Anthony Fera is in there somewhere (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images).
On Tuesday night, rumors swirled that Penn State kicker Anthony Fera was going to return to his home state of Texas over the weekend. On Wednesday, ESPN's Horns Nation reported that Fera was interested in the Longhorns.
On Thursday, Horns Nation confirmed with Fera's father that his son has reached out to Texas and that he may consider taking a visit when he's back home in the Houston area. Fera played his high school football at Houston St. Pius X and has some connections to Texas, as both of his older sisters graduated from UT.
A junior who is set to graduate in December, but has two seasons of eligibility remaining, Fera handled all three kicking duties last season for Penn State and was steady enough to make every field goal from 40 yards or in, a sharp contrast to the second spring practice performance from Ben Pruitt and Will Russ back in March, when they missed all three live attempts in practice, all from less than 40 yards away.
Per the report, Fera has not yet decided to leave Penn State. If he does, the Longhorns would seem to be in strong contention to land his services as long as Mack Brown and company reciprocate interest. And why not? Finding a consistent placekicker could be the different between eight wins and 10 wins this season.
After being spoiled for years, with kickers hitting all eight game-winning kicks in the Mack Brown era, missing one (and, therefore, missing out on a conference championship or BCS bid) could end up going down as one of the lowest moments of the head coach's tenure in Austin.
That's not a risk that Brown should be willing to take, especially after saying that he didn't have any ethical concerns about taking a Penn State player.
Adding Fera could well mark the end at Texas for a guy like Russ, especially since having three scholarship kickers on the roster for the next two seasons seems like overkill. But if that's the price to pay for stability at a crucial, if sometimes overlooked position, then that's simply the price to pay.