NORMAN, Okla. – Cameron Kenney still loves to get his kicks.
Wrapped up in a tight competition to start at receiver for No. 7 Oklahoma, Kenney says he's going to keep that as his focus even as coach Bob Stoops scrambles to see if anyone can do better than his inconsistent group of kickers.
Kenney was an All-America punter in junior college but says he hasn't practiced kicking since he got to Oklahoma and started playing receiver. He's still the Sooners' emergency punter if starter Tress Way were to get injured. Kenney stayed out of Stoops' kicking tryout for walk-ons Thursday, even though his mom sent him a text message to see if he was interested.
"This is a great opportunity for other guys to come in, and we've got kickers with great legs," Kenney said. "I just want to let them have their job. I'm going to work on mine, because that's the main priority while I'm here."
About 25 kicking hopefuls were among the students who showed up for the tryouts open for every position, but Stoops said none of them will be playing for Oklahoma this season.
The Sooners tried out three different field-goal kickers last season, with Jimmy Stevens, walk-on Patrick O'Hara and Way going a combined 18-for-28. Key misses left Oklahoma short in close losses against BYU, Texas and Nebraska.
With the Sept. 4 season opener against Utah State drawing near, Stoops is still looking for answers with a group that includes freshman Michael Hunnicutt and redshirt freshman Bryce Easley.
"Obviously, we don't have it figured out yet because each one has taken their turn not to be as consistent as they need to be," Stoops said.
Kenney, who played soccer until his senior year of high school, said he's worked on kicking every year since sixth grade and used to alternate between whether punting and place-kicking was his favorite football pursuit. He's confident he could hit a 40- or 50-yard field goal and perhaps go as far out as 55 yards if he worked on it.
"I don't want to be too cocky about it," Kenney said sheepishly. "I feel like I can. Kicking, you just don't lose it. You just don't lose the swing in your leg. Maybe I would be wide a couple times, but if I were to actually sit down and practice, I think it'd be pretty easy."
Instead, Kenney has his own job to think about. After struggling with dropped passes last season, he has impressed receivers coach Jay Norvell enough during training camp that he was listed as a starter on a recent depth chart.
That doesn't mean he'll have his name called before the season opener, especially with freshmen Joe Powell and Trey Franks coming on and Norvell saying Dejuan Miller was having his best week so far this preseason.
"Every day, you've got to work. There's not a guaranteed spot," Kenney said. "It could change any day or any time during the day or any time during the practice."
At least for now, Kenney's going to keep kicking "somewhere in the future" as a sort of Plan B.
"If something were not to work the right way," he said, "I would love to give it a chance."