Kicker likes what he sees at Arkansas

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Thursday, January 3, 2019
Noah Rauschenberg
Photo by Dudley E. Dawson
Noah Rauschenberg

While Arkansas is not likely to use a scholarship on a kicker in its highly regarded 2019 recruiting class, the Razorbacks are still hopeful of adding one of the nation's best high school kickers.

Tulsa (Okla.) Union's Noah Rauschenberg (6-foot-2, 197 pounds) -- ranked as the eighth-best prep kicker by Chris Sailer Kicking and 11th-best by Kohl's Kicking -- said Wednesday that his current plan is to come to Arkansas unless he receives a scholarship offer from a major program.

"Arkansas is still a top priority and remains my top school right now," Rauschenberg said. "It continues to be the school I am looking at the most, and I am heading back up there later this month to talk with the coaches one more time and how everything would work out for me over there. That's kind of where it is at now."

Rauschenberg, who had an Oklahoma-best 14 field goals as a junior and made 10 of his perfect 62-of-62 PATs in one game, currently has scholarship offers from Houston Baptist University, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and the University of Central Oklahoma.

"All of them are full offers," Rauschenberg said. "I have also been talking to Arkansas, Washington State, UCF (University of Central Florida), Arkansas State and FAU (Florida Atlantic University) as well."

Rauschenberg, who won the field goal and kickoff competitions at Arkansas Kicking Camp this summer and also fared well in the punting competition, attended several Razorback games this season.

"I like what Chad Morris had done with his staff and what he is trying to do to get the program turned around," Rauschenberg said. "Whenever I go there, it feels comfortable, and it feels like home. They are all really down to earth, and I love the recruiting class they have coming in, and I think he is going to turn the program around sooner than later from what it was."

Arkansas' 2019 class, which has 21 signees from the early signing period and six other pledges, is ranked 12th nationally by Rivals, 19th by ESPN and 20th by 24/7.

Rauschenberg, who has a 3.8-grade point average and scores of 26 on the ACT and 1180 on the SAT, believes a big factor in that haul is Morris and his staff's personal relationships with the recruits and attention to detail.

"I just feel like they take their time and get to know everything about each and every recruit," Rauschenberg said. "They make everyone feel like a top priority. I have trust in them. It is just really special."

Rauschenberg holds the Union career record with 36 made field goals, something he established his first two seasons when he booted 26 through the uprights.

As a senior, Rauschenberg was 10-of-16 on field goals with one blocked this season with a long of 54 yards, while hitting two 53-yarders and going 3-of-5 on kicks of 50 yards or over.

He was also 64-of-66 on PATs with one blocked and had touchbacks on 50 of his 66 kickoffs this season with an average boot of 67.95 yards for the Redskins (11-3).

"The season didn't go as well as we would have liked because we lost to Jenks in the semifinals of the playoff, and that was kind of shocker," Rauschenberg said. "I think my year was fairly decent. I was working with a new snapper and a new holder."

Unlike most high school kickers, Rauschenberg did not use a tee this season so as to be more prepared for college.

"This past season, I didn't kick with a tee at all," noted Rauschenberg, a teammate of Arkansas offensive line signee Ricky Stromberg (6-4, 280). "My coach allowed me to do that and trusted me enough.

"I think that will certainly help me in college even though I know it will be different kicking with 50,000 to 75,000 people in the stands instead of 5,000 and all of them rooting for you to miss it if you are playing on the road."

His career included a game-winning 26-yarder in 44-41 double overtime against Owasso as a junior.

"That was the best individual moment of my high school career, but the best overall moment of my high school career was when we won the state title my sophomore year," Rauschenberg said. "That was the absolute best feeling."

Rauschenberg did not punt for Union this season but has been practicing that as well.

"I've been working on punting if they want me to do that though,"Rauschenberg said. "I'm not that very consistent, but that's what I'm working on. My best balls can go around 55-60 yards with a 4.5-4.8 hang time."

Rauschenberg was named the Tulsa World Special Teams payers of the year and named the first-team kicker on USA Today All-Oklahoma team and The Oklahoman's All State team along with Arkansas signees Brady Latham, Stromberg and Collin Clay.

"Ricky is one of the hardest-working people I have ever met," Rauschenberg said. "He won't stop until he is the best there is, and then he'll continue to work more. He plays all out and goes 110 percent on every down."

Sports on 01/03/2019

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