Last week, we chatted with OSU wide receiver, punt returner, and holder Taylor Kavanaugh. Today we bring in kicker Justin Kahut for more inside perspective and to complete our look at the FG and PAT "backfield".
We know that football consumes a lot of your time during the summer and the fall. If you had a day off to do whatever you wanted, how would you spend it?
JK: If I had a day off to do whatever I wanted I would probably go back home to Clackamas and hang out with my family and friends. I don't get to go home very often so it's nice to see everyone and just spend some time with them. Also, I would go to Chili's for either lunch or dinner because it is my favorite restaurant.
Any other hobbies or interests that you didn't mention above?
JK: I like to golf, play PS3 with the guys, watch TV, watch movies, and just hang out with friends.
You'll be filling in this year for departed four-year starter Alexis Serna. What was it like to spend two years in the wings behind a talented kicker?
Alexis (left) and Justin (right).
JK: Spending two years behind Alexis was an awesome experience. He helped me out in every aspect of kicking and didn't hold anything back. Everything he felt like I needed to know he shared with me and I definitely appreciate it. At first I was sort of bummed about having to sit out for two years, but now I am very happy that I did. With Alexis' help I am a lot better kicker now that when I first showed up. Last year we were roommates so I was able to ask any questions I ever had and could see how he reacted to certain situations. We are now good friends and talk almost every day about how things are going.
Along the same lines, many Beaver fans were apprehensive when Serna left. What did it mean to you to go 4-4 in the Spring Game, making two FG's longer than 50 yards, and sort of send a message to Beaver Nation that said "I'm your guy"?
JK: It felt really good to have a game like the spring game. I knew that people were going to be wondering how the next kicker was going to be and I just wanted to do my best. I didn?t realize I was going to get that many chances or from so far away, but I?m definitely glad that everything went well, and I hope that Beaver Nation gained a little confidence in me. However, it wasn?t a real game and I know I really haven?t proved anything to a lot of people, but I?m going to continue to work hard and hopefully they will one day have as much faith in me as they did in Alexis. It?s going to take A LOT of made kicks to gain that same respect. Alexis is a great kicker and deserved all of the support that he had.
You mentioned that you've been talking frequently with Alexis. Is he enjoying the CFL?
JK: Alexis is enjoying his time in the CFL. He said it's a different experience and he's had to adjust to the differences, but he's having a good time. He is actually doing punting, field goals, and kickoffs there, so last year was good practice for him. Of course Alexis hopes to ultimately make it to the NFL, but for now he's having fun in Canada and he said the fans are great.
We know from your bio that you lettered three years as a kicker at Clackamas High School. When did you first start kicking, and did you convert to football from soccer?
JK: I started kicking as a freshman in high-school. Some of my friends were just joking around with me saying that I should come be the kicker for the football team so I went out one day and gave it a try. I thought it might be kind of fun after that so I signed up to play. I did convert to football from soccer. I grew up playing soccer and actually played both soccer and football freshman year, but then gave up soccer after that season. I enjoyed football more and felt like I had a better shot at playing in college.
Have you ever made a kick to win a game?
JK: I have had only one game winning field goal up to this point. It was actually the first field goal I made in high-school. It was for JV sophomore year and I think both of our teams were 8-0 going into that game, with it being the final game. It wasn't a last second kick, but I think there was around 50 seconds left and we were either tied or down by one. That is the closest thing to a game winner that I've hit or attempted. I also had some kicks in high-school that were the winning points, but they weren't at the end of the game.