Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 2, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 25 of 111

BY LOU SOMOGYI I t didn't take long for freshman kicker Justin Yoon to get settled in at Notre Dame. It's not like he had a choice. Declared the starter on National Signing Day to replace graduated three-year starter Kyle Brindza, the nation's No. 1 kicking prospect in 2015 is believed to be the first Notre Dame football player of South Ko- rean descent, although he was born in Ohio and competed at Milton (Mass.) Academy. His "leg work" began by play- ing soccer and hockey — his father, Jiseop, is a former Olympic figure skater — before he was introduced to kicking a football in the eighth grade. A hitch in his motion and follow through that resulted in missed extra points against Virginia and Georgia Tech in back-to-back weeks tempo- rarily took some of shine off his skills, but it didn't take long to regain it. During the 5-1 start, Yoon made 7 of 9 field goals attempts — includ- ing a 46-yard boot in a quagmire at Clemson that kept Notre Dame's hopes alive in 24-22 loss Oct. 3, and then a 52-yard kick as time expired to give the Irish a 24-21 halftime lead the next week in their eventual 41-24 KICK-START Freshman Justin Yoon is adapting quickly to a major role Yoon converted 24 of 26 extra point tries and 7 of 9 field goal attempts, including 46- and 52-yarders, in the first six games of his Irish career. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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