Gophers’ Kesich named Big Ten Kicker of the Year

A University of Minnesota football player has earned a conference player of the year award.

The Big Ten announced Tuesday that Dragan Kesich was named the Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year.

He’s the first Gopher to win the award since Emmit Carpenter in 2016 and the first Gopher to win an individual conference award since Mohamed Ibrahim in 2020.

Kesich was Minnesota’s leading scorer this season, making 22 of his 26 field goal attempts and all 24 point-after attempts for a total of 90 points. He ranked eighth in the country in field goals made, and his 22 makes also tied him for second-most in a season in program history. Additionally, the program says Kesich’s 84.6% field goal percentage is the third best by a Gopher with at least 10 attempts since 1977.

The senior earned two weekly conference awards this season, connected on a career-long 54-yard attempt against Michigan and converted four tries at Iowa. He’s also one of the best at kickoffs, recording touchbacks on 47 of his 56 kickoffs this season.