(EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS IS BASED ON THE PREMISE THAT LANDON ARD LOOKS VAGUELY LIKE HE COULD BE IN TERRIBLE RAP ROCK JUGGERNAUT LINKIN PARK.)
Redshirt Sophomore Kicker/Hybrid Theorist
5'9", 172 lbs.
Rock Hill, SC
Landon "Linkin" Ard served as the backup kicker and occasional kickoff specialist in 2013. Asked to reflect on his 2012 season, Ard mused, "There's something inside me that pulls beneath the surface consuming, confusing what is real. This lack of self-control I fear is never ending controlling, confusing what is real." Ard gained some notoriety for being mocked by Chris Carter for wearing glasses during an onside kick attempt. Ard handled it with aplomb, quipping, "In spite of the way you were mocking me / acting like I was part of your property / remembering all the times you fought with me / I'm surprised it got so far."
13 kickoffs, 3 touchbacks
Ard tried so hard and fought so long for the starting PK role, even if, in the end, it didn't ever matter because Adam Yates was ahead of him. Yates, last year's sturdy place kicker, is now gone, so the spot is Ard's to lose. The Gamecocks didn't rely on field goals often in 2012, finishing 11th in the league with 17 attempts, but any game can come down to a last second field goal attempt, so we can't underestimate the value of a capable kicker. Ard is aware that time is a valuable thing one can watch fly by as the pendulum swings and watch it count down to the end of the day as the clock ticks life away, so expect him to be ready for the high pressure situations.
Ard doesn't know what's worth fighting for, or why he has to scream. He doesn't know why he instigates and says what he doesn't mean. He doesn't know how he got this way. He'll never be alright, so he's breaking the habit, he's breaking the habit, tonight.
Possible Todd Ellis play-by-play call:
"Folks, it comes down to this: down by two on the 25 yard line, Landon Ard will attempt a 42 yard field goal for the win over Clemson. The snap, and the kick is up—it's hooking left, GET IN! Bangs off the upright, off the cross bar, and bounces over and through! GAMECOCKS WIN! LANDON ARD WITH THE FIELD GOAL AS TIME EXPIRES! Let's throw it down to the field for reactions!"
Correspondent: "I'm here with Landon Ard, who just won this game with his foot. Landon, how do you feel?"
[Ard pulls on XL hooded sweatshirt, reaches off camera, retrieves 7-string Paul Reed Smith custom 10-Top electric, plays distorted power chord progression]
Ard: "AS I GAZE INTO THE EYE OF TIME / AND MY MIND IS PRIMED
FOR THIS ENDLESS DECENT IN LIFE / I CAN ONLY RHYME
AND PROVE ONCE AND ALL / THAT MY BLOOD RUNS TRUE
I SCREAM TO THE SKY / AND I TRY TO FLY AND I FIND
THAT NO MAN CAN DEFEAT ME / ALSO THAT PRICK CHRIS CARTER CAN EAT ME"
/is beloved by angsty 17-year-olds
/makes unspeakable riches
/snubbed by critical community
/rich, so doesn't care