Mike Meyer might be as close to an “all-timer” as Iowa has on its roster going into 2013.
RB Mark Weisman is on a few “game best” lists. LB James Morris is No. 16 on the career tackles list (293). Meyer owns Iowa’s longest consecutive PAT streak (81 and counting, so knock on something), he’s tied the FGs attempted in a game (five, twice) and No. 5 in career scoring with 234 points.
During Kirk Ferentz’s 15 seasons, Iowa has had Nate Kaeding, Kyle Schlicher and Meyer. That’s Nos. 1, 4 and 5 in career scoring.
Kaeding made 67 of 83 (81 percent) field goals during his career. Meyer and Schlicher are neck-and-neck going into 2013. Schlicher finished his career 51 of 67 (76 percent). Meyer has this season to raise his 45 of 58 (77.6).
Meyer is a four-year starter and he’s in elite company when it comes to Iowa kickers. If he has a solid season — along with the Iowa offense, obviously — he’ll be close to passing Rob Houghtlin (290 points) for No. 2 on the career scoring list.
He would also hear from the NFL.
Key 2012 factor: Percentage-wise, the numbers say Meyer had a stronger freshman season in 2010 (14 of 17 FG for 82.4 percent), but his 2012 numbers are close (17 of 21) and Meyer had, arguably, the signature moment of his three seasons. He made four field goals with a 42-yarder in a rainy, ugly afternoon standing up as the winner in double-overtime.
He was named a team captain at the end of the year. He also won the Reggie Roby special teams award for specialists. He was named Big Ten special teams player of the week after MSU. He shared the award after Northern Illinois, when he made 4 of 5 FG attempts in an 18-17 victory.
Offseason factor: Meyer has a new coach. Chris White came over from a four-season stint as special teams assistant for the Minnesota Vikings. He took over for Lester Erb, who was fired and has since landed as an assistant at Nevada.
Wonder if White will do any tinkering with Meyer? You could easily file Meyer under “if it ain’t broke,” but no two coaches are the same. White might see something he can tweak, he might not.
The call this spring was for consistency, which was pretty much Meyer’s ’12 season. He only ever missed consecutive field goals once (0-for-2 against Penn State).
Competition: Marshall Koehn is the No. 2, but Meyer isn’t going anywhere. Koehn, a walk-on from Solon, will likely inherit the job next season. His competition will be Mick Ellis, a Texan who has committed to the 2014 class as a kicker.
That’s next season. This season is all about Meyer.
Why No. 10?: Iowa lost five of its eight games last season by a total of 16 points. Iowa will put a brand new QB on the field this season. Last season, Iowa’s passing offense was toothless. There are so many factors, but the Hawkeyes simply have to put more points on the scoreboard in ’13.
We’re talking more TDs than FGs, but Meyer is an important part of that. His job is points. Iowa needs all the points it can get. This puts a premium on the FG kicker in ’13. Frankly, No. 10 might not be high enough.
Outlook: Meyer needs 22 FGs to tie Kaeding’s school record (67). That also would set a season record at Iowa. That’s a longshot, but the long story is Meyer has made huge strides during his career and will leave as a top 5 kicker in school history.
Has he had his signature kick? The planets have to align. Remember in ’08 against Penn State, Daniel Murray jumped over Trent Mossbrucker because Ferentz had a feeling. Murray made the 31-yarder, Iowa beat No. 3 Penn State and Murray had a moment for the ages.
Michigan State was nice, but you know Meyer would love one of these deals.