Joey Julius, Penn State’s 5-foot-10, 260-pound kicker, is developing quite a reputation. He enjoys truck-sticking opponents almost as much as kicking off. Julius spent the early part of the 2016 season flattening kick returners, including this bone-jarring hit against Kent State, and players around college football have started to take notice. Apparently tired of Julius throwing his weight around with no repercussions, Penn State opponents are exacting revenge for their fallen brothers.
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Last week, Minnesota’s Jaylen Waters hit Julius hard with his shoulder while Julius was running down the field after booting a kickoff. Waters was thrown out of the game. This week, as Penn State took on Maryland, another player went hunting for Julius and the play ended in the same fashion.
Maryland’s Isaiah Davis was tossed out at the start of the second half after he turned himself into a heat-seeking missile and lunged at Julius. It was a truly awful cheap shot that rightfully led to Davis’s ejection. It’s one thing to deliver a goodnatured, legal hit to let Julius know he can expect some physicality back as the season progresses. It’s another thing to hit a guy with a cheap shot that could lead to a serious injury.
Let’s hope Julius is OK, and that the rest of college football calms down a bit with the hits on Penn State’s unique kicker.