After Giorgio Tavecchio was cut and the Matt Bryant experiment finally came to an end, Atlanta took a chance on Georgia Southern alum (and my former classmate) Younghoe Koo. Younghoe had a lot of hype coming out of college, setting a Georgia Southern record by nailing 89% of his career kicks and being named a finalist for the Lou Groza award. He also went viral with this video of him nailing 50 yard kicks mid backflip
After going undrafted, he won the starting job in Los Angeles over Josh Lambo and was effective for the Chargers for a short time. After back to back weeks of having a game tying field goal blocked and a game winning field goal missed, Koo was waived by the 0-4 Chargers. After a short stint with the Atlanta Legends (RIP) and New England Patriots, Koo landed with the Falcons.
His first week was the best win of the season, he nailed 4 field goals including a 48 yarder in a 26-9 win over the Aints in their own building. Koo was named Special Teams Player of the Week for the NFC for his efforts. He missed a couple field goals in the rematch against New Orleans, but he converted 3 onside kicks in the game (one didn’t count). Week 14 against Carolina he knocked through another 4 field goals, including a 50 yarder to go along with a fumble recovery which earned him SPTOW for the NFC for the 2nd time this season.
As great as Younghoe has been, it’s obviously a very limited sample size. However, he’s only 25 years old and kickers can be difficult to come by. He’s a career 21-27 and a perfect 7-7 from 20-29 yards. Just goes to show how tough it can be to make it as a kicker in the NFL. For the Falcons, he’s 18-21 with an 86% field goal percentage and has been so clutch playing all over the field on special teams. I know a lot of UGA fans want to see the Falcons pick up Hot Rod, but I think we should roll with Younghoe until he proves he isn’t the guy. So far, he’s been exactly what we need.