San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Baron II uses his leg to make a difference for the Aztecs

Courtesy Ernie Anderson / SDSU Athletics
Senior kicker John Baron II readies to boot a field goal during the Aztecs 28-21 victory over Arizona State on Sept. 15 at SDCCU Stadium. Baron made two field goals in the game, including a career-high 54 yarder.

Throughout his time at San Diego State, senior football kicker John Baron II has been more than reliable.

Baron redshirted his first year in 2014, and was on the travel squad for his 2015 freshman season. Since then, he has been one of the best kickers The Aztecs have ever seen.

Baron has made 41 of 47 field goal attempts in his college career, which ranks second in field goal percentage at SDSU and first in field goal percentage among active FBS kickers (.872).

His only miss this season was a 35-yard attempt in the third quarter against Eastern Michigan on Sept. 22, but he followed that up with a game-tying 50-yarder.

Baron is tied for fifth among collegiate kickers with eight field goals made through four games this season, including three from 50-plus yards.

In the overtime period against EMU, Baron drilled a 38-yard field goal through the uprights to improve the Aztecs record to 3-1.

“It was awesome,” Baron said about converting the winning kick. “It was definitely nerve-racking. It was a pressure kick, but I’m just happy winning.”

Baron finished 3-for-4 on field goal attempts and two made extra points against the Eagles, and was named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week for the second straight week.

He is the first player to receive the accolade for two consecutive weeks since UNLV punter Logan Yunker received the back-to-back honor  in 2013.

Junior quarterback Ryan Agnew praised Baron’s kicking ability, following the victory over EMU.

“(Baron’s) one of the best that I’ve ever seen kick the football,” Agnew said. “He’s a captain of our football team, and you can see why… in pressure situations he rose to the challenge.”

Baron’s performance against Eastern Michigan marked his third straight multi-FG game and the 14th of his career.

Baron has also been effective on kickoffs, tallying 14 touchbacks in 21 kickoffs.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Horton said having Baron is a big advantage on offense, as well as on pinning opponents deep on kickoffs.

“He’s definitely a weapon,” Horton said. “You have such confidence in him that if you get in (pressure) situations, the team really believes that this guy will find a way to win the game for you.”

Baron was named to the pre-season Lou Groza Award watch list, an honor that is given annually to the best placekicker in college football. Baron was a semi-finalist for the award in 2016.

Baron, however, said his only focus is on making kicks, rather than winning awards.

“I don’t get caught up in that stuff,” he said. “I just try to help my team win and make kicks.”

Don’t be surprised to see Baron claim the Lou Groza honor and be named an All-American if he continues to deliver for the Aztecs.

About the Contributor
Kyle Betz
Kyle Betz, Sports Editor
Kyle Betz is a fourth-year journalism student at SDSU and 2020-21 marks his fourth year reporting for The Daily Aztec. The Lake Forest, Calif. native has covered numerous sports as a writer, editor and media contributor. An avid fan of the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Lakers, Manchester United and Anaheim Ducks, Kyle enjoys watching and attending sporting events, listening to music, going to the beach and spending time with friends and family in his free time.
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Baron II uses his leg to make a difference for the Aztecs