Breaking - USFL's New Jersey Generals Sign Alabama Kicker Austin Jones
Does this signing mean trouble for current New Jersey kicker Nick Rose? Let's discuss that;
After their Week 4 win against the Pittsburgh maulers, the New Jersey Generals have made a roster move that may not come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the USFL. The news, breaking on May 10, 2022, was found here, on the team's website, where Alabama Kicker Austin Jones is listed on their active roster. Why should this worry Nick Rose?
Well, through 4 weeks of football the New Jersey Generals have set Rose up with more opportunities than most with 10 field goal attempts (Tied for 2nd in the USFL). Has Nick made the most of them like fellow kicker Nick Vogel? Perhaps not, as Rose has only connected on 3 of those attempts (30%). While Rose has been consistent in the short-medium game, making 11 of his 13 attempts below 39 yards (this is including his PATs), he has struggled considerably as soon as the field goal attempt breaches the 40 yard mark.
In week one, when most kickers struggled due to a chip in the kicking football, Rose went 1 for 3 on field goal attempts. Following a change to the football though, he continued to struggle making only 2 of his next 7 field goal attempts. Despite the fact that he managed to snag the League Record for longest field goal (54 yards), I believe the Generals will be handing over the reins to Austin Jones moving forward.
UDATE - It seems my beliefs were confirmed by this Generals Tweet.
So who is Austin Jones? Lets find out;
Jones burst out onto the kicking scene in 2014 after winning the starting job with the Temple Owls football team. He had struggled his first year, making only 60% of his field goal attempts, but quickly righted the ship and didn't drop below 80% of field goals made for the next 3 years with the Owls.
Over his 4 years with the Owls, Austin made 50 of his 67 field goal attempts (75%) and nearly every PAT (2 misses on 114 attempts). He was also able to record a personal best of 47 yards during his time there. Tragedy struck for the young man when he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in week 6 against Memphis, which would require surgery. He did come back in 2017 but had to share kicking duties and ultimately requested a transfer.
He was granted his transfer in the way of an offer out east, with the Alabama Tide. Jones
would suit up for just 3 games with the Tide, making 1 of his 2 field goal attempts and 8 of his 11 PAT's. He was eventually replaced by another kicker and shifted focus to professional football, where he has tryouts with the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts.
So, there you have it, Nick Rose is on his way out of New Jersey, and Austin Jones will get an opportunity to show millions of viewers what he can do.
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