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Arena Football League Kickers: Breaking down Specialists

Updated at Mar 6, 2024

Join us as we look at some of the kickers currently on rosters to start the 2024 AFL season.

Kickers are perfectionists in just about every sense of the word. The preparation needed to consistently connect from long distances is backbreaking work. It is all about repeating the same routine over and over again until perfection is the outcome. While some may not believe it, these specialists have one of the most difficult jobs in all of professional football. When the pressure is on, the snap, hold, and kick all need to be flawlessly executed to achieve the task at hand, kicking a field goal directly through the uprights.

One of the quirks of the Arena Football game is the goalposts. Typically, the NFL and other outdoor football leagues use an 18.5-foot-wide goalpost. While kickers will attempt to convert on all kicks, rebounding off the nets is the price paid for a miss. Standing at just nine feet wide, the moniker “think small, miss small” is ever apparent heading into the 2024 season.

Here is a breakdown of the Kickers across the league heading into the season.

Albany Firebirds

Marc Orozco

5-9, 170 lbs

College: Grambling State University

Professional Experience: Albany Empire (NAL), Jacksonville Sharks (IFL), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL)

Orozco has been brought in by the Firebirds for the 2024 season. The former Grambling State product made 51 of 58 career kicks and was named to the All-SWAC First Team in 2017. He spent the 2022 and 2023 seasons with the Albany Empire of the National Arena League. During the 2022 season, Orozco won three special teams player of the week awards en route to All-NAL Second Team honors. He was a critical part of the Empire’s NAL Championship win that year.

The 5-9, 170-pounder has also spent time in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Earlier this year, the Firebirds signed Orozco and elected to send their other rostered kicker, Drew Pearson, to the Minnesota Myth. He brings plenty of experience and a championship pedigree to Albany. Orozco looks to be a major factor for the Firebirds for the upcoming AFL season.

Philadelphia Soul

Conor Mangan

6-0, 200 lbs

College: University College Cork (Ireland)

Professional Experience: Northern Arizona Wranglers (IFL)

The Soul will have a good old kicking battle in training camp with the signings of former rugby player Mangan and Arena veteran Clarke. Mangan is a former Irish Rugby player who attended University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland. Before making the switch to American Football, he played Rugby for the Atlantic Rock and the Ottawa Irish Rugby teams. Mangan, who played in the Indoor Football League last season for the Northern Arizona Wranglers, now sets his sights on winning Philly’s kicking job.

Patrick Clarke

6-3, 215 lbs

College: University at Buffalo

Professional Experience: Beijing Lions (CAFL), Spokane Empire (af2), Philadelphia Soul, Washington Valor, Baltimore Brigade (AFL)

Competing against him will be 32-year-old Clarke, a graduate of the University of Buffalo. During his four seasons at UB, Clarke compiled impressive numbers. All in all, 34 made field goals and nearly 9,800 kickoff yards were tallied to his resume. Now he is back for his second stint with the Soul, having spent the 2016 season in Philadelphia. AFL fans are familiar with Clare as he also spent parts of 2017-2019 with two other former AFL teams the Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade. Either of these athletes could wind up winning the kicking job for the Soul in 2024.

Orlando Predators

Dylan Barnas

5-8, 175 lbs

College: University of Central Florida

Professional Experience: Orlando Predators (NAL)

The Orlando Predators will also hold a kicking battle in their camp. They have signed two placekickers in Barnas and Moghaddam. Barnas enters Predators’ camp having kicked for the University of Central Florida from 2017-2019. He left his mark at UCF, having posted a .882 field goal percentage and having connected on 69 of 70 career PAT attempts. Following his time at UCF, Barnas kicked for the Orlando Predators in 2021 and 2023.

Dylan Moghaddam

5-9, 175 lbs

College: Bethune-Cookman University

Professional Experience: Dresden Monarchs (GFL)

The second kicker who will trot into camp is Dylan Moghaddam. A former Kicker at Bethune-Cookman University, Moghaddam notched a total of ten field goals and 85 total points in two seasons at BCU. Moghaddam will move to Arena football after spending the 2023 season playing for the Dresden Monarchs in Germany. While playing overseas last year, Moghaddam was six of seven on field goal attempts with a long of 42 yards. He also made 29 of 30 PATs in nine games played. Orlando has two excellent kickers on their roster heading into camp.

Louisiana Voodoo

Stevie Artigue

5-10, 170 lbs

College: University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Professional Experience: Bay Area Panthers, Vegas Knight Hawks (IFL)

Artigue will keep his talents in Louisiana this season, signing with the Louisiana Voodoo. The former Ragin’ Cajun was the 41st-ranked kicker nationally during his senior season in high school. From 2015-2019, Artigue career numbers tallied an impressive 75 field goals made with nearly 10,000 kickoff yards.

Following his impressive collegiate career, Artigue has played professional football for both the Bay Area Panthers and Vegas Knight Hawks. Last season for Vegas, Artigue scored a total of 74 points and added 4,372 kickoff yards to his football resume. Expect Artigue to continue his successes in professional football as he pivots to the Arena game.

West Texas Desert Hawks

Brandon Brown

6-1, 200 lbs

College: Fort Hays State University

Professional Experience: Baltimore Brigade (AFL), Bay Area Panthers (IFL)

Another veteran in the Arena Football League, Brown, has signed with the Desert Hawks for their upcoming season. The former Fort Hays State product is no stranger to the uprights of the AFL. Named the MIAA Special Teams Player of the Year in 2017, Brown finished his career at FSU, making 31 field goals while scoring 182 total points.

After a successful collegiate career, Brown earned two NFL rookie minicamp invites with Washington and San Francisco. Brown signed with the AFL’s Baltimore Brigade in 2019, followed by the IFL’s Bay Area Panthers in 2020. Brown has a powerful leg and should have no issues leading West Texas’ kicking duties in 2024.

Salina Liberty

Luiz Ferreira

5-10, 205 lbs

College: Coastal Carolina University / Presentation College

Professional Experience: N/A

The Salina Liberty will call on former Coastal Carolina University walk-on Ferreira this season. Ferreira, a native of Brazil, would see major playing time at Presentation College in South Dakota following his redshirt freshman year at CCU. Ferreira holds the record for the longest field goal in Presentation College’s history. The Liberty liked what they saw from Ferreira and will give him his first professional football opportunity in 2024. He looks to capitalize on the chance to kick for Salina this season.

Southwest Kansas Storm

Dillon Burkhard

5-9, 160 lbs

College: Dodge City Community College / Southeastern Louisiana University

Professional Experience: Southwest Kansas Storm (CIF)

The Southwest Kansas Storm should be in good hands with Burkhard. A Native of Dodge City, Burkhard attended both Dodge City Community College and Southeastern Louisiana University during his collegiate career. In his final two seasons attending SLU, Burkhard connected on 10 of 15 field goals and was an unbelievable 50 of 50 on PATs. Burkhard also handled kickoff duties for SLU in both 2016 and 2017.

Burkhard returns to the Storm after serving as the team's kicker in 2022 and 2023. Dillon’s booming leg should help him in converting tough kicks all year long. A storm is coming for opposing AFL teams in 2024, and the sheer power behind Burkhard’s kicks looks to play a major factor in said storm this year.

Billings Outlaws

Bailey Giffen

5-9, 165 lbs

College: Stephen F. Austin University / Lamar University

Professional Experience: Las Vegas Vipers (XFL)

The Billings Outlaws have brought in a former XFL Kicker in Giffen. A graduate of Lamar University, Giffen shined for Stephen F. Austin University before transferring to LU in 2019. Giffen was a one-man wrecking crew during his time at Lamar. He would handle all kicking and punting responsibilities in his last three years in college. Giffen accumulated eye-popping statistics, including 34 made field goals, 3481 punt yards, and just three touchbacks in 29 career games. Giffen also played baseball while attending Lamar.

After a successful career at LU, Giffen went pro. He was drafted in the second round of the XFL’s specialist portion of the 2023 draft. The Las Vegas Vipers selected Giffen to be their placekicker in the 2023 XFL season. He appeared in seven games, making six field goals with a long of 47 yards. Pivoting from the outdoor game to the AFL will be quite the task, but one that Giffen can handle. Look for the talented Giffen to be effective and deliberate in his approach for the Outlaws this upcoming season.

Rapid City Marshals

Aedan Johnson

5-9, 170 lbs

College: Southwestern College / North Carolina Central University / University of San Diego

Professional Experience: Bay Area Panthers, San Diego Strike Force (IFL)

The Rapid City Marshals will go with Johnson in 2024. Johnson attended three different schools in college. Southwestern College, North Carolina Central University, and the University of San Diego all gave Johnson opportunities to kick. While at NCCU for the 2017 season, Johnson shined for the Eagles. In his Junior year, he notched 9 field goals and 29 extra points. Johnson was voted an All-MEAC Second Team player following his Junior season. USD became Johnson’s home for his senior year. He would add seven more made field goals to his collegiate resume, along with 3,577 kickoff yards.

Johnson has professional football experience with both the Bay Area Panthers and the San Diego Strike Force. The 5-9, 170-pounder led the IFL in made field goals in 2023. Look for Johnson to be an absolute force for the Marshals in 2024.

Washington Wolfpack

Wyatt Paul

5-10, 165 lbs

College: USC (non football)

Professional Experience: Everett Royals (GDFL)

Paul is a Washington native who will stay at home with the Wolfpack in 2024. Paul attended Lakeside High School in Seattle, Washington, graduating in 2015, Next, he played in the Gridiron Developmental Football League in 2022 with the Everett Royals. Paul handled both kicking and punting duties with the Royals and was poised as the top kicker in the GDFL that season. Paul works as a software engineer and as an assistant football and soccer coach at Lakeside High School, his alma mater. Paul will be a great fit for the Wolfpack in 2024. The team views Paul as one of the best, if not the best, kickers across the AFL.

Oregon Blackbears

Shane McInerney

6-4, 230 lbs

College: Peru State College

Professional Experience: Orlando Predators (NAL), Arizona Rattlers (IFL)

The final Kicker previewed is Oregon Blackbears Kicker McInerney. McInerney, a native of Ireland, is relatively new to the world of American professional football. After becoming a soccer player in his home country, the COVID-19 pandemic brought him to the sport of American football. One lone season at Peru State saw McInerney notch 40 of 42 attempts and was the top NAIA kicker in 2022. Next, McInerney spent time with both the Orlando Predators and Arizona Rattlers. Through two seasons of professional football, McInerney is an incredible 94 for 101 in field goals / PATs. Yes, the Irishmen has not been playing American football his entire life, but the Blackbears’ kicking game will be fun to watch in 2024. McInerney aims to provide near-deadly accuracy to the AFL this season.

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