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September 9, 2013Fittingly, Remy Hamilton was in attendance Saturday when senior placekicker Brendan Gibbons broke his consecutive field goals record with his 15th and 16th (the record was 14) straight makes. Hamilton thinks Gibbons might have another 10 in a row in him.
"I was getting a lot of texts when I was at the game and even though it was nice to have a record still standing, all records are meant to be broken," Hamilton said. "It was a proud moment for me and I was proud of him.
"Hopefully, we're not kicking too many field goals the rest of the year, but I hope he doesn't miss his whole senior year. I don't know if that's been done before - if someone has been perfect - but that would be amazing. I think with the groove he's in, he could get to 25, 26, maybe even all the way to the bowl game without missing."
Following his career at Michigan in 1995, Hamilton played in the Arena League and made 13 in a row at one point - a tremendous feat considering goal posts are 9.5 feet narrower than in college/NFL - and understands the confidence that Gibbons must be competing with.
"It's hard enough to have a streak of 10, let alone 16, but when you get in one of those grooves, you have this incredible rhythm with your snapper, your holder, you're repeating the same swing pattern and striking the football in the same place over and over again, right where you want it," Hamilton said. "But don't underestimate how hard this is - to be this mentally tough is an amazing accomplishment."
Among Michigan kickers with at least 10 attempts in a season, John Carlson holds the single-season record, making 92.3 percent in 1989 (12 of 13). K.C. Lopata was at 91.7 percent in 2007 (11 of 12) while Gibbons' 2012 performance (88.9 percent on 16 of 18) ranks third.
"Experience for a kicker is critical," Hamilton said. "He's made so many big kicks and there's not a situation he'll face that's been more difficult than what he's already had. You can see when he takes the field, he's just so calm and confident. He has his mind where it needs to be and then he just strokes it the same every time."
It might help if Gibbons is unaware of his achievement like Hamilton was when he wore the winged helmet, but considering the proliferation of media attention since the mid 1990s - and considering they announced it on the PA Saturday - Hamilton finds that hard to believe.
Three years ago, Gibbons made just 1 of 5 attempts. A year later, under head coach Brady Hoke's tutelage, he made 13 of 17 (76.5 percent), then 16 of 18, and now he's striving for a perfect year.
"He's really an incredible success story," Hamilton said. "I'm rooting for him to have that senior year that no one has ever had before."