Kicking is the most mental position in football. You get very little praise for doing your job, and a lot of criticism when you don’t. Naturally, it can be very easy for a kicker to get rattled or lose their confidence, but that’s not the case for Missouri’s 2nd-year kicker Harrison Mevis.
“I expect to make every kick I attempt here,” Mevis said after drilling the game-winning field goal against Arkansas last year. For a kicker with his mindset, there’s nothing different between an extra point or a game-winning field goal, “Obviously, it was a game-winner. But, I mean there’s nothing else to think about; it’s just another kick for me.”
This confidence makes Mevis the type of kicker that special teams coaches dream about. A powerful, yet also extremely accurate leg paired with an abundance of confidence makes Mevis everything Eli Drinkwitz could ask for, and exactly what NFL scouts will be looking for when Mevis’ time in the black and gold is up.
Last year, Mevis went 45-48 on extra points and field goals combined, and this year, he’s carried over his hot kicking. Currently, Mevis is perfect on the year, 39-39, and he’s not getting there with cheap ones, either.
In the Tigers' opener against Central Michigan, Mevis drilled a 53-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, and it looked like it might have even been good from 60. However, according to Mevis, whether he’d make the kick was never in question, “I knew I was gonna make it,” he explained. “Shoot, I didn’t even kick that 53 that hard. Put the ball on the ground and I’ll kick it, and I’ll make it.”
On his 53-yarder, the Chippewas attempted to ice Mevis to get in his head, but Mevis actually loves to be iced. “They iced me, that was kind of a dumb move,” he said. After nailing the game-winner against Arkansas last season, Mevis explained he likes being iced because it gives him more time to think about what he needs to do right. It’s almost as if nothing can cause him to falter.
Just three weeks after his impressive boot against Central Michigan, Mevis got the chance to prove once again that he is among the most elite kickers in college football.
Against Boston College, Mizzou led 31-27 with six minutes left after scoring a late touchdown, but the Eagles methodically marched down the field to punch in a touchdown of their own to retake the lead at 34-31 with 25 seconds left. If the Tigers were going to avoid a heartbreaking defeat in regulation, they needed their unflappable kicker to once again deliver, and deliver he did.
A couple of chunk plays courtesy of Connor Bazelak got the Tigers just enough room for Mevis to attempt a career-long field goal from 56-yards. What’d he do? He drained it and sent the game to OT. What else would Harrison Mevis do? According to him, he’s supposed to make every kick, right? This year, it seems like that’s not an exaggeration.
After the game, Eli Drinkwitz said, “We thought if we got to the 40, we could kick it.” That means going into that drive, Drinkwitz believed in his kicker from 57 yards away. How many coaches can say that? Certainly not many in college football, that’s for sure.
Currently, among national ranks, Mevis is tied for 1st in field goal percentage and field goal length. With 100% accuracy and a season-long of 56 yards, he is the only kicker in the country who can say he is tied for first in both categories.
Since 2000, just two kickers have gone perfect on a season with extra points and field goals— Oklahoma’s Gabe Brkic in 2019 and Alabama’s Will Reichard in 2020. However, in their perfect seasons, neither made field goals as long as Mevis already has. Brkic’s longest was 50 yards, and Reichard’s was 52. Mevis has topped both those numbers twice this season.
If Mevis does complete this historic achievement, his season could go down as maybe the most successful in the history of college kickers, and he would certainly be in the discussion for the Lou Groza award.
However, if there is going to be something that could derail Mevis’ perfect record (outside of a 60-yard plus attempt, although I’m sure he’d say he could make it), it might be an extra point. On the record, Mevis has admitted the one thing that does in fact make him nervous is the possibility of missing an extra point.
Nevertheless, the Indiana native remains perfect in his career on PATs and is perfect on the 2021 season on field goals. With five games left, Mevis will be chasing history and perfection, and while the Tigers’ season might not be going as planned, Mevis’ quest could give Tigers fans a consolation prize worth rooting for in the second half of this season.