The 90 Illini #55: Ryan Frain July 8, 2012
6′-2″, 220 lbs.
True Freshman (on scholarship, 5 years to play 4)
Scecina HS / Indianapolis, Indiana
ALE Ranking last year: NR
What I Know About Him:
6′-2″ 220 lbs? I had no idea he was that big. Put on a few pounds, and FAT KICKER 2.0!
I really struggled with where I would place Frain. He’s the only scholarship kicker – maybe he should be top-25 because he’ll win the job this summer and be our kicker in 55 days. But he’s just a true freshman – maybe he redshirts, gets acclimated to college life, and challenges for the job next year as a redshirt freshman. If that’s the case, maybe he should have been ranked in the 80′s.
So #55 is probably just about right. Especially since Frain was also a punter in high school and might challenge for that job, too.
What I Expect From Him:
I still think Taylor Zalewski wins the placekicking job, so I’m ranking Zalewski higher on this list. But there are several other scenarios that might play out. Maybe Frain wins the job outright at camp. Or maybe Zalewski’s big leg handles kickoffs while Frain wins the placekicking job. Or maybe Frain surprises us all and beats out Justin DuVernois for the starting punting job.
Ideally, in my opinion, for Illini football, DuVernois keeps the punting job, Zalewski (or Immekus or VanMieghem) wins the placekinking job, and Frain redshirts. Next year, Frain would get to challenge junior DuVernois for the punting job or sophomore Zalewski for the kicking job. With kickers, just like offensive linemen, I’m all about their contributions down the road trumping their contributions as true freshmen.
In fact, had Ron Zook not gotten angry at Mike Cklamovski halfway through the 2008 campaign for kicking the ball out of bounds on kickoffs against Minnesota twice (twice? two times), then Zook wouldn’t have inserted a true freshman named Derek Dimke to handle kickoffs the rest of the season, and Dimke wouldn’t have burned his redshirt for 5 games, and our placekicker this fall would be named Dimke, not Frain. (Or Zalewski.) (Or Immekus.) (Or VanMieghem.)