Somewhere, there's a college football program that needs a kicker or punter.
Andrew Endicott knows it's true because the Jesuit High School senior studies the college game, picks through rosters and depth charts and sees special-team players come and go.
But Endicott has found the competition to land a scholarship frustrating and humbling.
Endicott has what coaches call a "live leg," and he's ready to launch 45-yard field goals or punts just as long on Saturdays in the fall. All he needs is a taker.
"I love kicking, but recruiting for a kicker is not a fun process," Endicott said this week after a North practice for the 56th Optimist All-Star Football Classic. "We're different than other recruits. We really are the bottom of the pool. It's easier to find kickers and punters than other positions, and sometimes they start (for) four years."
Endicott, The Bee's All-Metro kicker, expects to be a factor in today's game at Del Oro High School while facing an oncoming defensive rush. If he is, it won't be the first time a kicker has impressed in this annual football showcase.
The 1974 Optimist game launched Jim Breech of Sacramento High from scholarship hopeful to all-time kicking great. Breech was an 11th-hour replacement for El Camino's Butch Edge after the flamethrowing pitcher signed a contract as a first-round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers. Cal coaches liked what they saw in Breech in the Optimist game and offered him a scholarship. Breech, now in executive insurance sales in Ohio, has said the Optimist experience shaped his life. He went on to have a prolific NFL career, including 12 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, and he's the team's all-time scoring leader.
Jared Siegel of Jesuit was another Sacramento-area kicker who landed a scholarship, with Oregon in 2001. He was a four-year starter for the Ducks, setting school scoring marks.
Could Endicott be the next area kicker to land a scholarship?
"I love kicking, and I can't see myself not kicking in college," said Endicott, who wants to study psychology.
Endicott also points out that he doesn't just have one strong leg he has two. He beams while talking about his scrambling ability when an extra-point kick goes bad and about his club soccer days.
This semester, Endicott used those legs to hustle to his car after the third-period bell at Jesuit. He volunteered four days a week at the Laurel Ruff Center in Carmichael, tutoring a 16-year-old girl with a severe autism disorder. And he said he will resume his Jesuit peer mentor role next semester, meeting with underclassmen to help with academic and social progress.
Endicott said he could come full circle; he may wind up as a teacher and coach at Jesuit.
Any advice for scholarship hopefuls?
Said Endicott: "You have to be patient and understanding."