Monday, November 8, 2010

Pack kicker Czajkowski out with hamstring injury

N.C. State senior place-kicker Josh Czajkowski will miss at least the remainder of the regular season because of a leg injury, Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien announced today at his weekly news conference.

Czajkowski injured his hamstring on the Wolfpack's final kickoff in Saturday's 14-13 loss to Clemson. It's unclear whether he will be able to return for N.C. State's bowl game.

Sophomore Ellis Flint and freshman Chris Hawthorne will compete for the starting position in practice this week. Flint is a former Hofstra player who transferred after that school dropped its football program at the end of last season.

Czajkowski had attended kicking camp with him and brought it to the N.C. State coaching staff's attention that Flint needed to find a place to play.

Hawthorne is a freshman from Leesville Road High who has impressed O'Brien with his strong leg and improvement this season. O'Brien said it's possible that one of the kickers will kick field goals and extra points, and the other will handle kickoffs in Czajkowski's absence.

Czajkowski was injured on a 76-yard kickoff return by Clemson in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game. He was 12-for-16 on field goal attempts this season. He ranks fourth in school history in field goal percentage (.866) and is tied for fourth in career field goals (40).

Ken Tysiac