Jake Oldroyd back in Provo and pushing BYU football kickers to excel
BYU sophomore kicker Jake Oldroyd said whenever Cougar fans hear his name, often the same topic of conversation comes up.
Everyone wants to talk about his game-winning 33-yard field goal that propelled BYU to a 18-16 win over Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium in 2016.
Oldroyd is the type of guy, however, who isn’t interested in spending time looking back at the past.
“It does tend to come up in conversation a lot but I personally try to put it behind me,” Oldroyd said. “Obviously I had a little bit of a chance to play in the past but for me right now it’s all about the future. It’s nice to have made some sort of an impact and there is obviously that expectation, but I’m looking forward to the fall. I’m focused on what is next and trying not to dwell on the past — but I’d like to measure up to that.”
Oldroyd returned from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in southern Chile, so he is re-acclimating to life as a Cougar football player.
“It feels great to be back playing again,” Oldroyd said. “I’m trying to get back comfortable kicking and in the football atmosphere, but I’ve been welcomed back by my teammates. It’s been great to be back with the guys I played with before. My body feels strong even after being gone for so long, so we are headed in the right direction.”
Oldroyd proved that he still has some pretty impressive field-goal kicking skills in the spring scrimmage on March 23, being the only kicker to make all of his field goal and extra point attempts.
“It was a great feeling to have a game-type experience,” Oldroyd said. “That was my first go at something like that since I’ve been home. It felt great to have the support of everybody. I loved being out there in front of a crowd and having some pressure.”
The BYU football team did spend some time working on special teams in spring camp, although it rarely drew headlines.
“It was nice to see Skyler and Jake compete,” Cougar head coach Kalani Sitake said on Monday. “We are going to continue that competition through the offseason and probably into fall. It’s good to have two quality kickers who have played in games — who have won games. We’ll see what happens with Skyler and ‘Jake the Make.’ That’s still up for grabs.”
Oldroyd said he feels like BYU’s placekicking is rounding into form.
“Snapping is great, holding is great, and it looks like we are going to have great protection from our lines,” Oldroyd said. “Everything is coming together. It’s super-fun.”
He is working closely with sophomore kicker Skyler Southam, who was the main Cougar kicker in 2018 and had a solid year (42-of-44 on extra points, 11-of-16 on field goals, long of 47 yards).
“I had never met Skyler until getting up here a couple of months ago,” Oldroyd said. “We started kicking together and working out. It’s been a great relationship. We get along super-well. He’s one of my best friends on the team right now. It’s a friendly competition and I’ve loved it so far. We are able to push each other and coach each other at the same time. We work together through the challenges of special teams and kicking.”
Oldroyd pointed out that BYU doesn’t have a coach whose sole responsibility is kicking, so the kickers rely heavily on each other.
“We coach each other up on technique,” Oldroyd said. “We try to watch each other’s reps closely, see how the snaps and holds look. If we notice anything about the plant foot or the specific angle or anything, we look at those things and try to see how we can help each other improve. I really appreciate having someone who is there to help me, encourage me and motivate me.”