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Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 19 Justin Yoon, placekicker

Notre Dame v Syracuse

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 01: Justin Yoon #19 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish kicks the extra point as Montgomery VanGorder holds at MetLife Stadium on October 1, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Syracuse Orange 50-33. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Listed Measurements: 5-foot-10, 195 pounds
2017-18 year, eligibility: Junior with two years of eligibility remaining including the 2017 season.
Depth chart: While Notre Dame did unexpectedly sign kicker Jonathan Doerer to its freshmen class, his specialty is kickoffs. Yoon remains essentially unchallenged as a placekicker for the time being.
Recruiting: Yoon was the consensus top kicker in the class of 2015. An Under Armour All-American, he chose the Irish over Texas A&M, Northwestern and Boston College.

When Yoon showed up at Notre Dame, he was already the projected starting placekicker following the graduation of Kyle Brindza. Yoon never hesitated, kicking for more points than any Irish freshman ever had, and more points than anyone but Brindza ever had in a single-season.

2015: 13 games, 15-of-17 field goal attempts including a career-long 52-yarder, 50-of-52 extra point attempts, including 30 in a row to conclude the season to go along with 12 consecutive converted field goals.

2016: 12 games; 13-of-17 field goal attempts with a season-long of 40 yards, 44-of-46 extra point attempts; 55 kickoffs with 24 touchbacks.

Yoon is on pace for a number of Notre Dame career records, and when looking at past performances, it is reasonable to think he could have a few more individual or season records.

  • Yoon scored 95 points in 2015. Brindza (2011-14) set the single-season record of 98 in 2013. A strong Irish offense could push Yoon toward that number in either 2017 or 2018.
  • Yoon’s 50 made extra points in 2015 fell two short of D.J. Fitzpatrick’s 2005 record. This mark could fall alongside the preceding one.
  • The 52-yard field goal highlighted above was only one short of the school record, reached twice, by Dave Reeve in 1976 and Brindza against Arizona State in 2013.
  • Brindza holds the career record of field goals made with 57, on 81 attempts. Yoon has already made 28, on 34 attempts.
  • Yoon’s current career field goal percentage is 82.4, far ahead of the record pace set by John Carney (1984-86) of 73.9 percent. To qualify for the mark, Yoon would need a minimum of 50 attempts. If he goes a mere nine for his next 16, he would knock Carney from that perch.
  • Craig Hentrich (1989-92) holds the career record of 177 extra points made, on 180 attempts. Yoon has already made 94, on 98 attempts through two seasons.

I expect another rock-solid season for Yoon and more success on his point after attempts. While his field goal accuracy might dip a bit, it’ll likely be because [Irish coach] Brian Kelly has more faith in trotting out his kicker, not because Yoon’s struggling.

“With an active streak that’s the fourth-longest in school history, every field goal Yoon makes will improve upon the impressive start to his career. Getting off to a good start in Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium will go a long way towards making sure this season is a good one.”

Yoon’s active streak ended quickly last season, with his first attempt of the year getting blocked. Overall, though, it was another strong season for the placekicker, despite some injury concerns which led to him being held out of practice this spring. Whether or not those troubles derived from an increased workload due to adding kickoff duties to his platter, Yoon will not have to strike that balance this year thanks to the arrival of Doerer.

Focusing entirely on placekicking does not guarantee Yoon’s field goal percentage will rise or even stay at its current impressive mark. For example, if Yoon were to go 15-of-20 but that included a 5-of-10 performance from 50-plus yards, few would disparage his accuracy. In that respect, many of Yoon’s stats are posted at the mercy of the offense as much as his own accomplishments. Hentrich’s career extra points made record is a testament to that era’s offense, as well as Hentrich’s consistency.

Barring injury, Yoon will be a four-year starter at Notre Dame and likely be able to lay claim to multiple records. The bigger question will be how does his already-strong leg improve? If he can give Kelly a comfortable chance at three points from 55 yards, that will become quite a weapon for the Irish, especially in late-game situations.

2017’s Notre Dame 99-to-2
Friday at 4: Goodbye A-to-Z, hello 99-to-2 (May 12)
No. 99: Jerry Tillery, defensive tackle
No. 98: Andrew Trumbetti, defensive end
No. 97: Micah Dew-Treadway, defensive tackle
No. 96: Pete Mokwuah, defensive tackle
No. 95: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 92)
No. 94: Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 95)
No. 93: Jay Hayes, defensive end
No. 92: Jonathon MacCollister; defensive end (originally theorized as No. 46)
No. 91: Ade Ogundeji, defensive end
No. 89: Brock Wright, tight end
No. 88: Javon McKinley, receiver
No. 87: Michael Young, receiver (originally theorized as No. 84)
No. 86: Alizé Mack, tight end
No. 85: Tyler Newsome, punter
No. 84: Cole Kmet, tight end (originally theorized as No. 90)
No. 83: Chase Claypool, receiver
No. 82: Nic Weishar, tight end
No. 81: Miles Boykin, receiver
No. 80: Durham Smythe, tight end
No. 78: Tommy Kraemer, right tackle
No. 77: Brandon Tiassum, defensive tackle
No. 76: Dillan Gibbons, offensive lineman (originally theorized as No. 65)
No. 75: Josh Lugg, offensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 73)
No. 75: Daniel Cage, defensive tackle
No. 74: Liam Eichenberg, right tackle
No. 72: Robert Hainsey, offensive tackle
No. 71: Alex Bars, offensive lineman
No. 70: Hunter Bivin, offensive lineman
No. 69: Aaron Banks, offensive lineman
No. 68: Mike McGlinchey, left tackle
No. 67: Jimmy Byrne, offensive lineman
No. 58: Elijah Taylor, defensive tackle
No. 57: Trevor Ruhland, offensive lineman
No. 56: Quenton Nelson, left guard
No. 55: Jonathan Bonner, defensive lineman
No. 54: John Shannon, long snapper
No. 53: Sam Mustipher, center
No. 53: Khalid Kareem, defensive lineman
No. 48: Greer Martini, inside linebacker
No. 47: Kofi Wardlow, defensive end
No. 45: Jonathan Jones, inside linebacker
No. 44: Jamir Jones, linebacker/defensive lineman
No. 42: Julian Okwara, defensive end
No. 41: Kurt Hinish, defensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 94)
No. 40: Drew White, linebacker
No. 39: Jonathan Doerer, kicker (originally theorized as No. 52)
No. 38: Deon McIntosh, running back/receiver
No. 35: David Adams, linebacker
No. 34: Tony Jones, Jr., running back
No. 33: Josh Adams, running back
No. 32: D.J. Morgan, safety
No. 30: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, rover
No. 29: Kevin Stepherson, receiver
No. 28: Nicco Fertitta, safety
No. 27: Julian Love, cornerback
No. 26: Ashton White, safety
No. 25: Jafar Armstrong, receiver (originally theorized as No. 87)
No. 24: Nick Coleman, safety
No. 23: Drue Tranquill, rover
No. 22: Asmar Bilal, rover
No. 21: Jalen Elliott, safety

No. 66: Tristen Hoge, offensive lineman, transfers to BYU
No. 50: Parker Boudreaux, offensive lineman
No. 30: Josh Barajas, linebacker, to transfer to Illinois State

No. 13: Tyler Luatua, tight end, career ended by medical hardship