The Kansas coaching staff was looking for a kicker and Thursday evening they found their man in Alex Mueller. They were being patient in the process before offering Mueller a scholarship and the wait paid off for him as well.
This summer Mueller attended the Jayhawks kicking camp and impressed the coaches. After the camp special teams coordinator Aaron Stamn gave him advice that went a long way.
"I thought I did well at their camp and got a chance to kick in front of coach Stamn," Mueller said. "I thought they might offer but after the camp coach Stamn told me to be patient. It happened to work out for me and I'm so excited about it."
Mueller spoke with Stamn and head coach Turner Gill on Thursday evening to inform them he wanted to commit to Kansas.
"Coach Gill seemed real excited," Mueller said. "I told him that Kansas was always my first choice. I told him I was excited to get the opportunity to go to Kansas."
According to Chris Sailer, considered to be the nation's top expert on kicking, Mueller is rated as the fifth best kicker in the country. Mueller competed in Sailer's camp Las Vegas, Texas, and the elite camp in California.
"Alex is an outstanding kicker," Sailer wrote about Alex Mueller. "He has a strong leg, gets great height, and is very accurate off the ground. He's perhaps the best field goal kicker in the class of 2011. He's solid on kickoffs. Alex is a fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic. He has all the tools to be a great college kicker and is a great performer under pressure."
Mueller has already performed under pressure this year. Against Midlothian he kicked a 27-yard field goal to send the game to overtime. Then he kicked the game-winning field goal from 44 yards to win it.
Another plus is the fact Mueller doesn't use a kicking tee when he's kicking field goals. Most high school kickers use a tee, but can't when they get to college.
"I have the same holder that has been doing it my whole career," he said. "So I trust he can get the ball down on the spot. We also have a good long-snapper. So I trust them and I knew it would help me with college coaches."
As a junior he connected on 9-of-12 field goals and made all 32 extra points he attempted. On kickoffs he averaged 61 yards.
He has attempted three game-winning kicks in his career and made all three.
"Coach Stamn told me he really liked my field goal kicking," Mueller said. "He said I will have a chance right away to compete for the job as a freshman. I am so excited about it. I fell in love with the campus when I was there. I got see all of the new facilities on my visit."
It isn't often a recruit from Texas says his dream was to play at Kansas, but Mueller knew all about the Jayhawks. He's been watching them for some time.
"My father (Steve) used to live in Wichita so we would always Kansas play since I was in middle school," Mueller said. "I've just always wanted to go there."