Former Texas Longhorns kicker Chris Naggar has found his destination as a graduate transfer — he’s headed back to the Metroplex to play for the SMU Mustangs for his final season of college football.
SMU has landed University of Texas grad transfer kicker Chris Naggar, his Arlington HS coach Scott Peach confirmed to me.— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) June 1, 2020
Chris spent the last four years at UT. Didn’t get many opportunities there but figures to have a chance to start with SMU at a position of great need.
Naggar became something of an internet sensation among Longhorns fans in 2016 when he joined the program as a walk on — the situation at kicker was so desperate that Charlie Strong issued a public plea for help before landing former LSU kicker Trent Domingue.
When Tom Herman arrived in Austin, he signed junior college transfer Joshua Rowland in 2017 and Cameron Dicker in 2018, so Naggar did not make any appearances during his first three seasons on campus.
However, the rash of injuries in 2019 hit the special teams units hard, too. Punter Ryan Bujcevski was the holder on field goals and extra points, but suffered a broken clavicle against TCU that kept him out until the bowl game. In the same game, starting tight end Cade Brewer, the backup holder, injured his ankle and missed the rest of the season.
Enter Naggar, the backup punter and third-string holder. After appearing as the backup kickoff specialist in blowouts against Louisiana Tech and Rice, Naggar took over as the starting punter and starting holder against Kansas State, averaging 39.3 yards per punt on 25 attempts over the last five games.
Honored before the Texas Tech game during Senior Day festivities, Naggar opted to become a graduate transfer in pursuit of playing time and will return to the Metroplex and reunite with former teammate Shane Buechele, now the quarterback at SMU.
The starting placekicker for the Mustangs, Kevin Robledo, was a senior in 2019, so Naggar will have a chance to compete for that job. Naggar could also compete for the punting job — senior safety Trevor Denbow started in the defensive backfield and attempted 43 punts in 2019, averaging fewer yards per attempt than Naggar did at Texas after replacing Bucjevski.