Kicker blinded to FSU's missed FGs vs. Miami

BY foxsports • October 17, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Born in October 1990, Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins was just a toddler when the Seminoles suffered their infamous losses in Wide Right (1991) and Wide Right II (1992) against Miami.

Almost a decade later, there was even more missed-kick misery for the Seminoles against the rival Hurricanes. In 2000, Matt Munyon could have tied the game in the final minute, but missed, you guessed it, wide right. Xavier Beitia broke the wide-right cycle in in 2002 when he missed a game-winning 43-yard attempt wide left.

But even in the age of YouTube and video on demand, Hopkins has not once seen clips of the missed kicks.

He grew up in Houston but followed FSU and Miami closely when he was older. He wanted to kick for one of the schools, but when it was time to choose, the Hurricanes had a young kicker in Matt Bosher on the roster. So Hopkins decided on Florida State after also looking at Notre Dame, Missouri and Kansas State.

“When I committed, it’s something I heard of,” Hopkins said of the Seminoles' notable missed kicks. “But I didn’t know much about it. I remember when I was younger, watching Florida State-Miami games, saying, ‘Wow, if I could play for either of these two teams, it would be a blessing.’

“Each team has a history of its own. We are our own entity. It’s good history and good drama, from what I hear.”

Against Miami, the team No. 12 FSU faces on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Hopkins has made 6 of 7 field-goal attempts.

Hopkins’ 51-yard field goal in the first half of Saturday’s victory over Boston College gave Hopkins the Florida State and Atlantic Coast Conference scoring record. FSU kicker Derek Schmidt (1984-87) and Maryland kicker Nick Novak (2001-04) had held the record with 393 points.

Hopkins met Schmidt about a month ago. He said Schmidt had watched Hopkins kick through the years and was supportive about him breaking a record that had stood for 25 years.

And if not for a scary soccer injury during his high school career, Hopkins may not have ever become a college kicker. He played soccer and football while growing up, and he was once a standout forward on the soccer field until he was injured.

And Hopkins is as well-rounded a student-athlete as there is on campus. He already has a bachelor’s degree in Media and Communications Studies, is working on a master’s degree in International Affairs and has been honored as an Academic All-American. He’s also active in community service and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“The student, the degree, the leadership, the community service,” Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said. “The guy is a tremendous human being.”

Hopkins still has plenty of time to leave his mark on the field, too. With five games left, and potentially as many as seven when factoring in an ACC championship game and a bowl game, Hopkins can not only extend his school and ACC record but also surpass an NCAA record.

The senior has 402 points and is within reach of breaking the NCAA kicker scoring record set by Boise State’s Kyle Brotzman (439 points from 2007-10).

“I can’t say it was one of those things that I was striving for,” Hopkins said. “If it happens, it happens. And we’ll see where we are at the end of the year.”

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