A new name has emerged in the race to become the Chicago Bears’ next kicker, and it’s one with which Notre Dame football fans are familiar:
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) May 3, 2019
Justin Yoon finished his career at Notre Dame as the school’s all-time leading scorer, and will now take the trek up the road from South Bend to the Chicagoland area to prove himself this weekend.
Yoon is one of the more intriguing names to enter the fray. He was the No. 1 ranked kicker and four-star recruit coming out of high school by Scout.com before signing with the Fighting Irish. At Notre Dame, Yoon kicked as a freshman and earned Freshman All-American honors from ESPN, 247Sports, and the Sporting News. Yoon would later pick up some unique awards along the way, including “All-Bowl Team” honors from USA Today and the Associated Press for his performance against LSU in the Citrus Bowl in 2017, as well as being named to the Lou Groza Award Watch List in 2016 and 2018. The Groza Award is given to college football’s best kicker, so to make that preseason watch list is a big deal.
Yoon made 80.8 percent of his kicks in his career at Notre Dame and had a career long of 52 yards. He doesn’t have a ton of experience kicking from distance, but his accuracy as a collegiate kicker and prospect pedigree has gotten him this far. Let’s see where he can take it from here.
JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago notes Yoon will be joined by Casey Bednarski, Emmitt Carpenter, and Spencer Evans as kickers in camp on a tryout basis. In addition to that quartet, Chris Blewitt, Redford Jones, Elliott Fry, and undrafted free agent John Baron II are kickers at this weekend’s camp who are already on the 90-player roster. That brings the total to eight (!) kickers at Halas Hall this weekend. Thank goodness the renovations to the Bears’ practice facility called for expansion. Otherwise, who knows if there would be enough room to house all these legs.