Endicott finding groove as UW field goal kicker
Although Andrew Endicott was primarily a kickoff specialist, he is growing into his new role as the full-time kicker
Andrew Endicott took over field goal duties after Rafael Gaglianone was sidelines with injury.Image By: Jessi Schoville
For many Badgers starters, the road from high school to being a Wisconsin football star was pretty linear: standout at an in-state high school, get heavily recruited, receive playing time as an underclassman and then start as a weathered veteran.
For others, like senior kicker Andrew Endicott, it was a winding road that would be deemed unrealistic if it was the plot of a movie.
Endicott was born and raised in Roseville, Calif., where he played football for Jesuit High School. As a senior, he went 33-35 on extra points and 2-2 on field goals. In high school football, kickers are rarely utilized, even the best of them.
His limited experience meant that he wasn’t going to receive any scholarship offers, so if he wanted to play football at the next level, walking on would be his only option. However, instead of being a walk-on at a school close to home, he wanted to explore a different part of the country.
“Before football was even in the picture, I knew I wanted to go to school in the Midwest,” Endicott said. “I have family that lives in the Chicago area; my mom’s from there originally. I always loved coming to visit here in the summers, and I thought it was a really cool area.”
As a kid, he dreamed of playing for Notre Dame, and while the Fighting Irish showed interest in Endicott, that interest eventually fizzled.
Endicott started looking around at other Big Ten schools, and the one that showed the most interest in him was Wisconsin.
When he arrived on campus as a freshman, his goal was just to get on the field somehow. He tried punting and field goal kicking, but he quickly realized his golden ticket was going to be doing kickoffs. He was right.
For three years, Endicott was the Badgers’ kickoff specialist, arguably the least prestigious starting position in football. He enjoyed what he did to help the team, but he never gave up on his field goal skills, just in case something happened.
“It’s kinda like your golf swing; if you go away from it for a while, things can get a little hairy and you start doing weird things you didn’t know you were doing,” Endicott said.
His senior year got off to a rocky start by losing a position battle to sophomore P.J. Rosowski, sidelining Endicott from his normal role of doing kickoffs. But when junior field goal kicker Rafael Gaglianone went down for the season, Endicott’s season changed. He was thrust into the spotlight, and he was back on the field doing something he’d always wanted to get back to doing: kicking field goals.
“As great of an experience, and as fun as it was doing kickoffs, there’s something about being the field goal kicker and scoring points and really feeling that adrenaline rush, to step up when your team needs you to get points,” Endicott said.
Endicott’s first outing against Michigan State, like his entire career, was a roller coaster. He made his first college extra point, but followed it up by missing his second. Late in the third quarter, Wisconsin faced a fourth-and-3 from the Michigan State 23-yard line. The coaching staff easily could’ve gone for it and nobody would have faulted them for lacking faith in their kicker, but instead, they sent Endicott out to attempt his first collegiate field goal, a long 41-yarder. He proved their decision right as the ball soared through the uprights with room to spare.
“My teammates and coaches definitely played a big part in…keeping my confidence up,” Endicott said. “At halftime they could’ve easily given me some dirty looks or not had confidence in me going out there, but the fact that they did, even just to let me go out there and attempt it after [I missed] was a huge confidence booster for me.”
After an uneventful Michigan game, Endicott cemented his role as the new kicker against Ohio State. On the first drive of the game, Endicott nailed a 46-yard field goal. He went on to make 32- and 22-yarders in the second quarter. Without those nine points, Wisconsin wouldn’t have been able to contend with Ohio State and force overtime.
After a couple good performances, everyone from Endicott’s teammates and coaches to Badger fans feel a little better about losing Gaglianone.
“We had confidence with him before this game, you know what I'm saying?...It probably gives him as much confidence as it does give us the confidence,” head coach Paul Chryst said.
It’s taken him a long time and a bit of luck to get here, but now that he’s made it, Andrew Endicott is not going anywhere.