Tech to turn to walk-on kicker Saturday

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech will turn to a freshman walk-on who wasn’t on the team when the season began to kick extra points and most field goals Saturday against Maryland.
Eric Kristensen, who joined the team after a tryout on Sept 4, will fill in for senior kicker Cody Journell, who was dismissed from the team Wednesday.
Kristensen said he will kick extra points and field goals of 42 yards and shorter, while Michael Branthover will handle longer field goals against the Terrapins.
Kristensen, who was born in Las Vegas, was an all-conference kicker at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor but didn’t get much recruiting interest as a senior. NAIA Siena Heights in Michigan offered him a spot on its team and few schools offered him the chance to walk-on, but he said none were Division I programs.
He chose to enroll at Virginia Tech, where his older sister is a student, and attend the open tryout. He impressed the coaches and was added to the roster on Sept. 24.
He said he expected to redshirt this season.
“Now things have changed and I’m ready to roll,” Kristensen said.
Kristensen will wear No. 22 in the game. Wednesday at practice, he wore No. 1 on his jersey and caught the attention of defensive coordinator Bud Foster.
“I don’t know who the dude was out there today. I really don’t know,” Foster said. “I think we must have picked him up, I think, at an aisle at Walmart or something. Or Kroger, something. I don’t know. I don’t even know his name. I’m sorry. You know?”