He arrived at Mizzou as a diver and left as the highest scoring player in the football program’s history.
Ever wondered what a Mizzou team that was comprised of only Missouri kids would look like? Or wonder how good an only-Texan Mizzou squad would do? Well, you’re in luck! This offseason, the Rock M Masthead is assembling the best team of Mizzou players by state that they graduated high school from. We compiled a list of the significant starters on every team from the year 2000 on and voted on the best players at their position group in order to create three “All-State” Mizzou squads: Team Missouri, Team Texas, and Team USA. Over the next nine weeks you’ll read about these Mizzou Greats that hailed from the respective regions and, hopefully, come away impressed with just how good these fictional teams could actually be.
Special teams is the oft-overlooked third element of football and one that can help snag a few wins in close games or against tough opponents. Here’s who the masthead saw as the best of those unsung heroes.
Many of your favorite Mizzou football memories likely finished with Jeff Wolfert working his way onto the field. That wasn’t necessarily by design. Not at first, anyway.
Wolfert, you see, didn’t come to Missouri to play football. He earned a diving scholarship and became an all-conference diver as a freshman. A standout kicker and soccer player in high school as well, he saw his kicking career nearly come to an end after high school due to an injury. Wolfert wouldn’t be denied. Making an all-conference team for one sport in college just wasn’t enough.
He tried out for the football team his sophomore year and made the squad as a sophomore in 2006.
In his first year as starter, Wolfert set University of Missouri single-season records for field goals (18), points by a kicker (99), consecutive PATs (45) and field-goal percentage (90 percent). Gary Pinkel awarded Wolfert a scholarship the following season. The diver’s room and board was officially paid for by the football program.
He would go on to serve as the team’s starting kicker for the next three seasons, finishing as the all-time points leader in Mizzou football history and never once missing an extra point.
Not bad for someone who came to the university for its swimming and diving program, eh?
Wolfert always made sure to pass on the credit to his team. He arrived at the perfect time to put up points as a kicker. His first year as Mizzou’s kicker was Chase Daniel’s first season as the starting quarterback. His final season? Yupp, it happened to line up with Daniel’s senior year.
The best quarterback in program history was paired with the highest scoring player in program history. That doesn’t happen by mistake. But to give all of the credit to this teammates is a disservice to Wolfert. He was a darn good kicker who happened played for a tremendous team.
You don’t earn all of these accolades by accident:
- Lou Groza Award Semifinalist (2006)
- Hon. Men. All-Big 12 (2006)
- Team Walk-On Player of the Year (2006)
- 1st-Team All-Big 12 (2007)
- Lou Groza Award Semifinalist (2008)
- 1st Team All-Big 12 (2008)
And now you can add one more to the list:
- Team USA Specialist (2021)