Standing at just 5’ 10” and 190 lbs., senior kicker Andrew Gantz has one of the best legs in the country. Raised in Dayton, Ohio, Gantz passed up scholarships offers from Tennessee and other colleges to come to Clifton. Ranked as the 7th best kicker in the 2013 class, Andrew entered his freshman year at UC and redshirted.
In 2014 his foot helped UC win a number of games. He was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, going 16-of-20 on field goals and 52-of-54 on extra points. He even led the Bearcats in points scored with 100 points. Who can forget his 47-yard game-winning kick against East Carolina in Paul Brown Stadium? After that year, he was rightfully awarded a scholarship at UC, an honor rarely given to special teamers.
Now rewind to a year and three days ago when Andrew Gantz tore his quad during the first night practice at Camp Higher Ground. He played on and off throughout the year, but in the pregame practice before the USF game, Gantz tore the muscle completely off the bone. He was totally shutdown from kicking for eight entire months. During the rehab process he was in the training room and weight room six to seven hours per day. He actually went through the same exercises used on Ian Happ when he was injured at UC before his career took off in the MLB.
Gantz now feels stronger and more confident than ever. He is looking forward to leaving Clifton with a bang and solidifying his career as the best field goal kicker in UC history. His childhood dream is to play in the NFL and all the hours on the practice field and grueling rehab efforts are paving the way to a career at the next level.
He graduated in April with a bachelor’s degree in sports administration and is now taking classes for a master’s degree in exercise physiology. He has also found a passion for coaching. Gantz attends a number of kicking camps and has helped multiple kickers earn division one scholarships. He also helped backup kicker Josh Pasley when he was thrown into action last year in Gantz’ absence. When he’s not kicking, he’s on the golf course with his teammates every chance he gets.
Gantz is applying for a sixth year of eligibility based on his quad injury in 2016 and he is hopeful he can return to UC for another year after this season. Receiving extra eligibility through the NCAA is always an uncertain process, but we have our fingers crossed Mr. Gantz can return for another season in Nippert.
By Andy Smith