Utah Utes kicker Chayden Johnston announces retirement from football

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  • Red_Blooded Layton, UT
    April 25, 2019 10:28 a.m.

    Coach Whitt needs to go check out all the local school soccer teams and maybe even the ski teams. That is where the last 2 amazing kickers have come from so why not?

    Go Utes!!!

  • brian of ohio Kent, OH
    April 22, 2019 7:44 a.m.

    This could be a good thing to not have an outstanding kicker. It might be one of those blessings in disguise if we only have a guy that can accurately kick FGs inside of 40 yards - hopefully we get that at least (don't want Washington of last year in the kicking game).

    If our offense performs like it should with the returning RBs, WRs, TEs, and QBs, then we should be able to trust the offense to get first downs when the kick would be between 40-50 yards on short downs and punt on longer ones. Those are big shoulds, but this team has the POTENTIAL to be one of the better offenses Utah has ever fielded. They have a true deep threat receiver in Dixon, a couple receivers that have shown capable of making the big catch, arguably their best TEs in a long time, and then a true NFL caliber RB. Huntley is clearly one of the most athletic QBs we have ever had if they go that route, or if Rising can play this year, I wouldn't be surprised to see him in there.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    April 20, 2019 1:38 p.m.

    You never know how things will work out, Matt gay was a UVU soccer player who byu passed up before he walked up to Utah - that's how it goes sometimes, you don't know the potential until they get going.

    Lennon looks very promising, but he's new and outside of him I find it funny that Utah fans are so dismissive of kickers like they have a full stable. Utah does or it doesn't, you really need to wait until live action to find out.

    I would say that a history of good kickers improves probability that Utah will have a good kicking game - but that's very far from a garuntee.

  • Lester L. Wester Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2019 10:32 a.m.

    Best of luck to him. He tried, and couldn't cut it; he's tried again and still couldn't cut it. Good leg, just no accuracy. There's a major component to kicking that's mental; some have it and some don't. Better now than after the season starts. No Matt Gay waiting on the sidelines this time.

  • PhineasGauge St Paul, MN
    April 19, 2019 7:14 p.m.

    A little messed up in my opinion. You want to bail? Do it before recruiting and spring practice ends. Seems like he left his teammates and the school in a bit of a tough spot.

  • AZUTE1 Mesa, AZ
    April 19, 2019 4:30 p.m.

    “Oh yea...Forget this kid was named the starter in spring ball .... The utes have 5 or 6 kickers that are better than this guy .....”

    You mean like he was originally named the starter over MG? We all saw how that one turned out—Lou Groza anybody?

    Go Utes!

  • pacmidmajor Springville, UT
    April 19, 2019 3:24 p.m.

    Oh yea...Forget this kid was named the starter in spring ball .... The utes have 5 or 6 kickers that are better than this guy .....

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    April 19, 2019 12:36 p.m.

    Suggest Whitt looks to the Utes woman's soccer team. Plenty of girls there have a better leg than Chayden.

  • Jackie Treehorn St George, UT
    April 19, 2019 11:12 a.m.

    "He also clearly didn't spend much time in the weight room either if he's really 6-1 and only 160-lbs."

    Not trying to pick a fight here, but this is pretty physiologically false. Work in the weight room doesn't make one bigger, it makes him or her stronger; a net positive or negative caloric intake is what causes weight gain or loss, respectively. Participation on the team requires the same exercise regimen as everyone else; the team has multi-weekly scheduled lift times with coordinated, directed, and closely monitored workouts from the strength and conditioning staff. If they (and the coaches) want someone to gain (or lose) weight, they assist in dietary planning. He was a place kicker, he didn't need to look like a safety or running back.

    Regarding Chayden, he was a talented player in high school who earned the opportunity to compete in college. It was a vehicle for him to plan his career, which is what athletics is intended to be. It takes a lot of guts to walk away from something you've worked on your whole life, so I have a lot of respect for his decision and wish him the best. Now just hoping the Utes can find a quality leg in the next 3 months!

  • SteaknWings Philadelphia, PA
    April 18, 2019 8:08 p.m.

    Not a surprise here. Reports from Spring camp were that the Utah kicking game is a disaster right now. Redding has been more consistent but only from short distances. Whether Johnston stayed or not it was very likely that Utah had already started it's search for someone that can come in and challenge for the starting spot come next Fall. I hope Redding starts to show better with the opportunity in front of him, but I also hope Whitt can find another kicker to challenge or beat Redding out. After several years of great kicking at the U it would be a huge bummer if that turned out to be the downfall to what lines up to very possibly be the best or one of the best Utah teams of all time.

  • UteinIdaho Sandpoint, ID
    April 18, 2019 6:07 p.m.

    Hmm...well we will probably see Whitt going for it on a lot of 4th downs, and maybe we'll see a lot more TD's in the redzone!

  • Trigger529 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2019 3:25 p.m.

    Doesn't this kind of mean that Johnston used 2 years of scholarship and academic funding, at the Ute's expense and detriment, that could have been used to bring in another kicker that actually wanted to compete and progress in the program ?

  • Mr. Moots Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2019 3:13 p.m.

    Good decision. Go do something more worthwhile!

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    April 18, 2019 3:09 p.m.

    Best of luck to Chayden. I really wish it could have worked out for him, but the team going with Matty Ice was clearly the correct call.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 18, 2019 2:22 p.m.

    "Johnston's departure leaves a massive void in a special teams unit that is perennially among the nation's best..." -- Ryan McDonald

    I wouldn't say he'd left a "massive void". He wasn't any good. We have another guy who can kick the PATs, and what's the difference between one Kicker who can't convert FGs from another one who similarly can't kick a decent FG either.

    Johnston essentially had 2 yrs to concentrate on perfecting his craft, and he didn't do it. He also clearly didn't spend much time in the weight room either if he's really 6-1 and only 160-lbs. He didn't put in the required work, and now he quit. That's not a "void". That's an "opportunity" for somebody else who WOULD be willing to put in the work.

    GO UTES!!!