Krautman back as Syracuse’s starting kicker

Head coaches rarely guarantee jobs to players during the preseason — especially on the first day of practice.

But that’s exactly what Scott Shafer did on Monday, calling senior placekicker Ross Krautman “the guy.”

Krautman impressed at training camp  Monday and Tuesday, making every attempt in the hour and a half open to media. His kicks appeared crisper than those of sophomore Ryan Norton, who handled kickoff duties for the Orange last season and is Krautman’s lone competition.

“I think Ross is definitely the established placekicker for us,” Shafer said. “We always want to invite that competition, but really I think Ross is the guy.”

Krautman has been the guy since nailing 18-of-19 attempts his freshman season. The senior has started all 38 games in his Syracuse career and ranks second on the school’s all-time field goal percentage list.

Krautman’s numbers have gone slightly downhill the past two years — he converted just 65.2 percent of his kicks in 2012 — but his strong showing early in camp convinced Shafer there was no need for a change.

While Syracuse coaches yelled at other members of the special teams on Tuesday, they had only positive words for Krautman.

“That’s it, Ross!” one coach belted after Krautman drilled a field goal. “There it is, kid!”

Twenty seconds later, Krautman nailed another field goal and received another exclamation of praise.

“There it is, Ross!”

With Krautman’s past success and his strong start to the preseason, Shafer had no reason not to officially declare the inevitable – it’s Krautman’s job.

“I’m putting it down,” Shafer said. “He’s done some good things over the years and we’re looking for some continued success.”

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