a hero and a goat.

Football is like that sometimes. 

You're up, you're down.

In 2019, the UW gave a scholarship to a kid from Hawaii, someone with a big foot and a big reputation.

It was a clear challenge, if not a message.

Are you up for this obstacle?

The walk-on could have conceded the job to the guy who was paid for.

Disappeared into anonymity.

Never got on the field again. 

Near heard the PA guy call his name again.

That didn't happen.

The weekend provided even more evidence of how good this kicker is. 

How tough he is.

He might miss another big field goal again — it's the nature of the job — but it won't ruin him.

PK candidates: Peyton Henry, 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, junior; Tim Horn, 6-2, 205, sophomore. 

Starting experience: Henry, 27 starts. 

Our selection: Henry. Few players have his mental toughness. Rather than let the Oregon kick define his career, and let Horn take his position from him, Henry buckled down and fought back hard to keep his position, as he describes in the accompanying video. Two games into last season, Henry earned his own Husky scholarship. He connected on 19 of 21 field-goal attempts over the course of 2019. He nailed a pressure-packed, career-best 49-yarder against Cal to take the lead with 2:05 left to play. Henry was so good he was named second-team All-Pac-12. He still has the UW kicking job. Tim Horn will have to wait. Horn should take notes on what Henry has done and how he did it. It's a college thesis. 

Other PK options: Horn. By all accounts, this young guy remains a fairly talented kicker with a big leg. He handles kickoffs while he waits his turn. The big difference between Horn and the No. 1 guy is he's not left-footed and, oh yeah, there's one more: Horn, as good as he is, can't dislodge Henry at this time. Yet if Horn can stay patient, and it might mean he gets just one or two seasons to have the UW job all to himself, he'll be the guy. 

Greatest Husky PK: Chuck Nelson. First-team Associated Press All-American kicker in 1982. He made an NCAA-record 30 consecutive field goals over two seasons. He was true on 25 of 26 in 1982 alone. He converted on 61 of 75 field-goal attempts in his UW career. His longest made field goal was 51 yards. Nelson was a walk-on kicker from Everett who went on to make a comfortable living in the NFL. 

Other legendary UW PKs: Jeff Jaeger, a first-team AP All-American in 1986, who made the most field goals in school history with 85 in 105 attempts and became a long-time NFL player; John Anderson, who shares the longest UW field goal at 56 and kicked six beyond 50 yards in 1999-2002; the deceased Don Martin, who shares the longest Husky field goal with Anderson, making his 56-yarder in 1967; Mike Lansford, who made 24 of 38 field-goal tries in 1978-79 and enjoyed a long NFL career; Erik Folk, who has three of the UW's five longest field goals made, coming from 54, 53 and 53 yards in 2010-11.

The UW Starting Lineup:

Left tackle — Jaxson Kirkland

Left guard — Ulumoo Ale

Center — Luke Wattenberg

Right guard — Corey Luciano

Right tackle — Henry Bainivalu

Tight end — Cade Otton

Tight end — Devin Culp

Wide receiver — Puka Nacua

Wide receiver — Ty Jones

Running back — Richard Newton

Quarterback

Kicker — Peyton Henry 

Punter

Outside linebacker — Laiatu Latu

Defensive tackle — Tuli Letuligasenoa

Defensive tackle — Josiah Bronson

Outside linebacker — Sav'ell Smalls

Inside linebacker — Edefuan Ulofoshio

Inside linebacker — Jackson Sirmon

Cornerback — Kyler Gordon

Cornerback — Trent McDuffie

Nickel back — Elijah Molden

Strong safety

Free safety — Julius Irvin

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