Oklahoma football: Gabe Brkic one of country’s premier kickers

Here’s wishing the third time is charm for Oklahoma football kicker Gabe Brkic.

Brkic is entering his junior season with the Sooners and for the third straight year he is a preseason candidate for the annual Lou Groza Award, which goes to the best kicker in college football.

Twice, the Oklahoma kicker has been a semifinalist for the Groza Award, and the junior from Chardon, Ohio, has all the goods to break through that ceiling in the 2021 season.

Brkic led the Big 12 last season in field-goal kicking with 20 made field goals in 26 attempts over 11 games and a long of 54. He ranked third nationally a year ago, averaging 2.0 made field goals per game. His freshman season in 2019, he set a school record, making all 17 of his field-goal tries.

In 2019, Brkic received first-team All-America honors from CBS Sports and was named Freshman All-America by The Athletic and the Football Writers Association of America. He was not the team’s starting kicker to begin the 2019 season, but he took over the job in the second game of the season.

Last season, Brkic earned first-team All-Big 12 honors and he was voted to the Preseason All-Big 12 team this year.

He kicked four field goals of 50 yards or longer last season, including the 54-yarder in the Sooners Big 12 Championship win over Iowa State. The 54-yard field goal was the fourth longest on OU football history and the longest since 1990.

Brkic is one of 30 college kickers from around the country, but just two from the Big 12, who are preseason candidates for the 2021 Lou Groza Award. An Oklahoma kicker has never won the award.

Brkic is one of 13 different Sooners who are in preseason consideration for 2021 national award honors.