The former Elizabethton High School star is 7-of-8 on field goals this season with a long of 49 yards. A redshirt senior, he graduated in May from Austin Peay with a degree in general studies. He’s ready to come home and play in front of old friends and teammates.
“I’m so excited to showcase my talent in front of my hometown with my family and friends at the game,” Birchfield said. “I also think it’s a great opportunity for my team to play a team that made it to the playoffs this season.”
Coach Mark Hudspeth, in his first season at Austin Peay, has been impressed with what he’s seen from Birchfield.
“He’s off to a great start this year,” Hudspeth said. “He’s been Mr. Automatic. He’s got a great work ethic, a great young man who everybody up there should be proud of.”
It comes after back-to-back record seasons.
Birchfield has made a school-record 41 extra-points each of the last two years. He hit 41-of-43 attempts last season including a school-record 10-of-10 against Morehead State. He hit 5-of-7 field goal attempts and finished second on the team with 56 points scored.
The single-game mark broke his record of eight the previous season, also against Morehead. The following week in 2017, he nailed a 45-yard field goal and booted six extra-points to score a season-high nine points against Murray State.
He went 5-of-7 on field-goal attempts as a freshman, and his success at the college game is little surprise. Playing for coach Shawn Witten’s Elizabethton Cyclones, he kicked 152 extra points, including a streak of 62 in a row.
In addition to his football exploits, he was an all-conference tennis player for the Cyclones. Asked if he will be nervous for his first kick, he believes his experience will take care of that.
“I think I will be more excited than nervous,” he said. “Being a fifth-year senior helps with that. I’m very comfortable when I go out and kick this season because of the experience knowing I can trust my snapper and holder every time.”