ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 17: Place kicker Wesley Wells #38 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets celebrates with teammates after kicking a field goal during the fourth quarter in their game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Trio of Yellow Jackets move on from team as spring practice begins

Georgia Tech kickers Brenton King and Wesley Wells and offensive lineman Connor Hansen are all no longer with the team as the Yellow Jackets begin spring practice.

King is on track to graduate this summer and has accepted a job, coach Geoff Collins told the AJC Tuesday following the first day of spring practice. Wells and Hansen have also decided to leave the team, said Collins.

Hansen had one year of eligibility remaining, while Wells and King both had two. King took the majority of kicks last season for the Jackets, making three of seven field-goal attempts and 17 of 17 extra-point tries while taking 23 kickoffs. His best season was in 2017, when he was 5-for-6 on field goals and 15-for-16 on point-after tries.

In 2019, Wells took 14 kickoffs, missed his lone field-goal try and was 6-for-7 on extra points. He was exceptional in 2018, his freshman season, when he won the job early in the season and proceeded to make all 48 of his kicks – 9-for-9 on field-goal attempts and 39-for-39 on extra-point tries.

Hansen played in 25 games in three seasons, starting 14. He started the final nine games of the season at right guard in 2018, helping the Jackets lead FBS in rushing at 325.0 yards per game. He missed all of spring and preseason practice last season due to injury.

The departure of King and Wells means that the kicking job is wide open. The two leading contenders figure to be two preferred walk-on freshmen, Steven Verdisco of Tampa, Fla., and Jude Kelley from Allatoona High in Cobb County. Verdisco is an early enrollee and is taking part in spring practice. Kelley is finishing his senior year of high school.

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