You don't think of placekickers as "shining stars", but when you're filling a desperate need, you suddenly become a beacon of hope.
Kicking for the Rockets was absolutely abysmal in 2010. After years of decent PKs (Todd France, Jason Robbins, Alex Steigerwald), things fell apart between Ryan Casano and Bill Claus. It was Casano's job, but going 0-for-4 against Ohio was a harbringer of a brual year. He would finish 2-for-7 on field goals. Claus was more of a punter, but he stepped in to stop the bleeding. Still, he only managed 4-of-7 for the year.
Come 2011, Claus has graduated, and a lot rides on Casano's shoulders. He seemed to have worked through his issues, going 4 for 5 into the Syracuse game. But when time threatened to run out at the half, and the Rockets sitting on Syracuse's 34 yard line, they knew one guy could kick the 52 yards, and it wasn't Casano. Freshman Jeremiah Detmer would trot out on the field and drill it:
Jeremiah Detmer's 52-yard FG (Courtesy Rockets Sports Properties/Learfield Sports)
Casano would finish his senior year a respectable 10-for-13, but all 3 of those misses were from beyond 40 yards out. Detmer, meanwhile, went 5-for-6 that year, including 3-for-4 from beyond 40 yards, including another bomb from 50 yards at Central Michigan.
In 2012, with Casano off in his cap and gown, the job fell to JD Detmer. And while his 52-yard attempt against Western was blocked at the line, he didn't miss a single field goal from that point forward, putting 17 straight FGs between the sticks, and going 24-for-29 on the year. He was nearly perfect on the PAT front as well, netting 44-47 (an off day at Buffalo saw him go 1-for-4). He was no slouch on the kickoff either, averaging 63 yards on 83 kicks, and sending 23 of them through the end zone for touchbacks. He was selected 2nd team Alll-MAC, behind Ball State's Steven Schott.
The story on Toledo this season is going to be filling the holes left by key positions. JD Detmer is a testimony as to how well this program plugs its leaks.