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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) University of Utah kicker Andy Phillips kicks off during spring football practice at the Spence Eccles Football Facility in Salt Lake City, Utah Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
Utes kicker Andy Phillips selected as preseason Sports Illustrated All-American

Could the past 24 hours be going any better for Andy Phillips?

The Utes announced yesterday that the sophomore kicker was one of three walk-ons who had earned scholarships. On Monday evening, Phillips tweeted out a picture of himself signing his scholarship documents.


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On Tuesday morning, Phillips was revealed to be a Sports Illustrated preseason second-team All-American, the latest in what is becoming a long line of distinction for the skier-turned kicker.

Phillips was a surprise bright spot for the U. last fall, going 17-for-20 on field goals and making all 41 extra point attempts. He was perfect on his first 11 attempts, gaining the moniker "Automatic Andy" from some fans.

He's a candidate for the Lou Groza award, and has been on several preseason All-Pac-12 teams.

Great things are expected.

On Monday afternoon, Kyle Whittingham spoke about the luxury of having a kicker and a punter (Tom Hackett) who are both seen as elite specialists. A media member asked if it had to do with the position coach - Whittingham is the special teams coordinator this year - which was met with a laugh.

"It's due not at all from the position coach," Whittingham said. "It's all on the talent of those players. Two talented and mentally tough kids."

Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



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