Six different players attempted kicks for Nebraska football last season. This coming season, another of that sextet has exited the building.
Citing two sources close to the situation, the Omaha World-Herald is reporting that Barrett Pickering is no longer a part of the NU football program. A Nebraska football official stated that, as of now, the kicker is not listed in the NCAA transfer database.
No specific reason for the parting of ways was given by the World-Herald, although it’s now being reported that Pickering is leaving because of unspecified health reasons. It’s unclear if he’ll continue his playing career elsewhere.
As a true freshman in 2018, Pickering served as the primary placekicker for Nebraska football. That season, he hit on 14 of his 18 field-goal attempts (77.8 percent) and missed just one of his 41 point-after attempts. Pickering did not miss over the final six games, going 25-of-25 on extra points and 9-of-9 on field goals.
During that stretch, he accounted for all nine points (three field goals) in a 9-6 win over Michigan State. That was the first time Nebraska football won without scoring a touchdown since 1937.
Despite that momentum, Pickering’s 2019 season was essentially a wasted year. The Alabama native missed the first seven games last season because of an unspecified injury. When he returned, he went 3-of-5 on field goals and was successful on all 10 extra points.
By the end of the year, though, Matt Waldoch, an in-season tryout player off the club soccer team, had become the Cornhuskers’ primary kicker.
With Pickering exiting the program, Waldoch enters the spring as the favorite to win the job. Waldoch didn’t miss a kick this past campaign, connecting on four field-goal and nine point-after tries. Including Waldoch, Nebraska football will head into summer camp with four kickers, including redshirt freshman Gabe Heins, junior-college transfer Chase Contreraz and true freshman Tyler Crawford.
All of those kickers are currently walk-ons. Pickering had been the only player at the position on scholarship.