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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Mason Crosby

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 212 | College: Colorado
 
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Overview

When it comes to the art of kicking off, few players in the collegiate or professional ranks boast the leg strength Crosby has. The holder of 31 school game, season and career records, he closed out his tenure as Colorado's all-time scorer with 307 points.

While some skeptics cite the thin air in the Mile High City for the success of kickers in the Denver area, Crosby has proven time and again that he can be just as successful at sea level. With his power and follow-through, records at the professional level could soon be in jeopardy.

As a senior at Georgetown High School, Crosby earned first-team All-District 13-5A honors as a place-kicker, punter and free safety, adding All-Central Texas as a kicker. Prep Star named him to its All-Midlands team, while Rivals.com ranked him as the third-best place-kicker in the nation. He was first-team All-District and second-team All-Region at kicker as a junior.

During his final season, Crosby converted 7-of-11 field goals (long of 59) and 23-of-25 extra-point attempts. He owned a 39.8-yard average for 40 punts (61 long), with 10 kicks being downed inside the 20-yard line, including five inside the five. At free safety, he recorded 78 tackles (26 solos), eight for losses, three interceptions, three passes broken up, three forced fumbles and two recoveries.

In the Cedar Park High game during his senior year, his 59-yarder was the longest field goal in Texas prep football in eight years and tied him for the third longest in state history. He also had a 61-yard punt in the game. In the Round Rock game that year, he had seven tackles and two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown and kicking the extra point following the score.

As a junior, Crosby made 8-of-10 field goals (52 long) and 17-of-20 PATs (all misses were blocked). He averaged 37.2 yards on 60 punts (64 long), with eight inside the 20. He had 58 tackles (25 solos, 10 for losses), with three interceptions, four pass deflections, three hurries and two fumble recoveries. Against Copperas Cove as a junior, he made three field goals (52, 46 and 39 yards) against a team that came in with five consecutive shutouts.

Georgetown High was 5-5 his senior year and 6-4 his junior season under coach Larry Moore. He also earned two letters in soccer (defense/midfielder), receiving All-District honors as a sophomore (14 goals) and junior (17 goals).

Crosby, a single-digit handicap golfer, has good athletic roots. His father, Jim, was a fullback at Texas-El Paso and his grandfather, Harry, ran track at Marshall. Having spent two years in the Fort Collins region as a youngster, he became an avid Colorado Buffalo fan, making his decision easy during the prep recruiting wars.

Crosby enrolled at the University of Colorado in 2003. He was only the second true freshman to handle the place-kicking chores in a CU season opener in school history, and only the fifth to see any action, period. He set a Colorado record for the most points scored by a freshman with 52 (the old record of 48 was shared by two players). The talented first-year performer connected on 31-of-37 PATs and 7-of-9 field goals. Only 10 of his 37 kickoffs were returned, with 26 being ruled touchbacks (17 of those boots sailed clear out of the end zone).

In 2004, Crosby was the unanimous first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection and a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, earning second-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report and Rivals.com. He led the NCAA in field goals made from 50-plus yards with six (topping Ohio State's Mike Nugent, the Groza winner, who had five), and hit on 23-of-29 overall for the season (19-of-23 during the regular season, 4-of-6 in the bowl game).

Crosby led the conference and was sixth in the nation in field goals made per game (1.77), and became just the 10th player in NCAA history to make a 60-yard or longer field goal without a tee when he nailed a 60-yarder against Iowa State, the longest in the nation in 2004. He also kicked the game-winning field goal in that game, doing so again in the Colorado State and Washington State contests.

As a junior, Crosby was runner-up for the Lou Groza Award (by just six points to Oregon State's Alexis Serna). He became the first place-kicker in Colorado history to earn first-team All-American honors and was the unanimous selection for first-team All-Big 12 Conference honors, adding league Special Teams Player of the Year accolades.

Crosby put together an amazing list of accomplishments for the season, the crown jewel being a 58-yard field goal at Miami, the longest ever at sea level (seven feet) without a kicking tee in NCAA Division I-A history. He led the team in scoring with 94 points, converting all 31 PAT kicks (he has made 38 consecutive) and 21-of-28 field goals. He also led the nation in the average distance per field goal made at an astounding 41.2 yards. Only 18 of his 61 kickoffs were returned, with 33 of his 43 touchbacks going out of the end zone. Six games were decided in Colorado's favor thanks to Crosby's field goal exploits.

The nation's premier place-kicker in 2006, as evidenced by Crosby earning first-team All-American honors, he was strangely relegated to semifinalist activity on the Lou Groza Award voting. One of three team captains, he became the seventh player in Colorado history to be named first-team All-Big 12 Conference three times. He connected on 19-of-28 field goals, though most of the misses were from long range; he was a solid 17-of-19 inside 50 yards, as good as any one in the country (one of the two misses was blocked), as he finished with 74 points scored.

One of his failed field goals just missed sailing through the upright, a 65-yard attempt against Iowa State. "I was a little disappointed about it, I hit it about as good as I thought I could I just got a little too much height. You usually don't complain about height, but I needed a little more drive and a little less height. Hopefully I'll get another chance next year in the NFL."

Crosby also kicked off 43 times, with only 15 of his attempts being returned. Asked about his kickoff success and the high amount of touchbacks he produced (137 of 200 kickoffs), he matter-of-factly replied, "I don't usually think about not kicking it for a touchback but I always try to get good height. So if it doesn't go for a touchback then at least it sets up our coverage team in good position to prevent a good return."

Crosby closed out his career by becoming the first Colorado place-kicker to play in the Senior Bowl, where he scored nine points in the game to help the North to a 27-0 win. He holds the school record for kickers by playing in 48 games. He is the school's all-time scorer with 307 points, connecting on 66-of-88 field goals (75.0 percent) and 109-of-117 extra-point attempts. He was successful on 19-of-25 field goals from the 40-49 yard range, 11-of-20 from 50-59 yards and made one of four tries from beyond 60 yards. He also had just 63 of 203 kickoffs returned, as 138 were ruled touchbacks and 88 went out of the end zone.

Analysis

Positives: Has a thick frame with adequate muscle development, thick thighs and calves … Shows very good agility, balance and body control in his approach to the ball … Right-footed soccer style kicker with fluid leg action and extension … Makes good adjustments on the field and works hard at his craft … Shows very good poise in pressure situations and demonstrates the explosive leg drive to consistently launch his kickoffs into the end zone (only 62 of his 203 kickoffs were returned, as 138 were ruled touchbacks, including 88 that sailed out of the end zone) … Very consistent in his long-range field goal attempts, having connected on 30-of-45 attempts between the 40-59-yard range) … Seemed to have made some of his biggest kicks in inclement weather conditions or at sea level, disputing the fact by some that Crosby's success has been the result of the thin air in Colorado (owns the third-longest field goal in the history of football, college or professional) … Very confident in his ability to make the long-range kicks … Can also handle punting duties effectively in an emergency … Has the hands to adjust to the off-target punt snap … Drives the ball for tremendous distances and with excellent hang time (averaged 68.7 yards on his kickoffs) … His snap-to-toe range is superb, generally getting the ball off under 1.26 seconds … Gets the ball up quickly and with good rise (two blocked kicks during his career) … Gets incredible hang time on his kickoffs (4.37-4.54 second average) that has prevented the opposition from returning many of those kicks (only 26.5 percent of his kickoffs have been returned) … Excels in pressure situations, coming through with six game-winning field goals as a sophomore and junior … Extremely accurate on his intermediate field goals and placements … Has more than enough leg strength to drive his ball against the wind … Athletic enough to serve as a lead blocker on fake field goals, and while not fast he has the leg drive to break tackles carrying the ball … Likes to get down field and cover on kickoffs and will make every effort to deliver the tackle … His seven-yard approach on kickoffs (does so without a tee) allows him to generate full force of his leg strength and he has a quick approach to the ball, showing very good extension and follow-through on his two-step field goal approach.

Negatives: Likes to get down field to cover on kickoffs, but lacks speed to be more than a space occupier … Will sometimes shank a few when he gets rushed in the backfield, resulting in low trajectory.

Compares To: JEFF WILKINS-St. Louis … For consistency, accuracy, leg strength and excellence on kickoffs, few in the league can match Wilkins in those areas. That is, until Crosby earns a job in 2007 training camp. Don't buy into that line that he has an advantage kicking in a thin air environment. There is no one in the collegiate ranks that can match Crosby's leg strength.

Career Notes

Crosby established a total of 31 school game, season and career records, including the most games played by a kicking specialist (48) … He holds the Colorado all-time records for points scored (307), field goals made (66), field goals attempted (88), extra points made (109), extra point attempts (117), field goal percentage (75.0) and longest field goal made (60 yards) … His field goals attempted, field goals made and field goal percentage all set Big 12 Conference career-records … Made 12 career field goals of 50 yards or longer (the previous record had been three), as he owns nine of the 14 longest kicks in CU history, including a 60-yarder against Iowa State in 2004 … Also excelled in late-game heroics, making 14-of-18 in the fourth quarter, including 12-of-14 in the final 9 1/2 minutes with nine kicks of 41 yards or longer and seven with the score within six points … His only misses came his senior year: a 63-yard try against Montana State as CU tried to rally in the waning minutes (two yards short) and a 65-yard try in a bid to tie the NCAA record without a tee against Iowa State (27-inches short) … In addition, he kicked off 203 times, with 138 going for touchbacks (88 through the end zone), all school records, with the average starting yard-line of the opponent its 22 after his kicks (20 of 61 returned against him were not brought out beyond the 20) … In the postseason, he finished fourth all-time in scoring with 19 points in bowls (5-of-7 FG, 4-of-4 PAT) … He was named Big 12 Conference Player of the Week nine times, a school record for one player … The only players in football history (college or pro) to kick longer field goals at sea level that did not use a tee besides Crosby's 58-yarder vs. Miami in 2005 were Tom Demsey of the New Orleans Saints (63 vs. Detroit in 1970) and Morten Anderson of New Orleans (60 vs. Chicago in 1991).

2006 Season

All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, Pro Football Weekly and the Walter Camp Foundation, adding third-team honors from the Associated Press … All-Big 12 Conference first-team choice for the third consecutive year … Semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award … One of three kicking specialist in the NCAA Division 1-A ranks to serve as a team captain in 2006, joining Brendan Carney of Syracuse and Reagan Schneider of Texas-El Paso … Had two of the longest field goal attempts in college football for the season ? a 65-yarder vs. Iowa State and a 63-yarder vs. Montana State … Scored 74 points on 19-of-27 field goals (70.4%) and 17-of-17 extra point attempts … Six of his misses were on long-range attempts (three from 50-59 yards, three from past 60 yards) … Only 15 of his 43 kickoffs were returned, as 27 were ruled touchbacks and eleven of those went out of the end zone … The oppositions average starting point after Crosby's kickoffs were at the 22-yard line … Became the first Colorado place-kicker to play in the Senior Bowl, scoring nine points (two field goals of 21 & 38 yards, three PATs) in that game.

2006 Game Analysis

Montana State … Crosby nailed a 24-yard field goal in the first quarter and added an extra point in the second in Colorado's 19-10 loss to MSU in the season opener … Tried punting for the first time in his career, getting off a kick that measured 43 yards … Record Watch-Attempted a 63-yard field goal in the fourth quarter was also a school record for the longest field goal attempt in school history, besting two previous 62-yard tries: Fred Lima vs. Oklahoma State at Stillwater (Sept. 30, 1972) and Ken Culbertson vs. Oklahoma in Boulder, Oct. 22, 1988 … Became the school's all-time leading kick scorer, as he entered the contest tied with Jeremy Aldrich with 231 points; with 235 points and ranks second all-time in overall scoring, trailing only Eric Bieniemy, who scored 254 points between 1987-90 … Tied Aldrich for the most field goals in a CU career with 48.

Colorado State … The CU kicker connected on a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter in the Buffs' 14-10 loss to intra-state rivals Colorado State … Crosby also added one PAT on the day … All three of his kickoffs sailed out of the end zone, holding CSU to no return yardage.

Arizona State … Crosby provided the only points for the Buffaloes, a 29-yard field goal in the first quarter, in CU's 21-3 loss to Arizona State, the third straight defeat to start the season … Both of his kickoffs produced touchbacks … Colorado scored in its 213th straight game, adding to the sixth longest active streak in the nation and the 13th longest all-time. Crosby's 29-yard field goal got Colorado on the scoreboard, the 15th time in the streak CU's All-American kicker put the Buffs' first points on the board … The Buffs are one back of 12th on the list, as Arizona scored in 214 straight between 1972 and 1990 … Record Watch-Crosby had his 65th and 66th career field goal attempts for his career, taking over sole possession of that record (he came in tied with Jeremy Aldrich, who also had 64 between 1996-99) … Finished the game with 242 career points, trailing only tailback Eric Bieniemy, who scored 254 points between 1987-90 … Missed just his third field goal try for his career in the fourth quarter, (now 12-of-15); the three misses have come from 50, 63 and 57 yards.

Georgia … Followed with 26- and 36-yard field goals, adding a PAT in the Buffs' 14-13 heartbreaking loss to the Bulldogs … Had just two of four kickoffs returned for 62 yards.

Missouri … Crosby proved once again to be the Buffaloes' main offensive threat, nailing field goals of 32 and 36 yards, as well as adding one extra point … Kicked off four times, with Missouri gaining 51 yards on two returns.

Baylor … The CU place kicker connected on a 44-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter and added four extra points in the Buffaloes' sixth straight loss to start the season … Four of his six kickoffs sailed out of the end zone … Missed just his fourth career field goal inside of 41 yards (29-of-33) when he was wide on a 36-yard attempt in the third quarter … Two of the four previous misses were blocked, but this was the second shortest he'd ever missed that wasn't blocked.

Texas Tech … Crosby provided a big leg for the Buffs, connecting on field goals of 56, 53, and 26 yards and adding three PATs in Colorado's first victory of the 2006 season … Tech managed just 29 yards on two of Crosby's seven kickoffs … His 56-yard field goal in the second quarter was the second longest in the NCAA this season, behind only an Alexis Serna 58-yard kick for Oregon State vs. California … Record Watch-Now owns six of the eight longest field goals in school history … Tied his own school record for the most 50-plus yard field goals in a game (set vs. Iowa State in Boulder in 2004 and at Kansas State in 2005).

Oklahoma … Crosby's sole field goal, a 39-yarder in the fourth quarter, provided the Colorado offense with its only points in the Buff's 24-3 loss to OU … Boosted his mark to 11-of-12 in field goals in the final 8 minutes of games, and his six misses this year have been on the average of 49.8 yards … Personally extended CU's scoring streak six times, as he scored CU's first (and only points) vs. Oklahoma both in 2004 and tonight, vs. Miami,

Nebraska and Texas in 2005, and vs. Arizona State earlier this season.

Kansas … The Buffalo kicker put nine points on the board for Colorado, nailing field goals of 37, 32, and 26 yards … Only two of his five kickoffs were returned for a total of 45 yards …

Record Watch-Improved to 15-of-21 in field goals in 2006, and with 56 points, he has 287 for his career (already CU's all-time leader).

Kansas State … Crosby provided three PATs in Colorado's 34-21 loss … All four of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

Iowa State … Crosby lit up the scoreboard in CU's second victory of the season, nailing field goals of 47, 42, 41, and 38 yards and providing three extra points … ISU gained 66 yards by returning four of his eight kickoffs.

Nebraska … Crosby finished his career with two extra points in the Buffs' 37-14 loss.

2005 Season

Became the first Colorado place-kicker to earn consensus All-American first-team honors (Associated Press, the Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, The NFL Draft Report, SI.com, Walter Camp and Rivals.com.) … Runner-up for the Lou Groza Award (by just six points to Oregon State's Alexis Serna) … Unanimous All-Big 12 Conference first-team choice and named Special Teams Player of the Year by the league's coaches … Earned first-team All-Colorado team honors from the state's chapter of the National Football Foundation, which also selected him as the state's Special Teams Player of the Year … Earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors vs. Colorado State, Miami, Kansas State and Missouri (Texas Tech QB Kliff Kingsbury (?02) is the only other Big 12 player to receive league Player of the Week honors at least four times in a season in league annals) … The CU coaches again selected him as the recipient for the Bill McCartney Award for special teams achievement … Was just one of nine players to earn his way on to Colorado's prestigious Victory Club list (minimum eight games with a high productivity grade) … Scored a career-high 94 points, as he connected on 21-of-28 field goals (75.0%) and made all 31 extra point tries … Successful on 8-of-11 three-pointers from the 40-49-yard range and was 5-of-7 from beyond 50 yards, including a long of 58 at Miami, Florida, the longest field ever at sea level (7 feet) without a kicking tee in NCAA Division

I-A history … Led the nation in the average distance per field goal made at an astounding 41.2 yards … Strung together a school record ten-straight field goals made between the end of his sophomore year and his junior season, in both of which he led the NCAA in field goals made from 50 yards or longer (six in 2004, five in 2005) … Of the five 50-plus he made on the season, four came on the road.

2005 Game Analysis

Colorado State … Had the first two game-winning kicks of his career; in opening his junior season in grand style on his 21st birthday, he scored eleven points (3-3 field goals, 2-2 PAT) in the 31-28 win … Those included a 48-yard field goal to tie the score at 21-21 with 2:32 left, and a game-winning 47-yard boot with 0:04 on the clock.

Kansas State … After already making a 52-yard kick in the second quarter, he drilled a 50-yarder with six seconds left in swirling winds to beat the Wildcats, 23-20 … That tied his own school record for 50-plus yard kicks made is a game … Record Watch- For his career, he is 23-of-25 from 40 yards and in, as well as a most impressive 24-of-35 from 41 yards or longer.

New Mexico State … Had just one of nine kickoffs returned for 14 yards and made four extra points with field goals of 33 & 28 yards.

Miami … Booted a season-long 58-yard field goal.

Oklahoma State … Added four PATs and field goals of 42 & 48 yards.

Texas A&M … Followed with 20 & 30-yard field goals and five extra points … Only one of eight kickoffs were returned for 10 yards.

Missouri … Kicked off eight times, with only one returned for 23 yards, as he kicked 56 & 43-yard field goals to go along with five PATs.

Iowa State … Successful on field goals of 31, 42 & 57 yards.

Texas (Big 12 Championship) … Scored the team's only points on a 25-yard field goal.

Clemson (Champs Sports Bowl) … Had one extra point and a 36-yard field goal.

2004 Season

Unanimous All-Big 12 Conference first-team selection … Semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award … Earned second-team All-American accolades from The NFL Draft Report and Rivals.com, adding honorable mention from Sports Illustrated … Led the NCAA in field goals made from 50-plus yards with six (topping Ohio State's Mike Nugent, the Groza winner, who had five), and connected on 19-of-23 field goals during the regular season (4-of-6 in the bowl game) … Led the Big 12 and was sixth in the nation in field goals made per game (1.77) … Scored 85 points, making 28-of-30 PATs … Only 17 of his 59 kickoffs were returned, with 26 of his 41 touchbacks going out of the end zone … The opponent average starting yard-line after all his kicks was the 21 … Earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors vs. Iowa State and Nebraska … Won the Bill McCartney Award, given to the team's most outstanding special teams player as selected by the coaches … One of just ten players to earn his way on CU's prestigious Victory Club.

2004 Game Analysis

Iowa State … Became just the tenth player in NCAA history to make a 60-yard or longer field goal without a tee when he nailed a 60-yarder, the longest in the nation in 2004 … It was one of four field goals he had in CU's 19-14 win; in fact, he also had a 54-yard kick in that game, becoming the first CU player to make two of 50-plus yards in the same game … The Groza committee cited him as one of its Three Stars of the Week Award winner for his performance against the Cyclones, while he was the Colorado Chapter/NFF player of the week for the same.

Colorado State … Booted 31 & 55-yard field goals, along with two extra points … His 55-yarder was the deciding factor in a 27-24 win.

Washington State … Followed with 52 & 41-yarders, as the 41-yard field goal gave the team the lead in an eventual 20-12 win.

North Texas … Added seven PATs and a 49-yard field goal.

Kansas State … Boomed a 51-yard field goal to go along with five extra points.

Nebraska … Successful on field goals of 37, 39, 46 & 20 yards, adding a pair of PATs.

2003 Season

One of only two true freshman to ever handle placekicking chores at Colorado in the season opener … Set a Colorado record for the most points scored by a freshman with 52 (the old record of 48 was shared by two players), as he connected on on 7-of-9 field goals and 31-of-37 extra point attempts … Only ten of his 37 kickoffs were returned, as 17 sailed out of the end zone … Made his first five career field goals, one shy of the school record.

Injury Report

2002: Suffered a right knee meniscus tear during his senior year in high school.

Agility Tests

Campus: 5.2 in the 40-yard dash … Right-footed soccer-style kicker … Right-handed … 29-inch arm length … 8 1/2-inch hands … 25/39 Wonderlic score.

High School

Attended Georgetown (Texas) High School, playing football for head coach Larry Moore … Earned first-team All-District 13-5A honors as a place-kicker, punter and free safety, adding All-Central Texas as a kicker … Prep Star named him to its All-Midlands team, while Rivals.com ranked him as the third-best place-kicker in the nation … First-team All-District and second-team All-Region at kicker as a junior … During his final season, Crosby converted 7-of-11 field goals (long of 59) and 23-of-25 extra-point kicks … Owned a 39.8-yard average for 40 punts (61 long), with 10 kicks being downed inside the 20-yard line, including five inside the five-yard line … At free safety, he recorded 78 tackles (26 solos), eight for losses, three interceptions, three passes broken up, three forced fumbles and two recoveries … In the Cedar Park High game during his senior year, he made the longest field goal in Texas prep football in eight years when he drilled a career-best 59-yarder; it tied him for the third longest in state history. He also had a 61-yard punt in the game … In the Round Rock game that year, he had seven tackles and two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown and kicking the PAT following the score … As a junior, Crosby made 8-of-10 field goals (52 long) and 17-of-20 PATs (all misses were blocked) … Averaged 37.2 yards on 60 punts (64 long), with eight inside the 20. He had 58 tackles (25 solos, 10 for losses), with three interceptions, four pass deflections, three hurries and two fumble recoveries … His best career games included vs. Copperas Cove as a junior, when he made three field goals (52, 46 and 39 yards) against a team that came in with five consecutive shutouts … The team was 5-5 his senior year and 6-4 his junior season … Also earned two letters in soccer (defense/midfielder), receiving All-District honors as both a sophomore (14 goals) and junior (17 goals).

Personal

Graduated with a bachelor's degree in Communication in December 2006 … Single-digit handicap golfer. Many kickers have interesting rituals or superstitions, his is to hit at least 60 golf balls at a driving range two days before a game … Very active in his community, including local mission and church youth group work … Father, Jim, was a fullback at Texas-El Paso in the mid-1970s … Grandfather, Harry Crosby, ran track at Marshall … Born 9/03/84 in Lubbock, Texas … Resides in Georgetown, Texas.

 
 

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