USC football kicker Chase McGrath enters transfer portal

USC football kicker Chase McGrath. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
USC football kicker Chase McGrath. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

Kicker Chase McGrath is looking to leave USC football via the transfer portal

USC football came into the 2020 season with three scholarship placekickers. They’re going to finish with two.

Former starter Chase McGrath is entering the transfer portal, according to Pete Thamel and multiple confirming reports.

The redshirt-junior was expected to retain his starting place this season but an injury and the emergence of freshman Parker Lewis scuttled that plan.

Chase McGrath was a reliable kicker for USC football

McGrath came to USC as a walkon out of Mater Dei and made a big impression, essentially doing to Michael Brown what Lewis has done to him. When Brown was injured against Stanford in 2017, McGrath took over and never looked back.

The first two field goals of his career were among the most memorable in recent years. After missing his first-ever attempt in the first half, he booted a 31-yarder as time expired to send the Texas game into overtime, then hit the game-winning kick from 43 yards out.

The next year against Texas he suffered a knee injury which kept him out for the rest of the season. He was able to return in 2019 and was voted an All-Pac-12 honorable mention and USC Special Teams Player of the Year.

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In 30 career games, he was 32-of-42 on placekicks and successfully converted 118-of-119 PATs.

Despite his reliable leg, McGrath ultimately lost his job to Lewis, who has huge upside as one of the top kickers to come out of high school last year. Lewis has hit 6-of-7 early kick attempts and handled all of USC’s kickoffs.

It’s unfortunate for McGrath, but Lewis has clearly looked like USC’s future at the kicker spot. The only question will be if his booming leg can match the accuracy McGrath was able to achieve.

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