Jordan Choukair remains confident.
Even though he has missed four of his first six attempts this season, Choukair believes he is still the best option to handle the field goal duties for the Oregon State football team.
After Choukair, a senior, missed a 44-yarder against Utah early in the second quarter last Saturday, coach Jonathan Smith opted to give freshman Everett Hayes a chance at the end of the half.
But Hayes missed from 42 yards as the Beavers trailed 35-0.
On Monday, Smith said Choukair and Hayes would battle it out this week to see who will start this Saturday at California. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Coliseum.
“I love competition in the first place (and) today I hit the ball great, I made all my kicks and that’s all I can do, really,” Choukair said Tuesday after practice. “I showed them what I can do and I think they know what I can truly do.
“But I mean it’s up to them and whatever they do is obviously what they think is best for the team. But I stand where I stand and I think I’m the best kicker out here.”
Choukair started the season hitting a 30-yarder against Oklahoma State, then missed a potential game-tying 52-yarder in the closing minutes at Hawaii.
He rebounded with a 26-yarder against Cal Poly but then missed a 50-yard attempt at home against Stanford and later had a 38-yarder blocked.
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Choukair said he has been happy with the way he is kicking.
“I think my ball striking is where it needs to be, I think I’m hitting the ball really well,” he said. “… But like I said I’m not where I want to be and it will get fixed. That’s about it.”
Choukair took over the kicking duties the last three games of his redshirt freshman season in 2016 and made his only attempt. He was 12 for 19 in 2017 and 12 for 20 last season.
Would seeing a kick go through, especially from beyond 40 yards where he is 0 for 3 this season and 4 for 12 the past two seasons, shake him out of this slump?
“The biggest thing is rhythm, right. You want to get into a rhythm and I haven’t gotten into a rhythm at all yet,” he said. “As a kicker that’s one thing you just want to be in and that’s all I really need is if I can get into some kind of a rhythm I don’t think there’s any looking back. But we’ll see.”
Choukair said before the season he had given up getting on Twitter so he wouldn’t see any negative posts about his performance, something he dealt with last season.
It’s no surprise that can take a toll.
“Obviously it’s tough on me but we I move on, quick short mind and stuff like that, really just going into the next game, the next kick,” he said of his focus. “My confidence is still good, I’m ready to go and get back into it. We’ll see.”