Kickers are often trivialized when it comes to discussing the game of football. But Kent State lost an integral part of its recent football success to the transfer portal Friday morning.
After serving three seasons as the Golden Flashes’ kicker, Matthew Trickett announced his commitment to Minnesota, where he’ll carry out his special teams duties for P.J. Fleck and the Golden Gophers. Four days prior to announcing his destination, Trickett disclosed his entry into the transfer portal on Twitter with a note thanking Kent State for the past three years:
Thank you Kent State. Officially in the transfer portal pic.twitter.com/CIewk0ovCp— Matthew Trickett (@matt_trickett2) February 1, 2021
Trickett leaves quite a legacy behind at Kent State for his impact on special teams. In 2018 and 2019, he was named the First Team All-MAC kicker. On top of those honors, Trickett earned the 2019 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year award while finishing first in the entire FBS in converted field goals. He sunk 14/17 attempts as a freshman in 2018 and followed it up by draining 29/34 in his sophomore campaign. Overall, Trickett converted 47/57 field goals (82.5%) during his Golden Flashes tenure while faring 94/95 on extra points.
The most defining moment of Trickett’s Kent State career transpired the night of Dec. 20, 2019. Vying for the program’s first-ever bowl win, the kicker delivered a performance of a lifetime. Trickett lined up for five field goal attempts and was immaculate each time. Adding in four extra points, he was individually responsible for 19 points in the Golden Flashes’ 51-41 Frisco Bowl victory over Utah State.
Trickett also kicked two game-winning field goals as time expired to add to his impressive 2019 résumé. He nailed an overtime field goal to beat Kennesaw State early in September, and in November, he put the icing on the cake to complete a 21-point fourth quarter comeback against Buffalo.
With Trickett headed to the Land of a Thousand Lakes, there is uncertainty who Kent State will utilize as a follow-up act to the All-MAC kicker. Seth Phillis handled kicking duties in the season opener against Eastern Michigan, making 3/4 extra points in the contest. Phillis is no longer listed as a member of the Kent State roster, so the position battle appears wide open for 2021.